MOBI Announces Citopia, the Second Phase of the MOBI Grand Challenge, with Judges Panel from the Government of Singapore, United Nations, EU, and Architects of the Smart Cities Challenge (USA) Among Others

LOS ANGELES, May 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), a nonprofit consortium that counts the majority of the world's large automakers as members, including BMW, Groupe Renault, GM, Honda, and Ford, as well as The World Economic Forum, The Ministry of Transport for the Republic of China, Denso, IBM, and Accenture - kicked off a smart cities initiative - "Citopia", the second phase of the three-year MOBI Grand Challenge (MGC) tournament.

With more than $1 million worth of prizes expected over three-years, the MGC invites developers around the world to explore blockchain solutions for smart city applications to improve urban environments. Citopia, launched today at the MOBI Colloquium hosted by the Fifth Smart Cities India Expo in New Delhi, India, focuses on tokenized incentives to improve human behavior and make our cities greener, smarter, safer, and improve our quality of life.

The ultimate goal of the MGC is to create the first viable, decentralized, ad-hoc network of blockchain connected vehicles, IoT, and smart infrastructure that can reliably share data, participate in transactions, coordinate behavior, and thereby improve urban living. Phase One of the challenge began on October 12, 2018, at MOBI's Grand Challenge launch event in New Mexico, USA. 25 teams competing across four continents submitted entries. The winners were announced at BMW's Group IT Center in Munich, as the highlight at the first MOBI Colloquium in Europe. First and second prize-winners, Chorus Mobility and Oaken Innovations respectively, showed off entries highlighting coordinated vehicle behavior and usage based payment for infrastructure.

Citopia, MGC Phase Two, uses tokenized incentives to reduce congestion, pollution, carbon footprint through usage-based payment for infrastructure and resources. Over 50% of the world's population lives in cities and more than 1 million people around the world migrate every week from rural areas to cities, causing huge burdens on the existing infrastructure, especially transport systems. Furthermore, countries with the highest rates of urbanization also report high rates of personal motorization, leading to more greenhouse gas emissions. Without the development of accessible and sustainable transportation systems, these trends will accelerate climate change.((1 ))Citopia submissions will promote the creation of greener and smarter cities through congestion pricing, carbon footprint management, parking, usage-based payments for infrastructure, multi-model transit, data exchange and micro-payments.

"Innovators made incredible strides in the first phase of the MGC. In the next phase, we imagine a community being called to the task, supported by targeted incentives, including all key stakeholders and constituencies of citywide programs seeking to drive positive behavioral change in urban ecosystems," said Tram Vo, MOBI's Chief Creative Officer.

The second phase of the MGC showcases global judges who play mission-critical roles across public and private sectors and municipalities, including the city of Seattle, Los Angeles, Singapore, and EU representatives as well as architects from the US Department of Transportation's 2015 Smart Cities Challenge.

"I'm privileged to be on the judging panel of Citopia, because I believe that a better tomorrow includes fresh eyes looking at and identifying innovative solutions derived from blockchain technology. There is no more ideal opportunity to marry my interest in smart cities and green and sustainable transportation," said Mark Dowd CEO of Smart Cities Labs.

The following organizations have contributed to the MGC second phase prize pool:

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing platforms to individuals, companies and governments.

BitGreen, is a sustainable cryptocurrency modeled after Satoshi Nakamoto's original vision for Bitcoin. It is a decentralized, peer-to-peer transactional currency designed to offer a solution to the problematic exponential increase in energy consumed by other proof-of-work currencies.

Ocean Protocol, a blockchain enabled data exchange protocol to enable the data sharing needed for developers, data and AI specialists to offer the world an autonomous and efficient mobility solution.

R3 is an enterprise blockchain software firm working with a broad ecosystem across multiple industries to develop on Corda, its open-source blockchain platform, and Corda Enterprise, a commercial version for enterprise usage.

Additional prizes to be announced throughout the course of the challenge.

About the MOBI Grand Challenge (MGC)

The MOBI Grand Challenge is loosely modeled on the DARPA grand challenge for autonomous driving. In 2004, the DARPA challenge captured the public imagination and launched the autonomous driving revolution. However, unlike the DARPA challenge, the MOBI Grand Challenge focuses on improving the capabilities of autonomous cars by sharing data and coordinating movement using blockchains. This is the second challenge of a three-year project. The goal of the MGC is to create the first viable, decentralized, ad-hoc network of blockchain connected vehicles, IoT and smart infrastructure that can reliably share data, participate in transactions, coordinate behavior, and thereby improve urban living.

Submissions will be judged on the following categories: Creativity, Technical Merit, Potential Impact, and Feasibility. The panel of judges for the second phase include:

    --  Manojit Bose, Chief Knowledge Officer at Pune Smart City Development
        Corp. This organization aims for a smarter future through developments
        in IT infrastructure, transportation and mobility, urban spaces and in
        general living conditions for the citizens in Pune city.
    --  Francisco Contreras, Innovation Manager at the City of West Hollywood.
        West Hollywood is finding creative solutions for managing its urban
        environment through smart technology and urban innovation, and is
        dedicated to preserving and enhancing its community's well being.
    --  Alisa DiCaprio, Head of Trade and Supply Chain, R3. R3 is an enterprise
        blockchain software firm working with more than 300 members and partners
        across multiple industries to develop on Corda, its open-source
        blockchain platform.
    --  Mark Dowd, Executive Director, Smart Cities Lab. A city-facing
        non-profit focused on how technology, innovation, and data can be potent
        tools in solving challenges related to the intersection of mobility and
    --  John Ellis, Consultant CTT at LADOT and Founder at Ellis & Associates.
        LADOT and Ellis Associates collaborate to deliver a safe, livable, and
        well-run transportation system in the city and region.
    --  Georgios Fontaras, Researcher, European Commission, Joint Research
        Centre (JRC). As the European Commission's science and knowledge
        service, the JRC supports EU policies with independent scientific
        evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
    --  Sanshiro Fukao, Sr. Auto Analyst, HRI. An economic think-tank in Japan
        that works on consulting businesses, conducting research surveys, and
        other information services.
    --  Kit Ker, Deputy Director, Enterprise Singapore. Enterprise Singapore is
        the government agency championing enterprise development as they work
        with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and
    --  Ryan Klem, Global Executive, Toyota Mobility Foundation. TMF seeks to
        create a truly mobile society through sharing Toyota's technology and
        accumulated knowledge, partnering with others, and using their
        innovative spirit to build a more joyful mobile society.
    --  Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Director and Engineering Professor, USC Viterbi
        Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things (CCI). CCI
        is a center at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering engaged in research
        on technologies related to the internet of things and their application
        to smart cities.
    --  Joe C. Lee, Founder, Kuaidi Group. KuaiDi (????) is the market leader on
        providing free smartphone app that helps passengers conveniently get
        taxi service wherever they are, and whenever they want in China.
    --  Zaki Manian, Executive Director, Trusted IoT Alliance (TIoTA). TIoTA
        seeks to leverage blockchain infrastructure to secure and scale IoT
        ecosystems and to enable trust in the data produced by IoT devices.
    --  Trent McConaghy, Founder, Ocean Protocol. This organization aims to
        unlock data, for more equitable outcomes for users of data, using a
        thoughtful application of both technology and governance.
    --  Faris Oweis, Chief Instigator, Instigation Protocol and Smart City
        Commissioner at Blockchain For Impact (BFI). BFI is a collaborative
        convening, advocacy and action platform serving the growing community of
        conscious leadership reflecting the full breadth of the global
        blockchain ecosystem as it seeks to engage with leaders from the UN
    --  Nick Pudar, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management and Managing
        Director at StackView Advisory LLC. StackView Advisory is focused on
        addressing complex business strategies through applied systems design
        and analysis.
    --  Michael Schutzler, CEO, Washington Technology Industry Association
        (WTIA). WTIA is the unifying voice for the technology community in
        Washington. They consolidate the power of member companies to solve
        business problems they can't solve on their own.
    --  Shailesh Sharda, Head of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
        India at the World Economic Forum. The World Economic Forum is the
        International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. It engages
        the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape
        global, regional and industry agendas.

About MOBI

MOBI is a nonprofit foundation formed to accelerate adoption of and to promote standards in blockchain, distributed ledgers, and related technologies for the benefit of the smart cities and mobility industries, consumers, and communities. MOBI and our partners are creating simple, standard, and digital ways of identifying cars, people, and trips, of paying for mobility services, and securely exchanging and monetizing data in ways that preserve property rights and privacy.

MOBI is working with most of the world's large automakers, smart city initiatives, and many mobility ecosystem players, along with many start-ups, non-profits, governments, transit agencies, and technology companies. We are convinced that by working together we can make mobility services more efficient, affordable, greener, safer and less congested. MOBI is an open, inclusive body that acts as a 'trusted convener' and partner to entities in the emerging ecosystem of pay for use, on demand, connected, and increasingly autonomous mobility services. MOBI itself is technology and ledger agnostic.

For more information or to register for the MGC Phase II - Citopia, visit

((1)) Tsay, S., & Herrmann, V. (2013). Rethinking Urban Mobility: Sustainable Policies for the Century of the City (68 p). Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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