IOTA is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) that enables machines to securely transact data and money with each other for a micro fee.

It continues to gather pace, with a more than 400 percent increase in token value since the successful launch of its data marketplace in November 2017 and a significant investment from Robert Bosch Venture Capital in December of last year.

Today, the IOTA Foundation announced that it has met with the International Transportation Innovation Center (ITIC). The goal? To build a global alliance of smart mobility testbeds — platforms to think through innovations and test new applications, processes, products, services, and business models to determine their usefulness, suitability, and viability before implementation.

Why is that significant?

ITIC’s focus is to build a global network of open and closed testbeds to determine which AI-based mobility services — in “smart city” environments — will work. It does this with a combination of virtual, augmented, and physical testing methods.

As a result of this rigorous testing, it creates a test data pool that can be utilized by the entire smart mobility ecosystem. That means developers can gain access to test fleets and infrastructures within ITIC’s worldwide network of testbeds.

So what does that mean for IOTA?

The IOTA data market initiative will provide a platform that acquires, shares, and selects high-quality test data from certified test sites. Public and private testbeds will be able to participate in what the organizations are calling the ITIC Mobility Testbed Alliance — an initiative of ITIC that is supported by the IOTA Foundation.

“The ITIC Mobility Testbed Alliance will serve as a proving ground for new business models and new technology approaches with IOTA-distributed ledgers,” said Dominik Schiener, cofounder of the IOTA Foundation. “We look forward to showing how IOTA-based mobility services can dramatically improve the efficiency and scalability on the transactional level and how the IOTA Data Marketplace can be leveraged to buy and sell vehicle and infrastructure test data across participating testbeds.”

As part of the partnership, ITIC will also work as a project partner within the IOTA ecosystem fund, focusing on open source infrastructure development for automated vehicle testbeds.

“The IOTA Foundation is setting up a comprehensive Automotive and Transportation Working Group,” said David Sønstebø, cofounder at the IOTA Foundation. “This collaboration between the IOTA Foundation and the ITIC on the Mobility Testbed Alliance represents the first official move toward this important goal. It’s important for us that to stress that this is the first stage of a large vision that will unfold throughout 2018.”

First live demonstrations at public events as an outcome of the IOTA/ITIC collaboration can be expected in 2018, and the organization says these will involve a larger group of joint partner companies.

This initial partnership opens up opportunities for a standardized testing network, an economy that supports it, and a way of sharing data globally across developers.

“The age of a shared data economy for mobility services requires standardized ways of performing data transactions considering security, scalability, and sustainability criteria across very large sensor and actor networks, as well as access to high quality test data,“ said Dr. Joachim Taiber, chief technology officer at ITIC. “And this is also a global business; therefore our model of funding smart mobility innovation projects will have to work across multiple testbeds, multiple stakeholders, whether on the vehicle or infrastructure side and across markets.”