Peter Busch, Product Owner DLT Mobility, Robert Bosch Group
The need for joining forces
Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT – where Blockchain is only one of them) have captured the imagination of venture capitalists and innovators alike and ever more since the days of the classical Blockchain implementations gone far beyond its original application as the underlying technology for cryptocurrencies. To leverage real implementations in Mobility use cases, where completely different requirements from regulatory and safety arise, it is essential to bundle the different expertise levels and members of the respective industry sectors.
Current DLT represents the evolution of the Internet of data into an Internet of Values with the potential to radically transform society, business, and government. In view of its ability to create networked identity and trust, enable trade and trustworthy record asset ownership across a distributed network, this will get a major building block for smart systems like smart traffic or smart cities which will get accepted by governments as well as by end-users.
One of the main research focus points is the fact that collected mass data lacks essential property rights, which means it ends up in huge data silos of monopolistic tech companies – what MIT's Michael J. Casey refers to as "the Original Sin of the internet." There is a chance to come up with an alternative approach to these data monopolies in the form of decentralized and - due to the general accessibility and immutability - a more democratized data landscape.
Here the car is the next data battlefield that companies like Google, Amazon or Apple are fighting over tooth-and-nail, DLT may be a powerful tool for decentralization and can conceivably deliver benefits to society such as improving road safety and reducing congestion in the more and more crowded cities. Since the still impressing capabilities of the inbuilt digital currencies, new business models for new and old industries arise and deliver seamless access to the smart services for end customers.
DLT disrupt intermediaries such as Uber by enabling true P2P sharing economies by unbundling these business models and getting rid of dominating platforms due to the democracy of true distributed data ownership and the associated financial structures. The technology is uniquely suited for distributed, cross-industry business models that involve multiple parties and micro-transactions and enables a fair distribution of efforts and corresponding earnings.
There is a convergence of exponential technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine and Deep Learning, which are the software core components on the one hand and on the hardware side the ever-smarter sensors, robotic components, and electronic control units on the other hand. This convergence is the basis for the upcoming new technologies that will lead to future autonomous systems available in vehicles for transporting people, goods, or any material needed in the industries. DLT has the potential to enable this convergence, as well as to introduce new security, privacy and resilience models for the needed trusted Internet of Things scenarios where these systems are being embedded and need to be enabled for value exchange as the basis for a machine-to-machine economy.
Due to the auditable, immutable and trusted documentary functionalities of DLT, it is possible to create the largest repository of high quality, validated data to train AI models and the development of Digital Assistants and Smart Contracts, to serve as the cornerstones of highly automated vehicles and traffic systems.
To realize these transformational technology developments, there is the need for building compelling use cases to evaluate the maturity of the used DLTs and to showcase their possibilities. This, however, can only succeed with the commitment of the relevant industry members organized in a DLT Mobility Community to define the needed standardization elements and delivering the respective technologies out of their expertise fields. This vision will get widened to embrace the whole range of the Internet of Things by coupling Mobility to the other industry sectors as the next step.