Will IOTA Finally Create Mainstream Consumer Adoption?
Learn more about IOTA and its announcement to reward drivers with cryptocurrencies.
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Britain’s largest car manufacturer, Jaguar-Land Rover, has announced plans to reward drivers with IOTA cryptocurrency for sharing useful driving data. The technology would install "smart wallet" technology into Jaguar-Land Rover vehicles. Drivers who opt into the program would earn IOTA cryptocurrency in exchange for sharing data such as traffic congestion, potholes or if their car participates in a ride-sharing program. The cryptocurrency could be used to pay for tolls, parking and charging for electric cars; the company is currently testing the technology at a software engineering base in Shannon, Ireland.
IOTA, with their data marketplace, launched in November 2017. They contend that their public distributed ledger architecture, in opposition to the blockchain (known as Tangle), ensures data authenticity and an audit trail of data as their Ledger enables tamper-proof data. Blockchain technology is still, in many respects, in its relative infancy, with pilots rather than profits, and anticipation rather than validation. Notably, IOTA-Jaguar Landrover technology is still in development and has no commercial release date.
Blockchain and IoT have been heavily targeting insurance, security, shipping, and solar energy, with the hope that blockchain will bring logic and order to the problems around our ability to track and manage billions of connected devices as well as store the data they produce.
Blockchain as a Reward: Autonomous Vehicles Are Underpinned by IoT
Holger Köther, director of partnerships, IOTA Foundation, said:
“Our distributed ledger technology is perfectly suited to enable machine-to-machine payments for smart charging, parking, and tolls, in addition to creating opportunities for drivers to earn their own digital currency. We are excited to partner with Jaguar Land Rover in implementing its IOTA-powered car wallet, delivering a major convenience benefit for their customers worldwide.”
What's notable is that the data being collected by the vehicle is a combination of sensor data (which the car manufacturer would otherwise collect for free anyway with the aim of aiding research and/or data monetization) and geographic data consistent with crowdsourced offerings such as Waze's community-based traffic and navigation app where drivers already share real-time traffic and road info. As we move closer to autonomous vehicles, we'll startup to see more automated vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology within cars to improve their route, travel times and safety.
The Car as a Third Place and a Market Place
Russell Vickers, Jaguar Land Rover Software Architect, said:
“The connected car technologies we are developing will be transformative and truly turn your Jaguar or Land Rover into a third space, in addition to your home or office. In the future an autonomous car could drive itself to a charging station, recharge and pay, while its owner could choose to participate in the sharing economy — earning rewards from sharing useful data such as warning other cars of traffic jams.”
This is one of the most interesting aspects of autonomous vehicles. Sociologists, like Ray Oldenburg, have been promoting the theory of “‘a third place” since the 1980s, places outside work where people can enjoy a good atmosphere and the company of others. Research by Intel in 2017 suggests that this will be one of the uses of self-driving cars during the journey, with in-vehicle services in industries, like hotel and hospitality, restaurant and dining, tourism and entertainment, healthcare, and service delivery of all kinds. For example, a car embedded with sensors can provide a health check-up of sorts with the smart data shared with the driver's health care provider. Their research focused on the yet-to-be-realized economic potential when today’s drivers become idle passengers. Coining the “Passenger Economy,” they predict an explosive economic trajectory growing from $800 billion in 2035 to $7 trillion by 2050.
We can expect that this is simply the beginning of the partnerships and offerings that IOTA will make with companies working within the autonomous vehicle industry. It will be interesting to see the progress of the car wallet — surely resistance by at least some privacy-minded consumers is inevitable. How long the product will take to go to market commercially will be anyone's guess.
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