Millions of car owners are already giving their logistics data away for free, which helps companies such as Inrix and IBM make money off the miles they drive. But Jaguar Land Rover has developed a “smart wallet” that enables them to earn cyrptocurrency each time the vehicle automatically reports road condition data such as traffic congestion or potholes to logistics companies or local authorities.
The luxury automaker is developing this technology in partnership with IOTA Foundation to use their cryptocurrency ledger. At the time of this article’s publish, their tokens were hovering around $.30.
How much vehicle owners will earn per report isn’t clear, but the automaker says change in their smart wallet could be used to pay for tolls or even coffee. But that’s not the only way drivers will benefit. Sharing vehicle data could help improve traffic flows and lower congestion, which could result in shorter commute times and reducing tailpipe emissions from idling in traffic for everyone.
This technology is currently being tested in Ireland where the manufacturer’s engineering center is based. The company has equipped several vehicles, including the Jaguar F-PACE and Range Rover Velar, with smart wallet technology. Other auto manufacturers are also experimenting with ways to enable drivers to pay for services using their car’s telematics system, and tier one suppliers such as Continental are also putting vehicle data on the blockchain, but JLR is the first to embrace cryptocurrency as a form of payment–at least publicly. And unlike most car makers, they’re actually giving customers something in exchange for their privacy.
However, if drivers don’t generate enough tokens through driving, they’ll be able to fund their smart wallets in a more conventional way.