Chicago, IL: The Spot Exchange, a blockchain-based, decentralized marketplace has been announced as a finalist in Phase II of the IBM Hackathon UnchainTheFrame. With one round remaining, the four-month challenge ranks companies that are mastering the intersection of blockchain, machine learning, and open source software.
The Spot Exchange enables people to rent physical locations designated for parking traditional and autonomous vehicles. These parking spaces include garages, lots, alleyways, and driveways, which may be located on private residential and commercial property. As a decentralized marketplace, the Spot Exchange does not own physical parking spaces, establish asset prices, or set policy. Instead, they serve as the mechanism in which sellers of physical spaces connect with short-term or long-term buyers, and provide an automated service for executing and enforcing contracts.
As a smart marketplace, the transactional information from the distributed ledger is processed in real time using IBM’s Machine Learning Watson APIs. This combination of technologies allows for a self-learning ecosystem that automates key components of the buying-selling process, more efficiently connects buyers and sellers, and provides dynamic, real-time price recommendations to sellers.
While the initial focus of the service is to connect drivers the best possible parking spots, the company’s ultimate goal is to be the defacto exchange used by autonomous vehicles to negotiate prices, find charging stations, and locate appropriate storage when not in use.
- The Marketplace: The Spot Exchange is more than a reservation app, but instead a complete parking ecosystem. Many public and private parking spaces are completely underutilized, producing little or no value for owners. At the same time, buyers that are ready, willing, and able to rent spaces (often at a premium) in close proximity to their destination are forced to accept less desirable terms.
- The Business Intelligence: In a traditional marketplace for renting physical parking spaces, sellers of parking spaces have little direction about how to set prices. In addition, buyers have little direction about whether they are paying a reasonable price for parking. As such, on the seller side, the decision to price parking assets is often made ad hoc without empirical support. On the buyer side, the decision about where to park is influenced by price, but in a suboptimal way.
- Autonomous and Electric Vehicle Ready: One major barrier to the adoption of autonomous and electric vehicles is convenient access to charging locations. This is especially true for urban dwellers who would require landlord approval for the installation of a charging station. In urban areas where parking is already cost prohibitive to vehicle ownership, there is a real need for an affordable solution that combines autonomous charging and storage.
As a finalist, The Spot Exchange had their code reviewed by IBM and Angelhack experts. The final phase of the competition ends next month.