Last week, leading tech firms and auto manufacturers gathered in BMW’s Munich-based Group IT Centre for the first European colloquium of the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI). The two day event acted as a platform for sharing knowledge and developing blockchain standards in the transportation industry. MOBI is a sprawling nonprofit organization, made up of over 70 members stretching across private and public sectors. Membership includes blockchain innovators like IBM, as well as manufacturing stalwarts like GM and Ford. “Blockchains enable us to improve cross-organizational and cross-industry collaboration by increasing efficiency and transparency,” said Andre Luckow, who heads the department responsible for blockchain and distributed ledger technologies at the BMW Group. The winners of the MOBI Grand Challenge’s phase I were announced during the first day of the colloquium. The challenge represents a three-year project geared toward accelerating blockchain and distributed ledger technology in the autonomous and IoT transportation sectors. The challenge began four months ago. 23 teams in 15 countries competed in the first phase, which focused on addressing current mobility issues by using blockchain to connect vehicles and improve overall urban mobility. Tech startup Chorus Mobility won first place. Their blockchain project tackled the global issue of urban congestion. Using the platform that Chorus created in collaboration with Decentralized Technology, autonomous cars can communicate with people, cars, and other IoT devices in the area. Chorus Mobility’s goal is to remove much of the friction from driving by using blockchain to automate transactions that take up road time. Communicating driving routes, right of ways, tolls, and infrastructure information all happen automatically through blockchain transactions in the platform. "Chorus Mobility is proud and honored to place first in the MOBI Grand Challenge Hackathon. We see this success as a confirmation of the validity of our vision to solve traffic with blockchain and autonomous vehicles software,” said William Vorobev, CEO and Founder of Chorus Mobility. The challenge’s phase I runner ups were Oaken Innovations in second place, and Fraunhofer Blockchain Lab and NuCypher tying for third. The next phase of MOBI’s challenge will change up its focus. Phase II is aimed at promoting blockchain technology that can “incentivize behaviors to unsnarl congestion, reduce pollution, and make cities more livable.” With MOBI’s first annual European colloquium in the books, it’s clear that industry leaders are looking toward blockchain as a technology with a lot of potential for solving problems with autonomous vehicles. As auto manufacturers continue to pursue self-driving and IoT vehicles, the future of transportation could be intertwined with blockchain technology.