IOTA continues to explore use cases for the internet of things, this time with a partnership with luxury car manufacturer Audi.
Specifically, the partnership is with Audi Denkwerkstatt (‘thinking workshop’), which is the company’s research arm. The two entities will collaborate to build a prototype of a “permissionless mobility ecosystem”, according to the official IOTA blog.
The Denkwerkstatt team consists of 22 Audi employees who experiment with new business models. The team will have a week to work with IOTA, after which they will present their “low level prototype” to customer feedback.
Audi is a German car manufacturer and member of the Volkswagen Group. It was founded in 1910 by engineer August Horch. He called the company Audi Automobilwerke because he had already formed a company with his own name in 1899, and the new owners of that company would not allow him to copy the name. Horch in German means ‘hark’ – audi in Latin.
Today, the company has a market capitalisation of €31.1 billion ($36.4 billion).
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IOTA is a blockchain with a market capitalisation of $2.7 billion, according to coinmarketcap.com. It was launched in 2015 with the aim of creating an internet of things, which is a system in which physical items such as household appliances and industrial machinery are connected to and controlled through the internet.
It runs on a network called ‘the Tangle’, which runs quickly because blocks of data are added to the chain automatically with every transaction, verified by small groups of nodes.
Internet of things and automobiles
This is not the first example of an automobile manufacturer working with blockchain technology. Toyota began experimenting with blockchain technology to develop self-driving cars in May 2017, and in February 2018 BMW partnered with a company called Vechain Thor, which uses blockchain technology in supply chain management,
In terms of IOTA developments this year, IOTA demonstrated industrial applications at the Hannover Messe April 2018. The Messe is an industrial trade show featuring thousands of exhibitors and hundreds of thousands of attendees.
In June, IOTA released vague details of a major new project called Qubic, which appears to be the interface intended to connect the Tangle and the real world through what it calls ‘oracles’. It will also allow people to outsource their computing and generally find wider uses for smart contracts.