News Travel & mobility

IBM and DB Systel announce mobility industry blockchain

Transport plane, train, bus, boat

IBM and DB Systel are working together to make seamless public transport journeys where the trip involves multiple modes of transport. DB Systel is the IT subsidiary of the German railway company Deutsche Bahn which also has extensive business outside of Germany.

The problem

It’s painful when journeys consist of multiple transport modes like local and regional trains, buses, taxis, bicycle rental and even airlines. It’s cumbersome for customers.

We spend more time and have to have several tickets or ticketing apps. From the provider’s point of view, they have to rebook customers when there’s a missed connection.

The solution

Moritz von Bonin, Head of Blockchain & DLT Solutions at DB Systel explained: “Our broad vision encompasses all modes of travel. As the next step in our digital transformation journey, we are helping IBM to build a comprehensive travel platform for the entire transport industry based on transparency and shared information, that many other mobility companies can integrate with quickly and easily to create a distributed digital and open ecosystem.”

He continued: “In the travel industry, this could mean that a customer can pay in a single transaction for a journey that spans multiple forms of transport and service providers, and that payment is automatically and correctly split between the relevant companies within a multi-institution business network. Likewise, the ticketing and any related services can all be handled automatically without the need for manual coordination between companies.”

DB Systel acknowledges that a significant challenge is going to be to get other mobility partners on board and to agree on a standard smart contract. But the upside is big. It could substantially reduce operating costs. Additionally, it will make one-stop shops for transport very appealing.

IBM uses the Hyperledger Fabric framework which is also the platform of choice for DB Systel.