What if urban mobility was extremely efficient, much more user-focused and offered as an all-in-one solution? DXC Ttechnology designed a cutting-edge concept to make that dream come true.
Blockchain for Antwerp
The City of Antwerp has bet big on personalized digital services and interaction with its citizens, students, businesses, and visitors. With ambitions to become a major player among other smart cities across European, the city aims to offer customized, customer-centric services at any time, any place, and via any device. That approach demands an open mind to new and innovative technologies and trends.
To that end, five focus areas – the Smart City principles – have top priority: smart people, smart policy, smart mobility, smart energy and resource management, and smart safety.
The city is particularly interested in blockchain technology. Earlier this year, it launched four blockchain proof of concept projects in order to achieve more efficient governance. Later, to further bridge the gap between the Antwerp Smart City principles and the rising blockchain technology, the city organized a competition to attract external partners with original ideas. Candidates were encouraged to come up with a creative concept that mightbe technically feasible, but not yet a reality.
A young team of DXC’s public sector consultants pitched a very tangible, detailed, and appealing solution for the mobility issue in Antwerp; a rather hot topic. They convinced the jury, consisting of around 110 civil servants, with their well-thought-out, realistic, and feasible ’Shared Mobility’ concept. It led them to being proud finalists at the first Blockchain for Antwerp competition.
Associate Consultant Kato Coppens was one of the team members. She recalls: “Taking part in the competition proved to be a real adventure. Only one month after we decided to sign up, our team had to deliver a first pitch. It was a challenging, but very rewarding opportunity for young people like me to tackle innovative technology. We not only studied hard on the blockchain fundamentals, we also learned in no time how to meet specific client expectations and future needs.“
The Shared Mobility Concept
Aron Wils is one of Kato Coppens’ colleagues. He explains that theblockchain concept DXC designed for Antwerp is focused on efficient urban mobility and accessibility. “It allows citizens, students, entrepreneurs, as well as tourists to reserve and flexibly use any available means of transportation utilizing one single mobile application.” Wils says. “The app interconnects all involved service providers and functions as an easy to use all-in-one solution.”
Shared Mobility facilitates the ad hoc (combined) use of public and private parking lots, public transport and city bikes. How does it work in practice? Aron Wils explains:
“Firstly, you register online, using your ID-card, back account details and license plate (if you have a car). Secondly, the app will generate a personal QR code. By scanning the code at one of the designated terminals you can start making use of the parking lot, public transport or city bike.”
Kato Coppens continues: “Our Shared Mobility concept is based on a pay as you go basis. At the very moment you have your QR code scanned, a so-called smart contract is created, which is a direct agreement between you – the user – and the service provider, for that specific use at a specific prearranged price. The smart contract is linked to a trusted transaction between the user and the provider, and the cost is correctly and automatically paid. Every transaction is transparently registered in the blockchain.”
True added value
Wils firmly believes that the Shared Mobility blockchain concept brings added value to every stakeholder. “Easy and efficient city access gives an important impulse to urban economy and livability,” he says. “Companies, shops, restaurants, but also inhabitants, students and tourists, they all benefit from flexibly organized public transport. The ‘pay what you use’ pricing mechanism is based on trust, extremely transparent and affordable. Also, private parking lots can become available for restricted public use, which optimizes the city mobility even more. These and other advantages meet the smart mobility goal of the Antwerp city council.”
“With our Shared Mobility idea, we want to add an extra dimension to mobility by making it much more efficient, user-friendly and easily accessible,” Coppens summarizes. The Antwerp competition’s jury was instantly charmed by this creative, as well as achievable concept. Senior Business Analyst Geoffrey Aerts wraps up enthusiastically: “We are confident that other decision-makers within the Flemish government might soon show interest in our Shared Mobility platform as well,” he says. “I am so proud of what we showed in Antwerp. It proves that we are truly capable of agile delivery.”
The adventure, however does not stop here. “The potential impact of blockchain is huge,” Aerts adds.“DXC is ready for it and dares to face the challenges that naturally come with this kind of technological revolution. I can’t wait to see what else we will conquer in the blockchain arena.”
For more information visit dxc.technology/global_public_sector.