PARIS — Mercedes-Benz was revealed Wednesday as the fifth founding member of the Aura Blockchain Consortium, and the first outside the fashion sector.
“We are delighted to welcome Mercedes-Benz as our fifth founding member, coming from an entirely new sector of the luxury industry. This is a concrete step toward our overarching strategy to welcome all sectors of the luxury industry,” said the consortium’s secretary general Daniela Ott in a joint statement on the move.
The luxury carmaker expressed particular interest in unique digital art, with the option of having them as NFTs, to offer new ranges of products and in-car experiences building on its latest multimedia display systems. Vehicles could eventually turn into “personalized immersive art spaces enriched by light and sound.”
“We use digital art to create desire in-car and beyond. Incorporating it into the UI/UX is one future opportunity to differentiate the Mercedes-Benz luxury experience through the joy of the unexpected,” stated Gorden Wagener, chief design officer of Mercedes-Benz Group AG.
Vice president of communications and marketing Bettina Fetzer described the carmaker’s use of solutions based on Aura as “[setting] a standard for the automotive industry” as Mercedes-Benz expands its activities into “a completely new dimension of digital luxury,” with other members.
Luxury rivals LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Compagnie Financiere Richemont and Prada joined forces to establish the Aura Blockchain Consortium in April 2021, with the aim of promoting the use of a single blockchain solution open to all luxury brands worldwide to help consumers trace the provenance and authenticity of luxury goods. They were joined last October by Italy’s OTB Group.
Pursuing the idea of solutions “for luxury brands by luxury brands” as part of a long-term strategy towards the metaverse, the consortium is continuing to develop its technical roadmap to include various NFT solutions.