Automotive giants Jaguar Land Rover are planning to reward drivers with cryptocurrency in exchange for their data. News of the development has appeared in media reports emerging this week.
The car manufacturer is currently undergoing trials of a technology that will report data on driving and road conditions automatically in return for IOTA tokens. The company is doing so in a bid to encourage drivers to share data with the company.
In turn, the data will be recorded to a blockchain, and can be used to communicate important information with local authorities. This include road traffic accidents, congestion and other similar road conditions.
The platform is the result of a partnership between Jaguar Land Rover and the IOTA Foundation. The latter is the body behind the development of the IOTA cryptocurrency.
The vehicles will come bundled with smart wallet technology. Drivers will subsequently be able to redeem their IOTA tokens for coffee, parking and even electric charging. It will also allow drivers to top up their wallets with fiat, as is possible with any other cryptocurrency wallet.
According to reports from the firm, cars will come built with IoT sensors to transmit data on IOTA’s Tangle blockchain, including messages, which can be sent automatically from the vehicle.
The pilot scheme is currently underway, with tests running out of Shannon in Ireland. Furthermore, Jaguar Land Rover has reportedly already integrated the technology within Jaguar F-PACE and Range Rover Velar models. If the pilot is a success, there are then plans for a future wider rollout.
Software architect Russel Vickers said integrating the technology was the first step towards greater vehicle autonomy.
“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.”
The news builds on Jaguar Land Rover’s 2017 purchase of blockchain startup Dovu. The company is currently preparing to launch a platform for rewarding drivers for sharing mobility data, including distance traveled, weather conditions and location.
Built on the same technology that powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the Jaguar Land Rover pilot hints at what the future could hold with blockchain and the Internet of Things. The pilot is still ongoing. It will subsequently be interesting to see how quickly Jaguar Land Rover can bring the technology to market.