The future of mobility: Mobility ecosystems will be user-centric and concern auditable data exchange among various stakeholders

With about 3.7 million inhabitants and stretching across 892 square kilometers, Berlin is the largest and most populous city in Germany. At around 86 percent, Berlin has the highest share of people walking, using public transport or cycling to work compared to other European capitals. The citizen‘s acceptance of public transport has led to an explosion of mobility services. From car sharing to bike rental, there is no mobility concept that you can’t find in Berlin. [1]

While the city is among the world leaders in terms of mobility service offerings, it fails to manage mobility services within an integrated ecosystem both needed to solve the urban mobility challenge and provide the basis to grow into a smart city. Although we see efforts of mobility aggregators to offer more integrated mobility services, incumbent platforms often struggles to gain overall acceptance due to issues of data security, integration and management. A defragmented mobility market with unclear and immature business models is the consequence.

Figure 1. Multi-modal mobility platforms lack data standardization, security and integration [2]

For a multi-modal mobility future to become reality, mobility solutions from various service providers need to be integrated and delivered as one-stop-shop solutions within a decentralized, mutually trusted ecosystem. McKinsey defines such an ecosystem as a set of capabilities and services that integrate value chain participants (e.g. mobility users, mobility service providers, cities and technology providers) through a common commercial model and virtual data backbone to create improved and efficient consumer and stakeholder experiences, and to solve significant pain points or inefficiencies (e.g. within a defragmented mobility ecosystem). [3]

To achieve this goal, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), together with its member community, is currently developing a ‘community owned and operated’ mobility network that provides stakeholders and related business with core services to deliver more integrated, sustainable and resilient mobility services to satisfy the demand of a new economy of movement. [4] Putting this in context with McKinsey’s ecosystem framework, we can derive the following picture for a future mobility ecosystem:

Figure 2. Future mobility ecosystem will be user-centric and concern data exchange among mobility stakeholders.

As illustrated in Figure 2, future mobility ecosystems will be centered around the user and defined by the service offerings of a variety of different stakeholders. As users move from A to B and consume more interconnected mobility solutions, an immense number of customer touchpoints will result from more personalized user journeys.

In general, a mobility ecosystem encompasses all modes of transportation for both people and goods (provider-generated mobility data), mobility infrastructure related transactions such as parking and charging (infrastructure-generated mobility data), location and content specific information about user mobility patterns (user-generated mobility data), financial settlement and payments (financial data), and information from public authorities and governments to verify users, vehicles and companies (social security data).

In the grand scheme of things, users want to consume mobility and related services of different companies as one-stop-shop solutions rather than being limited to the offering of a single company. These services will require a more digital ecosystem, where identities, services and data can be trustfully shared across various companies and data silos. This is exactly what Dr. Harry Behrens, Head of Blockchain Factory at Daimler Mobility, envisioned with the development of the Mobility Blockchain Platform (MBP).

Figure 3. The Mobility Blockchain Platform enables more integrated service offerings within an open mobility ecosystem. [5]

The MBP is a distributed B2B service network which integrates the offerings of various mobility service providers to conduct business with each other without the need for a centralized aggregator platform. In this regards, it helps participating providers as a ‘community operated’ technical backbone to coordinate between companies and services delivered. With the help of the MBP, participating providers can bundle products to compile and realize new B2C offerings, and tailor them to the specific needs of their end-customers.

For B2B transaction networks, such as the Daimler Mobility Blockchain Platform, data security, integration and management of data from various companies is often still a major issue. To solve these problems, traditionally companies looked at expensive ERP solutions and point-to-point integrations. As difficult and time consuming these implementations were to address individual company’s problems, the more insufficient they get when managing and sharing data across different company’s borders and business processes.

Modern, data-driven enterprises such as Amazon.com have long understood that API-based implementations are woefully inadequate to support real-time business support systems as they create inconsistent, outdated, and incomplete datasets. As future mobility ecosystems depend on consistent, complete, and always up to date information, a mobility ecosystem needs data to be shared transactionally regardless of the source of data.

Figure 4. Easily sharing data across company borders at scale. [6]

Vendia, a multi-cloud distributed application platform, helps ecosystems with their ‘disparate’ data problem by a novel solution approach which allows businesses to easily share data across companies, cloud, geographies, and technology stacks. With a name inspired by Venn Diagrams, Vendia arose from two concepts: Public cloud architectures, with their unlimited horizontal scalability, and distributed ledgers, with their ability to replicate data across multiple parties. The combination of these technologies helps Vendia to support companies to share code and data with a simplicity and scale never before possible.

To solve the scalability issue of distributed ledger technologies, Vendia utilizes modern, scalable cloud services to provide customers access to unlimited compute, bandwidth, and storage at 93% cost savings compared to incumbent solutions. As a cloud native solution, Vendia builds on fully managed services from cloud vendors such as AWS, Azure, Google, IBM, and others to help customers create decentralized database solutions in under five minutes. This enables enterprise PoCs with production-grade outcomes being setup in just a couple of days and without the need of hiring expensive engineering teams. In addition to mobility, Vendia customers come from supply chain, automotive, and life sciences to benefit from a scalable, multi-party and multi-cloud data sharing platform.

[1] https://medium.com/next-level-german-engineering/nextvisions-in-berlin-playground-of-mobility-visions-9b29c3659624

[2] https://www.bearingpoint.com/files/009_01_MMM_Mind-the-gap_closing-the-gap-between-multimodal-theory-and-reality.pdf?download=0&itemId=439960

[3] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/the-next-wave-of-healthcare-innovation-the-evolution-of-ecosystems

[4] https://dlt.mobi/mobi-community-innovation-lecture-the-open-mobility-network/

[5] https://www.daimler-mobility.com/en/company/news/project-blockchain-mobility-platform/

[6] https://vendia.net/blog/welcome-to-vendia

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Robin is an expert on distributed apps for connected industries. He helps companies develop innovative solutions in areas of product and business development.

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Robin Pilling

Robin Pilling

Robin is an expert on distributed apps for connected industries. He helps companies develop innovative solutions in areas of product and business development.

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