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Jaguar beats posts to the punch with smart cities tech


Jaguar beats posts to the punch with smart cities tech

Ian Kerr

Usually, as soon as I read the word “cryptocurrency” in an article, I dismiss it.

But if you put the usage of cryptocurrency to one side for a moment, the latest initiative from Jaguar Land Rover seems a good one - and it’s beating postal operators to the punch as well.

Earning on the go

New smart wallet technology from Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will allow drivers to earn credits and make payments on the move using connected car services.

Drivers earn credits when their cars automatically report road condition data - such as traffic congestion or potholes - to navigation providers or local authorities. Credits can be redeemed for rewards or used to automatically pay tolls, parking fees and for smart charging electric vehicles.

There has been talk in the postal sector (including research from the USPS OIG - listen to the interview below) on contributing to smart cities by using postal fleets to collect data such as road condition reports. Data collected on a massive scale by postal delivery fleets would create an income stream - all the more important when letter volumes are falling.

Why is JLR doing this?

This initiative forms part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Destination Zero strategy, which aims to achieve zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion. (Good luck with that.)

So what might that mean in practice? JLR suggests the connected ‘Smart Wallet’ services will promote a reduction in congestion thanks to live traffic updates and offering alternative routes to drivers, which in turn could reduce tailpipe emissions from idling in traffic.

Check out this video of how the technology could work in practice:

The technology behind the smart wallet

Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with the IOTA Foundation to harness ‘distributed ledger’ technologies to make and receive these payments. In other words… cryptocurrency.

The smart wallet requires no transaction fee to operate. JLR envisions that drivers could also top-up the ‘Smart Wallet’ using conventional payment methods.

Have the posts been caught napping?

To be fair to postal operators, this is only in the early stages of testing. Will it be a viable proposition? Here are some points to consider:

  • How much would this technology cost to install?

  • How much will the data collected earn? Enough to pay for a cup of coffee? (Perhaps not in Melbourne.) Enough to pay for a road toll? (Again, perhaps not in Melbourne. Or in Austria. Seriously Austria, your road tolls are out of this world!)

  • Will data be shared across other non-JLR platforms?

Just the same, it’s an initiative worth following. Even if it uses cryptocurrency…

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