We all know the role of blockchain in disrupting industries. The potential to address various problems has led companies around the world to invest in developing the technology. One of its potentials is of great interest to the automotive industry, especially in connection with other new technologies. In this case, a distributed ledger, IOTA, is used as a solution for IoT applications.
Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s largest automaker, announced a partnership with the nonprofit IOTA Foundation to reward drivers with cryptocurrency for reporting data. By using the IOTA blockchain network, Jaguar users can enable their cars to automatically report useful data about the condition of the road to navigation providers or local authorities.
Jaguar Land Rover is working with the IOTA Foundation to integrate smart wallets into cars
– IOTA (@iotatoken) April 29, 2019
What is this partnership about?
Let’s say you’re on your way to work and there’s a car accident blocking two lanes and adding 20 minutes to your commute. Your car, which is equipped with IoT sensors, provides data via the distributed IOTA ledger Tangle, which is broadcast directly to service providers like Waze and the city authorities.
By providing information such as traffic jams, potholes, gas station prices, available parking spaces, air quality and even the weather, users receive IOTA tokens in return.
According to Jaguar, they can even be used to pay for electric charging on the go.
“With ‘Smart Wallet’, drivers no longer have to hunt for change or log into multiple accounts to pay for a variety of day-to-day services.”
Drivers can also use traditional payment methods to top up the wallet. According to IOTA, the smart wallet function will have 75 billion connected devices by 2025.
“In the future, an autonomous car could drive itself to a charging station, charge it and pay for it, while its owner could choose to participate in the sharing economy – and receive rewards by exchanging useful data such as warning other cars of traffic jams,” said Russell Vickers, Jaguar Land Rover software architect.
Jaguar’s software engineering center is running the pilot in Shannon, Ireland. They’ve also fitted the technology to several vehicles like the Jaguar F-PACE and the Range Rover Velar. According to Dominik Schiener, co-founder of IOTA, the smart wallet technology can “be easily adapted to all new vehicles”.
According to the press release, this is part of the company’s Destination Zero goal of “zero emissions, zero accidents and no congestion”.
The Tata Motors subsidiary did not announce when the product will be commercially available.
What is IOTA?
The IOTA token is based on a DLT that allows users and computers to transfer data and money without transaction fees. In contrast to the use of a blockchain data structure by Bitcoin, IOTA relies on a directed acyclic graph (DAG) to increase transaction throughput and achieve scalability.
IOTA is classified as a “crypto token” that has been specially developed and optimized for the IoT. IOTA was developed to support the 4th industrial revolution and the machine economy. At the same time, IOTA is a cryptocurrency and a system for free micropayments. It differs from other coins in that it is possible to make a coin (which costs less than 1 cent in USD) in exchange for a task. There are no blocks in Tangle’s DAG-based ledger. Instead, transactions are confirmed by two higher-level transactions. This leads to a network structure that is represented by a directed graph without directed cycles. The structure is then much lighter and resembles a never-ending tree.
By providing the platform for more effective management and use of information, IOTA creates an economy in which the computing power of intelligent devices is shared in real time anywhere in the world.
IOTA’s potential is being developed by companies looking to explore new business-to-business models “by turning any technological resource into a potential service that can be traded in real time in an open market with no fees”.
Behind the IOTA DLT is the IOTA Foundation, a non-profit open source organization. The Berlin-based foundation promotes research and development as well as the adoption of its technologies in real applications.
MIOTA is a unit of IOTA. The M stands for “Mega”, which means that 1 MIOTA corresponds to 1 million IOTAS. All exchange platforms trade with IOTAS on the MIOTA scale.
According to the press release, MIOTA’s price hike rose 11.6%.
IOTA is a leader in IoT networked infrastructures
IOTA’s ventures with automotive giants aren’t new. In August last year, Audi announced a partnership with IOTA to develop a permissionless mobility ecosystem with Tangle. This partnership with the goal of building an IoT-based intercommunication system opened up a list of possibilities for IOTA.
Just a few months later, IOTA developed a blockchain-based product, the DigitalCarPass, in collaboration with Volkswagen, which Audi belongs to.
Digital CarPass can be viewed as a passport for a vehicle based on a distributed ledger to ensure that data like mileage is reliable and trustworthy.
In addition to the automobile, IOTA’s Tangle system was used as a decentralized data market. The partnership between Bosch and IOTA allows users to securely exchange data on a shared peer-to-peer encrypted channel. This marketplace also allows users to buy or sell data as the source’s identity remains anonymous.
The new face of mobility
Smart cars are a product of the 4th revolution. This revolutionary way of driving and staying in touch with the world at the same time offers a multitude of advantages and uses. Implementing blockchain – or other DLTs – is one way of leveraging the Internet of Things and adding an extra layer of trust to the ecosystem. The entire transportation world can benefit from this collaboration as connected cars can interact not only with other vehicles but also with specially named vendors to promote safer travel for all.
Technology plays an important role here as our current urban context is shifting towards a “smarter” city. Connected cars will be one of the underlying structures of a smart city, and very soon this feature will be implemented on a larger scale as we introduce new technologies.