Future connected cars will not only help reduce emissions, congestion, and traffic deaths, but, it turns out, they could also earn drivers money. That is, if the new system Jaguar Land Rover is testing goes into production.
Outside its software engineering center in Shannon, Ireland, JLR is testing vehicles outfitted with ‘Smart Wallet’ technology. It earns drivers crypto currency credits, when they enable their vehicles to share live traffic and roadway updates with navigation providers and local municipalities.
For example, if your car recognizes it’s in a traffic jam, it can beam that info off to the cloud. There, navigation companies can update nearby cars and re-route them around the congestion. Thereby, not only saving other drivers time but also preventing additional emissions from cars that would be otherwise idling in traffic.
Or, in another example, if your car spots a pothole with its cameras (or hits one with one of its tires), it can send that info off to the municipality. Then the roadworks crews can be dispatched to fix it.
More than just being a good samaritan, JLR envisions a future in which you get credited with crypto currency for that information.
What are you going to do with the accrued crypto? You can, say for instance, pay for tolls. Or, more intriguingly, in the future, your car might be able to autonomously drive itself to a charging station while you’re at work, recharge itself, and pay for that charge with said credits. Pretty cool stuff.
I am glad automakers like Jaguar Land Rover are thinking of ways to benefit vehicle owners when they utilize the data their cars will be generating. Paying for tolls with traffic information generated is just the tip of the iceberg, however.
I will delve into the implications and benefits connected vehicle data sharing could have in another post soon.