CityXChange: IOTA and partners present system for seamless e-mobility

  • The IOTA Foundation and partners have developed a software solution for electric mobility as a service (eMaaS) within the CityxChange project.
  • In addition to a proof of concept for a payment system with the IOTA token, a “proof of location” for an anonymous location log was presented.

As part of the European Union funded project “CityxChange” the IOTA Foundation, FourC AS, Powel AS, Smart M Power, as well as ATB and RAC Norway have developed a “System for seamless e-mobility” including a user interface. As the project group announced via Twitter, the software was submitted in June 2020, but was initially classified as confidential.

Specifically, it is a software solution for e-mobility as a Service (eMaaS), which allows travelers to access nearby transportation facilities and to book, rate and pay for a trip. According to the project report, the EU/EEA promotes interoperable Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and issued the EU Directive 2010/40/EU to accelerate the provision of multimodal travel information services.

The project group has therefore studied the regulations and organizational structure of transport authorities in Norway and Ireland, where the project has its “lighthouse cities” with Trondheim and Limerick, and based on this has developed an eMaaS system to prove the concept. This includes a backend system called FourC Total Traffic Control (FourC TTC) and, according to the report, works as follows:

FourC TTC retrieves, stores, and provides transport data. It collects data from various data providers and makes it available in a normalized and standardized format. The TTC API delivers data as GeoJSON objects (RFC 7946), which allows developers to easily take the data output as a standardized object format and display it on a map. It is based on GraphQL, which allows for dynamic queries and reduces broadband requirements.

In addition, an Android application for end users was developed for demonstration purposes.

The role of IOTA in the software solution

With regard to the payment system, “the IOTA contribution […] concentrated on the integration of the IOTA token as a digital payment instrument into the developed infrastructure”. The goal of the proof of concept was to enable customers to book and pay for third-party eMaaS solutions directly, “or, if forwarded to third-party booking platforms, to pay with the IOTA token”.

Based on the agreed description of work, IOTA contribution for task 2.4 was focused on the integration into the developed infrastructure of the IOTA token, as a digital asset paymentsystem. This would allow customers using the eMaaS app to be able to directly book and pay third party eMaaS solutions, or if being redirected to third party booking platforms, to be able to pay with IOTA’s native digital asset, the IOTA token

In the multimodal transport scenario, the IOTA tangle offers not only the payment option but also a “trustworthy, unchangeable, cross-stakeholder audit trail” that logs all the various relevant transport information. This is especially important when delay claims are made across different providers. For this purpose IOTA and 4C have developed a service that can be integrated into the eMaaS application.

The so-called “proof of location” should actually be part of the payment and payment distribution implementation, but was initially developed separately. The use case shows how IOTA can be used to anonymously capture immutable positions of the trip. For this purpose, the IOTA Foundation has developed a location logging API that allows users of the eMaaS application to store immutable and pseudonymous linked hash values of the location unalterably in the IOTA Ledger.

Should there be a refund request from the customer in the future, the customer can retrieve the location of his device at a specific time […] and is therefore entitled to a refund. The authority processing the application can compare the location information provided by the applicants from their mobile phone application with the stored and time stamped information in the IOTA Ledger to detect fraud.

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