IOTA is moving into concrete development work at Gaia-X. As part of the project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, IOTA wants to help shape future mobility solutions.
Since mid-2021, the IOTA Foundation has been involved in Gaia-X, an EU-wide project that aims to develop future-proof IT solutions for various areas of life and work. In March 2022, news made the rounds that German funding for Gaia-X would be halted. But now, according to the IOTA Foundation, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology has released funds after all, and preparations are being made for a three-year concrete project phase. In the process, IOTA will put its focus on Gaia-X 4 ROMS, it said in a blog post. ROMS stands for Remote Operation for Automated and Connected Mobility Services, and IOTA describes in more detail what needs to be done in terms of Mobility 2.0.
The starting point is the prediction that passenger and freight transport will in future be operated mainly by e-vehicles. The renewal of car and transport fleets also allows (semi-)autonomous driving concepts to be considered, as well as car sharing and similar approaches. This results in many major tasks for underlying technology. For example, cross-manufacturer standards are desired and, especially for the EU, compliance with data security and sovereignty rules. IOTA already has cooperation experience from the past with logistics projects, autonomous driving vehicles and energy efficiency. Thus, IOTA considers itself well equipped to share its expertise with around 80 other participating companies and research institutions within the framework of Gaia-X 4 ROMS and to contribute to practical solutions.
The IOTA Foundation’s decision to reorganize its internal structure at the beginning of 2022 could pay off here. The aim is to move away from project-based teams and toward optimizing basic IOTA modules, which then only need to be set up for the very specific application. For Gaia-X 4 ROMS, IOTA Identity is mentioned first, a service that assigns network-compatible digital identities to people and machines alike. IOTA Identity then also makes it possible to specify in detail who is allowed to read out which information associated with such a digital identity. This seems well suited to the mobility sector, where a large number of individual items come together, from drivers to vehicles to parking spaces and e-charging stations. Their communication could be organized via IOTA streams.
Conclusion: swansong to Gaia-X seduced – but doubts remain
A recurring criticism of Gaia-X is that big-name, widely funded European IT projects ultimately fail to match the quality of commercial solutions (mostly from the US). Examples such as an EU Google or the EU Cloud are familiar to the professional public. IOTA is not a leading force in this mishmash, but a partner that almost comes naturally. What funding the IOTA Foundation can now expect through Gaia-X 4 ROMS until 2024 was not disclosed. It is probably more important for IOTA anyway to get the chance at Gaia-X 4 ROMS to establish its own solutions as standards throughout Europe. Investors should also know, however: In connection with Gaia-X, there was and is no talk of IOTA as a means of payment.