Ford Awarded Patent for Car-to-Car Crypto Transactions
Ford was awarded a new patent that suggests the automaker is considering using crypto in vehicle communication as a way to reduce traffic.
The patent, published Tuesday, is titled “Vehicle-to-vehicle cooperation to marshal traffic” and was filed back in September 2016. Its main focus is finding ways to reduce traffic congestion by enabling vehicles to communicate with each other to coordinate speeds, which would counteract, as they say, “the psychology of human drivers who focus on their individual travel time preferences.”
The system detailed in the patent is called “Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass (CMMP) system” that enables driving behavior to be “monitored, recorded, and evaluated in a collective manner by themselves and other participating vehicles.”
How crypto comes into this is explained by the integration of a CMMP token that could be used to facilitate messages among vehicles, as the patent explains: “The CMMP tokens are used to validate and authorize a transaction in which, at consumer vehicles' request, the merchant vehicles either occupy slower lanes of traffic themselves, or allow the consumer vehicle to merge into their own lane and pass as necessary.”
The document further states, “For example, a driver of a consumer vehicle which is running late for an appointment may request to pass any participating merchant vehicles for a duration of 10 minutes on a particular road or highway for 60 CMMP tokens, at a rate of 10 seconds preferential access per token.”
Last year, the company published a job posting for a blockchain engineer, showing their interest in the technology. Back then, Trustnodes reported them saying, “We are looking for a strategic thinker and researcher to lead and pioneer work in the branch of Blockchain technology applied to mobility use cases that would help deliver superior user experiences for our customers.”
Meanwhile, other automakers are also looking exploring blockchain technology. German Porsche revealed their collaboration with XAIN, a startup from Berlin, aiming to test blockchain applications in vehicles, while a London-based start-up is working with another German automaker BMW to use blockchain to make sure their electric vehicle batteries contain only cobalt that is not the result of child labor.