UK-based auto maker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is trialling a new system that will enable drivers to earn cryptocurrency by sharing traffic information and make payments on the move using innovative connected car services.
Using the new smart wallet technology, owners would earn credits by enabling their cars to automatically report useful road condition data such as traffic congestion or potholes to navigation providers or local authorities.
Drivers could then redeem these for rewards such as coffee, or conveniently use them automatically for pay tolls, parking fees and for smart charging electric vehicles (EVs). The smart wallet technology removes the need for drivers to use cash or sign up to multiple accounts to pay for a variety of everyday travel services.
The smart wallet system uses the latest cryptocurrency technology and JLR has partnered with the IOTA Foundation to harness distributed ledger or blockchain technologies to make and receive these payments.
The advanced connected technology is currently being trialled at the new JLR software engineering base at Shannon in the Republic of Ireland, where engineers have already equipped several vehicles, including the Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Velar, with smart wallet functionality.
Unlike other similar systems, due to its structure, it requires no transaction fee to operate and over time transactions will get faster across the entire network, which are forecast to include some 75 billion connected devices by 2025.
Drivers could also top-up the smart wallet using conventional payment methods. The research forms part of JLR’s Destination Zero strategy that aims to achieve zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.
Part of reaching the Destination Zero target is developing a shared economy where the vehicle plays an integral role as a data-gatherer in the smart city of the future. For example, the connected Smart Wallet services will promote a reduction in congestion with the sharing of live traffic updates and offering alternative routes to drivers, reducing emissions from idling in traffic.
JLR says future autonomous electric cars could drive themselves to a charging station, recharge and pay, while their owners could choose to participate in the sharing economy, earning rewards from sharing useful data such as warning other cars of traffic jams or inclement road weather conditions.
Our Shannon software development center is advancing the use of cryptocurrency to make people’s lives better, by allowing drivers to safely share data and make payments from their vehicle,” explained Nick Rogers, executive director of product engineering at JLR.
“Working with our engineering hub in the UK, the team in Shannon is pioneering and testing these sophisticated connected technologies that will help people to make the most of the time they spend in their car. We are embracing autonomous, connected, electrified and shared mobility technology as we endeavor to make cars safer, cleaner and smarter for everybody.”
Holger Köther, director of partnerships at IOTA Foundation, commented, “Our distributed ledger technology is perfectly suited to enable machine-to-machine payments for smart charging, parking and tolls, in addition to creating opportunities for drivers to earn their own digital currency.”