Jaguar Land Rover has announced that it’s now in the process of testing cryptocurrency network IOTA in reference to rewarding drivers of its cars for sharing data with the manufacturer. It’s developing what it calls “smart wallet” technology that is planned to be installed in the vehicles, rewarding drivers with IOTA for doing different things, such as enabling the automatic submission of information about traffic congestion or potholes to navigation providers. Furthermore, it is also planned to be tied into a ride-sharing program. As for the tokens, they want to enable them to be used for tolls, parking, and charging for electric vehicles.
“Zero Emissions, Zero Accidents, and Zero Congestion”
It’s a fairly big step for a major auto manufacturer to evaluate the feasibility of blockchain tech for new, unexplored uses. It’s said that they are pushing for what they call “zero emissions, zero accidents, and zero congestion,” and feel that cryptocurrency is the way to make this happen. As of now, they’ve already started testing the software at the Shannon, Ireland software engineering base, and engineers have already installed it on several vehicles, including the F-PACE and Range Rover Velar. There’s no estimated release for when this will be available for end-users yet.
IOTA’s Dominik Schiener has made comments on this news, stating that the technology can be easily adapted into all new vehicles. Further, he clarified that IOTA’s goal is interoperability with different players, such that there’s no specific coin for Jaguar or BMW and that everything is happening with one universal token. This is in huge contrast to others, such as Ethereum, which are focused more on allowing users to create their own tokens and simply use its smart contract technology and network for transfers.
A Bright Future
This is huge news coming from Jaguar, and with a framework in place, it’s entirely possible for others (such as Tesla) to jump on board with their own integrations and reward schedules. It’s the first time anything like this has been done, but it’s a huge step forward when it comes to both driver benefits and cryptocurrency integration into things we already do on a daily basis. After all, if you are running GPS apps on your phone, like Waze or Google Maps, you’re already submitting a decent amount of information as you drive around, so being rewarded for it is a win all-around if everything does end up working out.