Wednesday (28/03/2018) followed news of American Car manufacturer Ford winning a patent for a vehicle communication system which allows cars to send cryptocurrency to each other.
Does this mean that the autonomous vehicle industry is on a trajectory to merge with the cryptocurrency industry?
Probably not, well not yet at least. The patent is based upon vehicles with a conscious driver and the idea does require human interaction.
The initial news about this win for Ford has been riddled with jargon and thus quite complex and difficult to understand. Here’s my evaluation of it…
Ford understand that some drivers are in a rush and other drivers are able to drive at a leisurely pace. Obviously, personal factors come into play that might mean a driver needs to get somewhere in a hurry, say somebody is late for work for example. Other drivers, might be coming home from work, they might even be extra early and thus need a reason to slow down. Under Ford’s new initiative, certain vehicles operating on certain lanes will have technology installed that allows them to communicate with each other across the blockchain. Basically, each car will become a wallet for tokens, tokens that the patent refers to as CMMP tokens.
If a driver who is in a rush decides the time is right and they are in a safe area to do so, they can request to pass other vehicles with the in-built technology. This request would go out via an automated signal. In the slow vehicle, the driver can decide to accept or reject the request, the clever thing is that the request comes with a fee, almost a bribe. The driver in a rush will offer a certain amount of CMMP tokens to cars that are on their route, the slower, less urgent vehicles can accept the request, where they will then stop and move out of the way, allowing the quicker car to pass. In doing so, they will receive a sum of CMMP coins as a reward that they can then use should they find themselves in a similar situation in the future.
Ford outlines that this can only happen in certain areas, in specially speed derestricted lanes, similarly to what you might find on a German Autobahn. They believe that the applications of this are mainly focused around reducing congestion, if you offer cars that don’t need to be anywhere fast an incentive to pull over and let others who are in a rush through then in theory, congestion will die down.
I feel like you could make a career out of this… driving round really slowly making cars pay you to overtake? It’s a great side project for taxi drivers at least!
This is a nice idea, it’s novel and it’s inline with the future of cryptocurrency, that is, its integration into normal, everyday situations. The practicalities are cool as well, especially if the product can actually relieve congestion. If this does become a real product within cars though, hopefully Ford open it out to everyone otherwise we are going to get very fast lanes of Fords racing each other, with all the other cars stuck in the slow lanes, trying to get past each other. Either way, maybe now is a good time to buy a Ford, just in case?
Featured Image Original Source: Wikipedia Commons