Self-driving cars could soon navigate the world via micropayments

Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), a nonprofit consortium that counts the majority of the world’s large automakers as members, including BMW, GM, and Ford, as well as The World Economic Forum, Bosch, Denso, IBM, and Accenture, kicked off a three year “Grand Challenge” fueled by over $1 million in prizes. Winners were just announced for the first phase, focused on the building blocks of next-generation mobility networks and drawing competition from 23 teams across 15 countries.

Vehicles increasingly collect vast troves of data that could help other machines make better decisions or drive new services that optimize the entire system — if only it were shared. Money can incentivize the sharing of this data, serving to align the interests of diverse participants in a new machine-to-machine economy — and ultimately help people and things move more efficiently.