On the surface, vehicles and cryptocurrencies seem to have nothing in common. However, Ford Motor Company (F) may disagree.
The Detroit-based automaker has applied for a patent with the USPTO for a “cooperative vehicle” platoon with a cryptocurrency-based vehicle-to-vehicle communication module. The patent claims that it may reduce traffic congestion by coordinating the speeds of individual cars in a traffic jam. When they reach a barrier or congestion, the vehicles, which are equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems, arrange traffic into a platoon configuration. They do this by placing themselves in predictable areas and moving at consistent rates.
Their mobility also aids in the adjustment of neighboring traffic speeds. “Normally, human drivers strive to maximize individual journey time. However, when a traffic cataract is encountered, precedence shifts from individual travel time preferences to group flow rate through the traffic cataract (a reference to the impending traffic congestion from blocked lanes),” wrote the patent’s authors. (For additional information, read Which Industries Will Blockchain Disrupt Next.)
Cryptocurrency tokens are employed in the patent’s Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass (CMMP) system. Vehicles that need to pass other vehicles may do so by paying them. “The CMMP tokens are utilized to authenticate and approve a transaction in which merchant cars either occupy slower lanes of traffic themselves, or enable the consumer vehicle to merge into their own lane and pass as appropriate,” the patent’s authors wrote. They use the example of a motorist spending 60 CMMP tokens for a 10-minute period at a rate of 10-second preferential access per token to demonstrate this situation. (For further information, see How Ford Makes Money.)
Other Uses for Cryptocurrenciesin Automobiles
While Ford’s cryptocurrency use case is novel, it is not the only one. Other automakers have jumped on the blockchain bandwagon as well. Toyota Motors Corporation (TMC), for example, declared last year that it intended to utilize blockchain to gather and analyze data linked to autonomous automobiles. Last year, the research and consulting company Ernst & Young (E&Y) introduced Tesseract, a blockchain-based ridesharing network. The platform employs smart contracts to permit community car ownership through tokens or current currency. Blockchain, according to Paul Brody, the firm’s Global Innovation Leader, will allow real “peer-to-peer contact amongst owners with minimum infrastructure needs” in the car business. (For additional information, read Blockchain Is a Game Changer in Advertising.)
Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is very dangerous and speculative, and this article is not a suggestion by Investopedia or the author to do so. Because every person’s circumstance is different, a knowledgeable specialist should always be contacted before making any financial choices. Investopedia makes no guarantees or warranties about the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided on this site. The author owns 0.01 bitcoin as of the day this post was published.
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