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The Transformation to a Digital Mobility Ecosystem

Leveraging IoT (Internet of Things) and DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology), vehicles and infrastructure converge into an ecosystem where machines not only communicate with each other, but also carry out economic transactions. As can be seen in first smart city pilots and innovative PoCs, such machines are transforming into autonomous economic agents, settling payments for services used or offered, respectively, within a digital mobility ecosystem.

Already today, there are over 7 billion connected IoT devices in our world, and we are witnessing the technological impact on the automotive industry. Modern vehicles are connected and are communicating and processing vast amounts of data for navigation and routing, maintenance and safety, or V2V and V2I communication.

However, from a user perspective, there is still a significant barrier when it comes to everyday actions, which ask for manual payments such as paying for parking, fueling and charging, as well as road pricing and tolling. It is inevitably the next step to improve, automate, and integrate payment processing into vehicle IoT to enable a digital mobility ecosystem, where both data and monetary value is transferred and streamed frictionless between actors.

Together with the IOTA Foundation and, we developed a proof-of-concept for automated micro transactions within an off-street parking context. In the PoC, we designed and implemented a DLT-based backend utilizing IOTA’s Tangle, which includes booking, pricing, as well as payment services, and that integrates with the smartphone application via dedicated APIs. The payment service executes micro transactions to settle payments between the wallets of active users and the wallet of the parking garage operator. The size of transactions is determined via the pricing module, which utilizes a dynamic pricing algorithm to calculate user- and time-specific pricings depending on historic demand and real-time utilization. The payment stream is automatically triggered by the user who opens the parking garage barrier (for entering as well as exiting) via Bluetooth from the smartphone. In the future, this process will be further automated by moving the IOTA wallet from the user’s smartphone to the vehicle, enabling machine-to-machine payments as envisioned in a digital mobility ecosystem.

We leverage our practical experience and technological expertise in digitalization projects to rethink established mobility concepts and to shape the smart cities of tomorrow. Whether it is Big Data for IoT sensors, distributed ledger technology for data storage and transfer of monetary value, or the implementation of APIs and user interfaces for data exchange and communication, we support our clients to develop future-proof solutions within a digital mobility ecosystem, such as for parking, charging, tolling and further use cases.

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