Daimler, the German car manufacturer famous for its Mercedes-Benz brand, introduced the MobiCOIN project at the Mobile World Congress 2018 held in Barcelona, Spain. Currently in its experimental stage, the project revolves around a digital currency meant to reward drivers who abide by eco-driving principles.
The pilot started in February and is scheduled to run for three months, with 500 Mercedes drivers involved in the experimental phase. They can win MobiCOINs by reaching a high “environmental score,” which would take into account things such as smooth acceleration and braking.
The vehicle data will be linked to a mobile app representing the coin wallet, and the drivers can use the coins in exchange for rewards. To avoid the possibility of accidents, they will not be able to access their score data in real-time, only after the trips. The drivers who reach a higher score can then use their MobiCOINs to get VIP tickets for events such as the MercedesCup final or the Fashion Week in Berlin.
The new coin presented by Daimler will be based on blockchain technology, which underpins most existing cryptocurrencies.
Jonas Von Malottki, a blockchain expert from Daimler’s IT team, said the technology has the power to transform mobility.
“The blockchain, with its decentralized architecture, will open business models and multiply the possibilities of collaboration between big and small players,” he added.
Interestingly, Malottki is also working on the Hyperledger project and is associated with blockchain startup XING. The latter is collaborating with Porsche to test blockchain applications for various features.
If Porsche becomes the first brand to apply blockchain to vehicles, then Mercedes might be the first to implement its own cryptocurrency. In both cases, Stuttgart is the winner by virtue of being the base of both carmakers.