Tuesday, 30 April 2019 08:09

Car maker offers owners cryptocurrency in exchange for road data

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Car maker offers owners cryptocurrency in exchange for road data Courtesy Jaguar Land Rover

British multinational automotive company Jaguar Land Rover has plans to allow drivers of its vehicles to earn cryptocurrency and make payments on the move using connected car services being tested by the manufacturer – in exchange for enabling their vehicles to report data about road conditions.

The company said in a statement its Smart Wallet technology would enable owners to earn credits if their vehicles were enabled to report data such as traffic congestion or potholes to navigation providers or local authorities.

These credits could then be redeemed for coffee or to automatically pay tolls, parking fees and for smart charging of electric vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover said it had partnered with the IOTA Foundation to harness blockchain technologies for enabling these payments.

"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, forecast to include some 75 billion connected devices by 2025," the company said. "Drivers could also top-up the ‘Smart Wallet’ using conventional payment methods."

The technology is being tested at the company's new factory in Shannon, Ireland.

The company said this research was part of its Destination Zero strategy which aimed for zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

"Part of reaching this 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 tailpipe emissions from idling in traffic," it said.

Jaguar Land Rover software architect Russell Vickers said: "The connected car technologies we are developing will be transformative and truly turn your Jaguar or Land Rover into a third space, in addition to your home or office. In the future an autonomous car could drive itself to a charging station, recharge and pay, while its owner could choose to participate in the sharing economy – earning rewards from sharing useful data such as warning other cars of traffic jams."

Jaguar Land Rover executive director of Product Engineering, Nick Rogers, added: "Our Shannon software development centre 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.

"Working with our engineering hub in the UK, the team in Shannon are pioneering and testing these sophisticated connected technologies that will help people to make the most of the time they spend in their car.Jaguar Land Rover is embracing autonomous, connected, electrified and shared mobility technology as we endeavour to make cars safer, cleaner and smarter for everybody."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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