Jaguar Land Rover could start paying drivers for reporting potholes and traffic jams, paying cryptocurrency into a ‘smart wallet’.
This is in the apparently imminent ‘connected’ world, where cars can ‘talk’ to the infrastructure around them and even the authorities responsible for it. So, when your Velar or i-Pace drives through a pothole or encounters congestion, the car’s brain logs that information and sends it to whichever body needs it. The info would be used to send repair crews and redirect traffic away from any problem areas.
It’s not just about recording the information, though. The driver of the car that reported the whatever earns some cryptocurrency, paid into a ‘smart wallet’. That ‘money’ can then be used to pay for road tolls, parking, EV charging or even a coffee. It’s all part of this connected world, as the car knows when it arrives at a machine that requires payment, be that a toll station, car park entrance or drive-thru window.
It’s all part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Destination Zero project which aims to achieve zero accidents, zero congestion and zero emissions of the road – in an unspecified timeframe.
The smart wallet system is being developed at JLR’s new R&D facility in Ireland, in collaboration with IOTA Foundation. IOTA specialises in ‘distributed ledger technology’ – electronic monetary transactions. JLR estimates that as many as 75 billion devices will be on IOTA’s system by 2025.
This technology, of course, already exists in your phone with apps like Apple Pay. And some satnav/mapping apps can report congestion and reroute you around it. Combining all of this connected tech into a car’s on-board systems might be convenient, but is it a bit big brothery?
One thing we can be sure of, though. British councils would soon get completely fed up with being told about a pothole every half-second.