In a press release this morning, British-based Jaguar Land Rover is announcing its intention to partner with Iota, a cryptocurrency firm, to create a blockchain network for drivers.
The system will feature points to be exchanged for rewards, as well as automated management of tolls, parking, charging and more.
“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,” writes Cara Harbor in a blog post hosted at Iota’s site that dropped this morning. “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. ‘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.”
The move with Iota takes place in a context of innovation: Jaguar’s Destination Zero project is aimed at automotive efficiencies which can help with conventional headaches like traffic jams.
“Destination Zero is our journey to zero harm,” wrote spokespersons in documentation of this broader program, citing accident statistics and in-depth research meant to buttress the effort toward comprehensive safety. “The campaign is about getting everyone to understand their safety responsibilities and the role they can play in identifying and resolving issues, with full support from the Company.”
New automation features tied to self-driving vehicles or even traditional cars can complement some of these other goals nicely.
“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,” said IOTA director of partnerships Holger Köther in a press statement.
Jaguar leaders also expressed confidence in the partnership.
“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,” said Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering at Jaguar Land Rover. “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.”
This sort of new program shows how auto makers may climb on board the blockchain wagon – not just to help with record-keeping, but in offering drivers a more convenient and safer experience behind the wheel. When we talk about new technologies, either AI or blockchain, saving lives – we’re talking about these types of progress.
Keep an eye on blockchain in the auto sector if you’re looking to diversify blockchain-related holdings.