MOBI announces Phase I Grand Challenge winners for innovation in mobility solutions

CHORUS Mobility, in cooperation with Decentralized Tech, emerged as the winner out of 23 participants from 15 countries worldwide

Munich, Germany, February 14, 2019, – The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative – MOBI – today announced the top three winners of phase I of the three-year MOBI Grand Challenge (MGC). The top prize went to Chorus Mobility in cooperation with Decentralized Tech for their project on negotiating road space and right of way payments for autonomous vehicles to reduce congestion.

“The goal of the MOBI Grand Challenge is to accelerate the adoption of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies for transportation. By bringing blockchain solutions to a global stage we are igniting worldwide interest in solving the problems of urban mobility, while making it greener, safer, and more efficient,” said MOBI Founder and CEO, Chris Ballinger.

23 teams across 15 countries competed over four months to create blockchain or distributed ledger related solution to address mobility issues affecting today’s world. Held at the BMW Group IT Center in Munich, the award event featured finalist presentations and public demonstrations of potential uses of blockchain and related technologies in coordinating vehicle movement and improving transportation in urban environments.

“It is essential to create digital ecosystems that share infrastructure and use applications with agreed standards and controls. Common, open standards and ecosystems are the only way to speed up development and adoption of blockchain systems. We support the comprehensive approach of the MOBI consortium and look forward to welcoming so many experts from the international blockchain scene to the first European MOBI Colloquium at the BMW Group IT Center in Munich,” says Andre Luckow, who heads the department responsible for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies at the BMW Group.

Ocean Protocol, a blockchain powered data exchange protocol built to unlock data for AI, has sponsored one million dollars’ worth of token prize for the three-year Grand Challenge with $100,000 worth of token prize being awarded to the three winning teams in this first round.

“For autonomous vehicles to become safe and reliable, data must be shared to train the AI algorithms and models”, said Bruce Pon, Founder of Ocean Protocol. “Because if there isn’t a way to share data with trust and privacy, data stays locked up. Ocean Protocol uses blockchain technology, smart contracts and tokens to enable safe and secure sharing of data for the first time, guaranteeing control and auditability while protecting privacy.”

First place winning team Chorus Mobility collaborated with Decentralized Technology to create a project to address growing congestion in urban cities. Their platform allows autonomous vehicles to coordinate driving routes, infrastructure utilization, and allocate rights of way based on demand and availability. The aim is to create a system for self-driving vehicles to safely communicate, so that traffic can move more efficiently. This has tremendous potential to improve safety and reduce the cost of mobility.

“Chorus Mobility is proud and honored to place first in the MOBI Grand Challenge Hackathon. We see this success as a confirmation of the validity of our Vision to Solve Traffic with Blockchain and Autonomous Vehicles Software,” said William Vorobev, CEO and Founder of Chorus Mobility. “We deeply share MOBI’s ideas on the future of mobility and continue working hard on our joint mission to improve traffic safety, decrease the number of congestions and lower the cost of mobility by utilizing the latest breakthroughs in distributed ledgers and consensus protocols.”

First runner up Oaken Innovations showed how blockchain enabled vehicles and passengers can pay for infrastructure use on demand. The project paves the way to a future where vehicles can be charged not only for road use, but also for congestion, pollution and many other attributes of mobility to influence and improve transit behavior.

The third place was tied between Fraunhofer Blockchain Lab and NuCypher. Fraunhofer Blockchain Lab applied platooning to allow for autonomous driving without releasing complete control to the car. This practice lowers fuel consumption and lessens CO2 emissions as the vehicles drive close together and at a constant speed and has the potential to reap the benefits of autonomous vehicles before the world fully adopts driverless driving.

NuCypher partnered with NCIS Labs leveraging blockchain to enable vehicle owners to securely share their vehicle onboard diagnostics data (OBD) with organizations in an auditable fashion while maintaining control over access to the data. This can lead to cheaper insurance rates, predict breakdown, or resolve a conflict related to accidents.

As urban populations continue to rise, sustainable urbanization depends on successful management of existing infrastructure. The next phase of the MOBI Grand Challenge looks to this future to explore ways in which blockchain and distributed ledger technologies can incentivize behaviors to unsnarl congestion, reduce pollution, and make cities more livable.

About the MOBI Grand Challenge (MGC)

MOBI partnered with the Trusted IoT Alliance to host the MOBI Grand Challenge, an event loosely modeled on the DARPA grand challenge for autonomous driving. In 2004, this challenge captured the public imagination and launched the autonomous driving revolution. However, unlike the DARPA challenge, the MOBI Grand Challenge focuses on improving the capabilities of autonomous cars by sharing data and coordinating movement using blockchains. This is the first challenge of a three-year project. The goal of the MGC is to create a viable, decentralized, ad-hoc network of blockchain connected vehicles on distributed ledgers and infrastructure that can reliably share data, coordinate behaviour, and ultimately improve urban mobility.

Submissions were judged on the following categories: Creativity, Technical Merit, Potential Impact, and Feasibility. The panel of judges for phase I included: Jamie Burke, Founder & CEO of Outlier Ventures, Lasse Clausen, Founding Partner at 1kx, Dan Harple, CEO at Context Labs, Mike Hearn, Lead Platform Engineer at R3 CEV, Lars Klawitter, Executive Director at JLR InMotion Ventures, Ashley Lannquist, Blockchain Project Manager at World Economic Forum and Co-Founder of MOBI, Zaki Manian, Executive Director at Trusted IoT Alliance, Dr. Klaus Schaaf, Director at Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Lab, Iliana Oris Valiente, Managing Director at Accenture

The following organizations have contributed to the MGC prize pool: Accenture, Amazon Web Services, Blockgeeks, Constellation Labs, Ocean Protocol, Pravici, and XYO Network.

About MOBI

MOBI is a nonprofit foundation formed to accelerate adoption of and to promote standards in blockchain, distributed ledgers, and related technologies for the benefit of the mobility industry, consumers, and communities. MOBI and our partners are creating simple, standard and digital ways of identifying cars, people, and trips, of paying for mobility services, and securely exchanging and monetizing data in ways that preserve property rights and privacy.

MOBI is working with most of the world’s large automakers and many mobility ecosystem players, along with many start-ups, non-profits, governments, transit agencies, and technology companies. We are convinced that by working together we can make mobility services more efficient, affordable, greener, safer and less congested. MOBI is an open, inclusive body that acts as a ‘trusted convener’ and partner to entities in the emerging ecosystem of pay for use, on demand, connected, and increasingly autonomous mobility services. MOBI itself is technology and ledger agnostic.