Fraunhofer Society, the research organization with a yearly budget of almost €3 billion, looks to tap AI for electric vehicle battery longevity as part of its KI2L project — and a DePIN on peaq will be its backbone.

What is happening?

Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, a leading European research institute and part of Fraunhofer Society, will use the peaq network for storing digital twins of lithium-ion batteries installed in electric vehicles for KI2L, its €2.71 million AI-powered sustainable mobility project.

Why does this matter?

The project will power an array of dApps serving the needs of the EV battery supply chains on peaq, a blossoming industry set for growth alongside EV adoption, as another major real-world use case for the network.

What does this mean for the community?

The project brings more activity between people and machines to the peaq ecosystem, amping up the rewards and value for all stakeholders and participants, and connects Fraunhofer Society with the wider Polkadot and Kusama ecosystem. 

We hear every day that electric vehicles (EVs) are the future of sustainable mobility, and they may be — but that’s not to say they are as green as it gets (we’re not talking about paint colors).

Consider this: Most EVs run on lithium-ion batteries, just as most other electronics we are using these days. For all its usefulness, lithium is infamous for the extent to which its extraction harms the environment. The colorful lithium fields look amazing on pictures, but they poison the soil and contaminate the air, greatly affecting local communities.  

Now, like most good things in life, EV Li-ion batteries don’t last forever as their capacity wears out with use. Once the battery is no longer good for driving, it is either repurposed — or enters its second life, as they say in the industry — or recycled. Not every battery is good enough for a second life, and only five percent of batteries that are not good enough for a second life are recycled properly. Combine that with growing EV adoption, and you get a recipe for disaster that makes efficient battery use a top priority for the industry.

Enter Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut (Fraunhofer HHI), the leading Berlin-based research institute which is part of the Fraunhofer Society, Europe’s largest applied research and development organization with a €2.8 billion annual budget and a track record of innovation. The Society was the driving force behind the .mp3 format, and its other iconic inventions include white LED lights and the world’s most efficient solar power sell. In other words, when these people set their eyes on a problem, the problem gets solved.

In this case, Fraunhofer HHI sets its sights on optimizing the use of EV Li-ion batteries. After all, the more batteries can go into second life, the less lithium we have to extract To make sure as many batteries as possible are repurposed, the institute will use AI to monitor a digital twin of a battery to spot signs of extreme wear early-on. EoT Labs are thrilled to be involved in the project, bringing these batteries on-chain to build a new DePIN (Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Network) on peaq — and connecting the Fraunhofer Society with the wider Polkadot and Kusama ecosystem.

A new segment of dApps and use cases on the peaq network

So how exactly will this work? As part of its three-year KI2L (Künstliche Intelligenz 2 Lithium — German for “AI 2 Lithium”) project, Fraunhofer HHI will outfit EV batteries with sensors that will measure their workload and wear. The data these sensors collect will be stored on peaq, granting researchers an overview of the strain of every specific battery over time. To enable this, all batteries will get their self-sovereign peaq IDs, joining the thousands of other devices on the network. The project also leverages peaq access, the role-based access control Modular DePIN Function, to manage trustless device and data access across the collaborators.  

With the data pipelines set up, Intuitive.ai, another project participant, will use this data to train machine learning models that will monitor batteries and predict their future wear based on live data. These models will enable proper maintenance of EV batteries maximizing the share of devices that can enter their second life. This, in turn, ultimately means a more streamlined market and less demand for lithium, which is good for the environment. 

The digital twin infrastructure set up as part of the KI2L project will power an array of new decentralized applications and DePINs on peaq, which will be serving the needs of the EV battery market. More specifically, they will zoom in on its supply-chains, enabling manufacturers to link their batteries with peaq off the shelf and have their digital twins run on the network throughout their entire lifecycle. Further down the line, EV batteries connected to peaq will form a decentralized physical infrastructure network (DePIN) enabling vehicle owners to monetize their battery data.

Besides that, as an immutable and secure blockchain, peaq will enable businesses and drivers to verify the provenance of the EV batteries, eliminating fraud such as replacing batteries with older, low-capacity ones. Furthermore, owners of the connected batteries will be able to earn rewards on peaq, which allocates part of the network revenue to be distributed to all connected devices.

Through the collaboration, which began in January 2023, peaq works as the bridge between Fraunhofer HHI and the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystem. The project will leverage peaq’s canary network krest, set to go live on Kusama this quarter, and the mainnet, which is currently in its crowdloan stage. This connection will enable more collaborations in the future, positioning the Polkadot ecosystem as the leader in real-world blockchain applications.

“Fraunhofer Society is one of the top research organizations in the world with a track record of innovation. We are honored to join the project that will help shape a more sustainable future for the mobility industry. Polkadot’s vision and design enable layer-1 chains like peaq to scale to the needs of such a high-growth industry. I am certain we will see more leading R&D organizations and top industry names delve deeper into the Polkadot ecosystem to explore more opportunities for real-world blockchain use and putting physical infrastructure on Web3 rails.”

- Jasvir Dhillon, KI2L lead at EoT Labs

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