Media Land Rover

Credits could pay for EV charging

Drivers can earn cryptocurrency and make payments on the move using innovative connected car services being tested by Jaguar Land Rover.

Using ‘Smart Wallet’ technology, owners earn credits by enabling their cars to automatically report useful road condition data such as traffic congestion or potholes to navigation providers or local authorities.

Drivers could then redeem these for rewards such as coffee, or use them to automatically pay tolls, parking fees and for smart charging electric vehicles.

‘Smart Wallet’ uses cryptocurrency technology and Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with the IOTA Foundation to harness ‘distributed ledger’ technologies to make and receive payments, avoiding the need to hunt for loose change or sign up to multiple accounts to pay for a variety of everyday services.

It requires no transaction fee to operate and transactions will get faster across the entire network, forecast to include some 75 billion connected devices by 2025. Drivers could also top up the ‘Smart Wallet’ using conventional payment methods.

The advanced connected technology is being trialled at the new Jaguar Land Rover software engineering base in Shannon, Ireland, where engineers have already equipped several vehicles, including the Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Velar, with ‘Smart Wallet’ functionality.

The research forms part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Destination Zero strategy which aims to achieve zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

The vehicle plays an integral role as a data gatherer in the smart city of the future, the services promoting reduced congestion with the sharing of live traffic updates and offering alternative routes to drivers and reducing tailpipe emissions from idling in traffic.

“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,” Jaguar Land Rover software architect Russell Vickers says.

IOTA Foundation partnerships director Holger Kother says its distributed ledger technology is 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.

Supported by the Irish Development Agency, the Shannon team is also developing the next generation of electrical architecture as well as exploring advanced driver assistance systems features for future vehicles.