Blockchain Technology applied to Urban Mobility
Although its implementation is still incipient, Blockchain technology has opened up a wide range of application possibilities with new ways of sharing data between devices and, alongside this, new business models. According to the ACCIÓ Blockchain report in Catalonia, there are at least 35 companies in the Catalan blockchain ecosystem and the number is rising due to innovation in the mobility sector. Supporting this, the Government of Catalonia has developed the Blockchain Strategy of Catalonia, in which several cases have been prioritised because of their transformative potential, including “Mobility and Public Transport”, a case that relates to Mobility as a Service (MaaS). This has led to Barcelona being awarded a chapter of the Blockchain Ecosystem Network (BECON). BECON is one of the world’s influential pioneering organisations in blockchain deployment and has only one chapter per country. Barcelona is also the host of Blockchain Solutions World, part of the World Congress of IoT Solutions. The Blockchain European Convention has consolidated itself as a leading event in the world of blockchain and is promoted from Barcelona, where the first editions were held. In addition, Barcelona is the European capital of urban mobility due to the recently awarded ETI KIC on Urban Mobility, in which, along with the city, CARNET/CIT UPC/UPC has been a key partner.
In this context, CARNET, together with FACTUAL, have initiated a project aimed at opening up the possibilities of blockchain technology application and other distributed ledger technology (DLT) to mobility. The objectives of the project are:
• Providing training and basic information about blockchain/DLT and its potential in the mobility sector; considering how to use it as a technology to aid challenges and analyse use-cases in urban mobility. This has been achieved by organising a three-day course entitled Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) and Cryptoeconomics: Introduction and Disruptive Potential in Mobility, which was held at the UPC.
• Identifying, classifying and prioritising use-cases based on blockchain for urban mobility. A first interactive workshop was organised with the participation of groups interested in the local, public and private mobility sector: AMB, UPC, Seat, Rücker Lypsa, Saba, Pildo Labs, Finboot and the UPF. We analysed, discussed and judged ten use-cases from two perspectives:
1. the added-value provided through blockchain, and
2. the technical complexity/maturation/state-of-the-art of the blockchain components required for a future proof-of-concept implementation.
• Following the identification of two cases of application, two workshops have been launched to bring them to proof-of-concept: a one-stop session of several operators for shared mobility services and mobility incentives tokenised.