Jaguar Land Rover plans crypto rewards for driver data
Drivers will be able to earn crypto-currency and make payments on the move using connected car services being tested by Jaguar Land Rover.
In a statement, the British multinational automotive company says using "smart wallet" technology, owners 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.
It points out that drivers could then redeem these for rewards such as coffee, or conveniently use them to automatically pay tolls, parking fees and for smart charging electric vehicles.
According to Jaguar Land Rover, smart wallet removes the need for drivers to hunt for loose change or sign up to multiple accounts to pay for a variety of everyday services.
It points out that smart wallet uses the latest crypto-currency technology and Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with the IOTA Foundation to harness distributed ledger technologies to make and receive 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 75 billion connected devices by 2025, the carmaker says, adding that drivers could also top-up the smart wallet using conventional payment methods.
The advanced connected technology is being trialled at the new Jaguar Land Rover software engineering base in Shannon, Republic of Ireland, where engineers have already equipped several vehicles, including the Jaguar F-PACE and Range Rover Velar, with smart wallet functionality.
The technology research forms part of Jaguar Land Rover's Destination Zero strategy, which aims to achieve zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion, the company says.
It points out that 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, it explains, 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.
"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," says Russell Vickers, Jaguar Land Rover software architect.
"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."
Nick Rogers, executive director of product engineering at Jaguar Land Rover, comments: "Our Shannon software development centre is advancing the use of crypto-currency to make people's lives better, by allowing drivers to safely share data and make payments from their vehicle."
Holger K"other, director of partnerships, IOTA Foundation, says: "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.
"We are excited to partner with Jaguar Land Rover in implementing its IOTA-powered car wallet, delivering a major convenience benefit for their customers worldwide."
Richard Dennis, founder of peer-to-peer crypto-currency platform temtum, comments: "Rewarding drivers is a great incentive for corporations who crave big data to encourage their own customers to allow them to collect it, with only the most scalable of blockchain solutions making these features possible in the near future."
He points out that seeing major manufacturers pick up on scalable blockchain technology is an exciting development for the industry.
"A step further to driving data, rewards and wallet integration within vehicles is our own solution of running vehicles and IOT devices as nodes directly on our temtum network, where a BMW i8 is already participating and confirming transactions.
"This will enable developments to move in even more diverse directions as manufacturers and developers explore the capabilities of next-generation blockchains and currencies for the benefit of both the OEM, their customers and general consumers who want to use crypto-currencies more in everyday life."