While many nations remain at a near-standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, major players in tech are continuing to develop innovative infrastructure for when we get moving again.
Sony announced on April 23 that it has successfully developed a new blockchain system for integrating data and service provision across different forms of transportation — whether it be trains, buses, taxis, car-sharing or on-demand rental bicycles.
This approach to transport — referred to as MaaS (Mobility as a Service) — aims to provide people with data regarding optimal routes to their desired destinations.
The system aims to replace a siloed, type-specific interface for each segment of the sector, whereby users pay and choose their means of transport in isolation from the wider urban transportation system — for example, by using a specific taxi-hailing app or paying for a local bus.
Sony’s new Blockchain Common Database (BCBD) for MaaS can ostensibly process data from 7 million users per day and record, analyze and share their anonymized travel history and revenue allocation.
It is the only successful project chosen from an initiative by the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management last year, which appealed to developers to propose blockchain solutions for MaaS development.
Sony notes that BCDB is not limited to MaaS, and could be used in various applications for smart cities, where large-scale sensor data needs to be transparently and securely shared across a decentralized network.
In its announcement today, Sony pointed to its development of digital currency hardware wallet technology and the use of blockchain for digital content rights management, alongside other blockchain projects in the pipeline.