IoT 4 mins read

Can data sharing cure supply chain woes?

Learn how Software AG is participating in Germany’s acatech mobility data-sharing initiative, which is making automotive data available to all.

Stephan Buchholz Stephan Buchholz
image showing data chain logistics

Germany is taking the first steps toward an EU-backed data-sharing initiative where automotive industry participants can share, add value to and gain insights from their data.

The pandemic has exposed just how fragile our global systems and supply chains are, with empty shelves, and shipping delays. Previously hidden flaws in organizations’ supply chains were largely due to data silos.

This is now known, but how do you solve it? As our CEO Sanjay Brahmawar said  in Fortune, the solution is with international collaboration. And this can only come to life once basic agreements on issues like data sharing are put into place.

The auto industry jump-starts collaboration

The automobile industry is a classic example of how data sharing can add value to the organizations that create the data, the industry, and end consumers.

Automotive technology is highly evolved, with many technological developments that improve driving, maintenance and safety. A lot of this involves installing sensors in cars, trucks, etc.: Modern car engines have over 70 sensors throughout the car.

They are designed to send information from the engine or other parts of the car to be analyzed by the manufacturer, and – if there is a problem – alert you of any issues.

Situational sensors monitor your position, speed, velocity, tire pressure; safety sensors help you avoid collisions; environmental supply info on fuel combustion and help control your fuel consumption thereby reducing emissions.

Collectively, this information is known as “mobility data.”

MDS: Pioneer in mobility data sharing

There is a groundbreaking project in the EU called Mobility Dataspace (MDS). MDS is an initiative where participants can share mobility data among each other in a fair and equal manner, where no one loses ownership/property or autonomy over their own data.

In Germany, a government think tank – acatech – is taking it one step further. Under the stewardship of National Academy of Science and Engineering, acatech has set up a nonprofit company to run the data collaboration program and will take over the business sometime this year.

Shareholders include acatech, automotive countries such as Bavaria, and car companies such as BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen.

Data exchange

An open platform, operating under ISDA protocols, MDS collects and aggregates data from stakeholders from the industry. This includes auto and car parts manufacturers, materials suppliers, cities, public transportation networks, insurance bodies, motoring clubs, governments and delivery companies.

In other words, it is a mobility community consisting of any organization that can contribute and benefit from the aggregated data – the first data space in Europe.

Participants pay a fee to support the infrastructure and systems, much like an exchange fee. MDS has been likened to eBay, a centralized aggregated platform where you can identify and choose your data suppliers and negotiate to buy their products.

Software AG’s role in MDS

Our Professional Services team is embedded as consultants in the acatech project (which will become a full-blown non-profit company dedicated to growing the MDS network this year).

As part of this community of experts, we advise them on the software elements needed to build and maintain the data sharing platform. We consider this a unique position and are thrilled to be part of this international collaboration.

As Brahmawar said: Global economies have taken significant steps toward forging alliances that spread common market values and industrial leadership, but there is more work to be done in terms of international collaboration. Data sharing concerns and competitive mindsets must be overcome for global markets to partner on mitigating universal challenges.”

You can read Sanjay Brahmawar’s article on Fortune, Data sharing and ally-shoring: Global problems require collaborative solutions, here.