Sounds like a fair deal, right?
Cars and new technologies have always gone together, and now Jaguar Land Rover has identified another new area where the two combine: cryptocurrency. Yes, really. The UK's largest automaker has just announced it has begun testing new software that enables drivers to earn the IOTA cryptocurrency as a reward for sharing data. JLR calls it "Smart Wallet" technology and it can be installed in its vehicles. Here's how it works: owners earn credits by enabling their cars to automatically report data to systems like Waze and local authorities on things like road conditions, such as traffic or potholes.
Doing so earns drivers credits that can be redeemed for things like coffee. More interestingly, these credits can also be used to automatically pay tolls, parking fees, and even smart charging electric vehicles. Drivers even earn credits for ride-sharing. This system essentially eliminates the need to carry around loose change or to have a variety of accounts for several services. Welcome to the world of cryptocurrency.
Jaguar Land Rover teamed up with the IOTA Foundation to make and receive these payments. There is no transaction fee. JLR's overall goal is to "achieve zero emissions, zero accidents, and zero congestion," while enabling a cryptocurrency payment method will certainly be beneficial, particularly for reducing 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," said Russell Vickers, a JLR 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."
At the moment, JLR is testing this technology at its new software engineering center in Shannon, Ireland. Engineers have already equipped several vehicles, including the Jaguar F-Pace and the Range Rover Velar, with "smart wallet" features. No timetable has been set for an on sale date, but we can easily see this becoming an everyday driving tool in the very near future.