Blockchained applications in aerospace might not be the first thing you think of when you think of the technology. But this is a hot area for development.
While blockchain in space might sound like just the next level of froth to the ICO craze, in fact, aerospace applications for this technology are going to be huge. The intersection of blockchain technology and airspace is one of the most exciting places that this conversation is going.
Vimana , is a company already on the cutting edge of this exotic dialogue – and with an interesting play.
The corporate pitch on one level is very easy to explain. They are a cutting-edge taxi company with an attention-getting difference. Their space-age, airborne vehicles can get passengers to their destinations at both ground level and 100 stories up, with a commuting range that makes the vehicle perfect for both short and longer hauls. Even more impressive? The company’s vehicles are already being tested in Dubai.
But beyond the cool space-pod approach to still earth-bound transport, what is it about this company that makes its approach to passenger travel so interesting? And why does it consider blockchain technology essential to its success if not basic mission?
There are many policy and regulatory issues that come attached to addressing the transportation and logistics if not planning infrastructure of any city. That is true no matter how “dumb” or “smart.” Today, however, planners talk about making cities, transportation, agriculture and even energy grids “smart.” What that means is that operations, logistics, energy, and infrastructure are connected and planned in ways that promote healthy communities, sustainable living spaces and humming economies.
It is also a future that the planet is hurtling towards, full speed ahead.
Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that is also thought of as the security layer of the internet, is changing those conversations daily. Why? Because of the ability of blockchain to transmit information, directions, big data and transactions (of all kinds) to many different kinds of users and for many different use cases.
Vimana is using the technology to make sure that their vehicles can navigate commercial airspace – the places literally between street level and the tops of buildings – as well as non-urban environments. The company’s proprietary blockchain is also part of an eco-system that will help them manage flight paths. They do not have to rely on existing control towers anywhere.
And that is where this conversation gets super interesting.
The blockchain airspace is already estimated to be north of $1 trillion. Vimana is a well-known presence in the vertical. And it is not only their vehicle which is designed to be multipurpose. Their blockchain is as well.
Airspace, whether people think about this or not (after all it is literally invisible) is an increasingly valuable commodity, particularly in cities, but not limited to them. However, all air traffic must be managed, just like other traffic. In a city like New York or Dubai, it is easier to visualize the issue because they are so “tall.”
Commercial airspace rights suddenly become more visible. It is not just street traffic, but aeroplanes, helicopters and an array of boat traffic that are all in the mix to locations that now must be normally reached by helicopter if you want to avoid city streets. The current infrastructure is also already overwhelmed because it is based on older technology – including communications technology.
That is where independent blockchains begin to become part of the overall infrastructure discussion – and far beyond “just” routing aircraft or taxis – Vimana’s or anyone else’s.
Conventional blockchains run on existing computers, processors and the ground-based existing internet – which itself came from Darpanet, developed by the U.S. military. What Vimana is building is a separate, space controlled system, with its own blockchain, energy sources, technology and communications, that will literally create a separate, independent and far more efficient grid.
That grid, itself, will be able to support all of the ideas now conceived of for more conventional blockchain ideas already in launch and underway. However, the intersection of IoT (the internet of things), all telecommunications and a ledger that allows trustless verification in an independent environment is what has already sparked the imaginations of not only the core team at Vimana but those who are supporting it financially and signing development agreements.
That includes at this point, city and regional governments.
And those alliances and agreements also mean the company is building an ecosystem and protocol, from the ground up, which does not eschew regulatory issues, but embraces them. It also means the company will rapidly be able to scale usage – not just via its own taxi services, but by allowing their communications protocol to be used for other purposes necessary for the management and administration of human-inhabited spaces.
As the world continues to power into the 21st century, Vimana’s approach is clearly one way to continue a conversation about the pressing needs now created by both aging grids and lack of them. When people talk about “grids” this is a discussion not only about power and electricity , but also renewable energy. It is also a conversation about sustainability, “smart cities” and both urban and rural planning.
Finally, this is also by definition, a discussion about other kinds of infrastructure that relies on energy – from telecommunications and access to clean water to a bank account – and of course, transportation that does not even need paved roads.
All of these conversations in the last century were defined by the technology of the time.
Today, as the world shifts to a decentralized future, so are the solutions.
The team at Vimana believes that their approach gives them a differentiating edge in creating an impact on these issues because they are launching a highly mobile ecosystem. Yes, it is based on the control of traffic and pretty cool air taxis. But they are also offering the protocol that makes them fly safely to their destination (a dual-use objective and goal) at a time when new forms of such infrastructure are being sought by governments and policymakers themselves.
Do they have big dreams? Yes. But the team at Vimana are also making impressive strides to making those visions literally fly. For the benefit of not just their company, shareholders and passengers, but for a better way of life for the planet.