Non-profit startup developing decentralised network for autonomous vehicles

Non-profit startup the DAV Foundation has announced its open-source decentralised global network for autonomous vehicles, having raised $24 million in funding.

The project would allow vehicles to connect with one another, as well as to operators, on the same decentralised network, with users then able to access an ecosystem of self-driving cars, planes and boats on-demand.

Noam Copel, founder and CEO of the DAV Foundation, said: “The automotive and transportation industries are undergoing their biggest revolution since Henry Ford’s first assembly line in 1908. The booming ‘sharing economy’ is shaking up industries from office space, to music to transportation. In addition to this, technology advances will soon make autonomous vehicles an integral part of our daily lives.

“As these trends converge, the movement of goods and people will take a completely new shape, but the barriers of centralisation remain. To overcome these obstacles the autonomous vehicle sector needs a decentralised transportation infrastructure, one that incetivises all participants – businesses, citizens, manufacturers, insurers – to use it and integrate it into their everyday activities.”

This has been dubbed ‘mobility-as-a-service’ (MaaS), and the company aims to take advantage of new and emerging tech such as autonomous vehicles, but also robots and drones, with blockchain technology underpinning it.

The decision to make the network open-source is meant to encourage more people to innovate, simplifying the development of new applications and services related to autonomous vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support them.

The network has already been adopted by firms including The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), Slipstream Advantage, SkySense, and Global Robot and Drone Deployment (GRADD).

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