Decentralized Autonomous Vehicles (DAV) — building the beginnings of the Internet of Transportation

It’s never easy, nor simple, to try out new things, never mind new things on top of new things.

Even as private companies are already promising the first driverless cars this year, and even if tech companies around the world are now warming up to blockchain, you’ve got to admire the guys who believe that they can create and introduce a global standard for a decentralized network of automated cars and drones.

And that’s exactly what our partner, the Swiss-based Decentralized Autonomous Vehicles (DAV) Foundation is setting out to do.

Autonomous vehicles — what’s the hype?

We’ve seen them debut in films and TV (Black Mirror comes to mind) but there’s a lot more to autonomous vehicles than a car that knows how where to take you and that does so safely.

If there’s only one reason why everyone should sit up and demand for the tech, it’s safety. You can’t completely remove the human aspect out of the equation (after all, the programs still have to be made by humans), but automated driving has a huge potential to significantly bring down the number of deaths, serious injury and damage caused by human error on the road, a rate that is growing annually in every country worldwife.

It’s unfair to put numbers but almost 1.3 million lives are lost each year in road crashes, while leaving behind 20 to 50 million injured or disabled.

Even if you’re not convinced that road safety is possible when autonomous networks are vulnerable to hacking attempts or if you don’t trust that cars can’t possibly make the right moral and ethical decisions, there are other benefits to consider: efficiency (think of reduced congestion costs), more access for the disabled and… as DAV is working on, a decentralized form of vehicle sharing.

Wait, so DAV is… Uber on blockchain?

That’s only the early part of it!

DAV’s vision of building a global infrastructure for all decentralized transportation services will not take shape today, nor even tomorrow. But its real-world application can already be realized now, as its current platform can be capable of connecting self-driving vehicles (drones and cars, for example) to everyone on the network.

What this means is users can then pay to use vehicles to get somewhere, like a taxi, or pay to have a drone pick up and deliver an order of books. Autonomous vehicle owners can always loan out their unused or idle vehicles, and get paid for their use. The network would also allow people to use it as service providers, providing cleaning, charging or maintenance services, with compensation for their services.

Why blockchain?

The earliest precepts of Bitcoin’s blockchain tech was the ability for peer-to-peer (P2P) value transfer without ever needing to trust anyone. For DAV, the next natural step of this would be to enable the P2P transfer of physical things, using the blockchain and smart contract tech to maintain trustless interactions on a publicly-owned and -managed network.

Its tokenization model is a necessary one, whereby the DAV token is used to secure transactions between users, autonomous vehicles and service providers.

The DAV token generating event (TGE) runs from March 14th, 2018 to April 13th, 2018. There’s a pre-sale that starts before then — if you’re keen, contact, or reach out to @rlinnewiel on Telegram.

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