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Crypto Transactions Between Intelligent Cars Imagined by Ford

Mar 30, 2018

What do rush hour traffic and cryptocurrencies have in common? Currently, the answer is “nothing”, though recent developments may change this dynamic. A subsidiary of Ford has been awarded a patent allowing the car manufacturer to implement technology into their vehicles which would effectively enable them to communicate with other cars on the road. The patent, which is titled “Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass (CMMP),” entails using a GPS coordinated blockchain system for inter-car communication and planning the most efficient route for drivers.

CCMP is a token-based system which would allow customers to essentially pay their way through traffic. Utilizing a connected blockchain network, a driver would be granted “preferential lane access” when roads are busy. In exchange, the driver would send tokens to other vehicles on the road, which would be required to drive in slower traffic lanes. The number of tokens that a driver would receive from voluntarily slowing their commute would be calculated through the time saved by the driver that is paying, or the time given up by the recipient. This system may also be used to pay road tolls, further increasing the efficiency of travel.

Though this development may eventually change the way we drive and navigate traffic, there are several potential concerns that exist. First, the token system would collect and monitor the data of drivers on the road. The recent data breach scandal at Facebook, and subsequent potential for stricter regulations on how companies are required to manage customer’s information, may concern customers. Second, the CCMP system requires the cooperation of nearly all the cars on the road. Rival car manufacturers would be required to implement the technology into their own vehicles and may require compensation for agreeing to do so. It would also necessitate the support from enough drivers for the system to function efficiently.  This patent undoubtedly provides revolutionary potential, but there are several hurdles that need to be overcome.