The Blockchain was created as an open-source, free, decentralized accounting system where transactions are recorded across multiple computers. Its first use was for tracking the first genuine crypto-currency, Bitcoin, but it could be could be adapted to track anything, including, for instance, electrons. So, for instance, if you can automatically record the flow of electricity units between charging stations and cars, you can support the growing infrastructure of charging stations.
Another is that to make autonomous driving truly viable, you will need an open platform to hand over data between you, the car, the vehicle owner (less and less likely to be you), infrastructure providers, insurers, you name it. The Blockchain could be perfect for this. Thus, now startups are appearing which plan to leverage these ideas.
A new UK startups intends to do just that. DOVU aims to become “the global marketplace for transport data.” It’s planning a token sale on 3 Oct, 2017, which will fund its distributed marketplace for the “give and take of transport-related APIs”, powered by the “DOV” token.
Now, while there as many token sales, and many other startups in mobility right now, what sets DOVU apart is that it is well-connected in the transport sector. In April 2017, DOVU received seed funding from InMotion Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s investment arm, and Creative England, a fund backed by the UK Government.
Founder and CEO Irfon Watkins is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and sold companies across the API spectrum, including the large-scale ad-platform Coull. His advisory board includes Lars Klawitter, General Manager of Rolls Royce Bespoke, who is also a director of the Ethereum Foundation, no less. DOVU also includes co-founder and CMO Arwen Smit, and co-founder and COO Krasina Mileva.
Right now transport data is locked up on multiple platforms. By using blockchain technology, DOVU aims to provide trust for corporates or individuals by opening up the availability of all these data sets for public and enterprise use. The DOVU system works by creating a distributed marketplace for transport data. That would mean vehicle hire, insurance companies, ride-sharing and others could be connected to create a network of transport-related data resources. This shared data becomes more valuable because it’s shared, not because it’s locked into one platform. That could spell an interesting question for companies like Uber. Imagine if you created a sort of ‘federated Uber”?
Watkins says: “The transport sector knows where it wants to go with real-time data and smart technology but doesn’t know how to get there! DOVU is the missing piece of the puzzle – an on-ramp for fast, secure and global data sharing for everybody.”
With DOVU you could, for example, combine car data with insurance data to calculate smarter policies, or use geolocation data in conjunction with weather statistics to inform ride-hailing companies.
Similar to using an in-game currency, contributors could be rewarded with tokens based on the quality of their input.
That implies things like having a Smartphone app which not only unlocks a shared vehicle, and automatically signs you in to the DOVU platform, but would allow you to sell or share the car’s data while driving.
It could even allow to track your movements (walking, running, cycling, driving) and then let you sell this data in return for DOV Tokens that can be used to buy petrol, train journeys or bus rides. Get walking, to fund your car habit…
As you can see it’s a brave new mobility world out there.