A new drone transportation network that will enable autonomous vehicles to bid for and accept delivery missions, then take payments using cryptocurrencies is being built by a firm that has backing from some of the biggest names in space, on the road and in the air.
A group of top executives have come on board to join the DAV Foundation, including Commander Scott J. Horowitz, NASA Space Shuttle astronaut in the position of Aerospace advisor. Commander Horowitz, who has been an integral part of four Space Shuttle missions, brings to DAV invaluable experience and passion, as well as a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering.
He is joined by other heavy hitters from leading automotive and cryptocurrency brands, namely General Motors and Bitcoin competitor Ethereum. Ethereum is not just any cryptocurrency, however; it is also a blockchain technology with the ability to go beyond Bitcoin by also providing an encrypted platform for decentralized applications.
Other board members hailing from firms such as SAP, Equinix and Bancor complete the picture. With names like this on board, DAV expects to leverage a broad range of experience to disrupt and build the future of transportation.
How will they do this? By creating a world-first platform that will effectively be an end-to-end exchange network through which people can book and pay for any number of services – think catching an autonomous taxi, or getting your pizza delivered by drone.
Their first iteration of the technology is a prototype known as the ‘Drone Missions‘ app, which has been developed in order to showcase the DAV (Decentralized Autonomous Vehicles) ecosystem.
By using blockchain to create a ‘trustless cooperation‘, the app will connect users who want to ship packages via drone or other self-driving vehicles, and then allow the drone service providers to bid to complete the delivery.
It’s a disruptive technology that brings the disruptive peer-to-peer model of other big names such as ride-sharing giant Uber or holiday accommodation network AirBnB to drone delivery.
In a press release, the company says, “DAV’s network connects self-driving vehicles (such as cars, trucks, rovers, and drones) to other vehicles, to customers, and to the infrastructure around them. It allows vehicles to work together, pay each other, and provide services to each other, creating a global marketplace where transportation services are bought and sold.”
That exhibition, which was originally backed by General Motors, envisioned a whole range of cutting-edge technologies including an automated highway system, and rooftop platforms for personal flying cars.
And now today, the DAV Foundation are bringing these concepts full circle, with GM and NASA ready to shake up the automotive and transportation industries by bringing the emerging sharing economy to the consumer’s door.
“As these trends converge, the movement of goods and people will take a completely new shape. Vehicles will be akin to packets of data, programmatically sent from origin to destination,” the company says.
Commander Horowitz, the man largely responsible for the US Government’s Vision for Space Exploration, is no stranger to automated technology, having put robotic spacecrafts at the center of the US space exploration plan back in 2004.
“I am thrilled to join the DAV team on its journey to create and launch a new and innovative infrastructure for a global Internet of Transportation,” he said.
DAV recognise the complexity of this project they have envisioned, which allow users to have an entire network of self-driving vehicles at their disposal.
“At DAV, we’re laying the groundwork for a new transportation economy. This is an ambitious undertaking, so we do not plan to do it alone. We’re supported by leading experts in the fields of Blockchain, economics, AI, infrastructure, legislation, and aerospace”, said Noam Copel, CEO of DAV Foundation.
With one eye on the sky, DAV also have plans for an self-guiding search and rescue robots, and autonomous boats. As for the next step? We expect to see a peer-to-peer pizza delivered by drone in the near future, with a collaboration to integrate Drone Mission app with their first drone partner, Copter Express, already underway.