Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs), the German telecommunications group’s digital R&D unit, is launching Xride, a first-of-its-kind, blockchain-based e-mobility pilot featuring electric scooters.
E-mobility has become a key component in the rapidly emerging ‘machine and sharing economy’, so the popular electric scooters have been chosen for the showcase project that aims to demonstrate the use of blockchain technology in a ‘decentralized’ transport system. In existing centralized mobility systems, users are required to register new identity and payment credentials with each service subscription. Verification can be a lengthy and costly process with users required to manage multiple logins for different mobility providers, and these providers are required to store this sensitive user data, which is not only expensive but can be subject to hacking.
The pilot Xride system is powered by a blockchain operating stack, called Ståx, that has been developed by T-Labs and enables the creation of decentralized, trusted and secure IoT ecostructures (ecosystem infrastructures), which will be critical for the evolution of machine-to-machine economies. In such ecostructures, producers and consumers connect in a decentralized manner and share trusted data. Ståx connects blockchain technologies together into one operating stack and makes it easily manageable between multiple enterprises. In the Xride pilot, Ståx enables shared deployment, where blockchain nodes run on machines, devices and cloud-based computing systems.
The Xride pilot will trial the benefits of Ståx over a four-week period during September and October at Deutsche Telekom’s headquarter in Bonn. A fleet of 100% electric-powered scooters from Berlin-based Simple Mobility will be provided for use by DT employees. Participants will interact with the Xride mobile app and scooters, swap batteries on the go at extra installed stations, and share insights with the T-Labs Blockchain Group. The other partners in the pilot project are:
- Riddle&Code, Bundesdruckerei, and Jolocom provide key software and hardware layers that fully decentralize identity verification and identity management;
- Giesecke+Devrient Mobile Security together with Ubirch provide trusted connectivity and transport of cryptographically verifiable data from an eSIM card to Ståx.
“In Xride, historically centralized functionalities like identity management, data verification and storage, payments, and charging are fully decentralized,” noted John Calian, senior vice president and head of T-Labs. “This allows for a less costly, more secure and more efficient vehicle sharing that benefits both providers and the user.”