We’re all familiar with blockchain’s role in disrupting industries. It’s potential to tackle different issues has led companies across the globe to invest in developing the technology. One of its potentials is of significant interest to the automobile industry, particularly when coupled with other new technologies. In this case, a distributed ledger, IOTA, is being levered as a solution for IoT applications.
Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s largest auto manufacturer, announced a partnership with the non-profit IOTA Foundation to reward drivers with cryptocurrency for data reporting. By using the blockchain network IOTA, Jaguar allows users to enable their cars to report automatically useful data about the condition on the road to navigation providers or local authorities.
— IOTA (@iotatoken) April 29, 2019
What’s this partnership about?
Let’s say you’re on your way to work and there’s a car accident blocking two lanes, increasing your commute by 20 minutes. Your car, which is equipped with IoT sensors, will provide data through IOTA’s distributed ledger, Tangle, which will directly be transmitted to service providers such as Waze, and the city’s authorities.
By providing information like traffic congestion, potholes, gas station prices, available parking spaces, air quality and even the weather, users will earn IOTA tokens in return.
According to Jaguar, they can even be used to pay for electric charging on the move.
“‘Smart Wallet’ removes the need for drivers to hunt for loose change or sign up to multiple accounts to pay for a variety of everyday services.”
Drivers can also use conventional payment methods to top-up the wallet. According to IOTA, the forecast is that the smart wallet feature will have 75 billion connected devices by 2025.
“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,” said Russell Vickers, Jaguar Land Rover’s Software Architect.
Jaguar’s software engineering centre is conducting the pilot in Shannon, Ireland. They have also equipped the technology to several vehicles such as the Jaguar F-PACE and the Range Rover Velar. According to IOTA’s co-founder, Dominik Schiener, the smart wallet technology can be “easily adapted into all new vehicles.”
According to the press release, this is part of the company’s Destination Zero goal to “achieve zero emissions, zero accidents, and zero congestion.”
The subsidiary of Tata Motors didn’t reveal the date the product will be commercially available.
What is IOTA?
The IOTA token is based on a DLT that enables users and machines to transfer data and money with no transactions fees. Differently from bitcoin’s use of a blockchain data structure, IOTA bets on a directed acyclic graph (DAG) to increase transaction throughput and achieve scalability.
IOTA is categorized as a ‘crypto token specially designed and optimized for the IoT’. Designed to support the 4th industrial revolution and the machine economy, IOTA is at the same time a cryptocurrency and a system for fee-less micropayments. It differs from other coins since it’s possible to transact one coin (which costs less than 1 cent in USD) in exchange for a task. In Tangle’s DAG based ledger, there are no blocks. Instead, transactions are confirmed by two parent transactions, and that results in a network structure that is represented by a directed graph with no directed cycles. The structure is then much lighter, resembling a never-ending tree.
By providing the platform to manage and use information in a more effective way, IOTA creates an economy of things where computing power from smart devices is shared anywhere in the world in real-time.
IOTA’s potential is being developed by companies that want to explore new business-to-business models “by making every technological resource a potential service to be traded on an open market in real time, with no fees.”
Behind IOTA’s DLT is IOTA Foundation, a non-profit open-source organization. Based in Berlin, the foundation fosters research and development, as well as the adoption of its technologies in real-world use-cases.
MIOTA is a unit of IOTA. The M stands for ‘mega’, so that means 1 MIOTA is equivalent to 1 million IOTAS. All exchange platforms trade IOTAS on the MIOTA scale.
Following the press release, the price spiked of MIOTA increased by 11.6%.
IOTA’s leading the game in IoT connected infrastructures
IOTA’s ventures with automobile giants aren’t new. Last year in August, Audi announced a partnership with IOTA to develop a permissionless mobility ecosystem using Tangle. This partnership, aiming to build an IoT-based inter-communication system, opened a list of opportunities for IOTA.
Just a couple of months later, IOTA partnered with Volkswagen – of which Audi is part of – to develop a blockchain-based product, the DigitalCarPass.
Digital CarPass can be seen as a passport for a vehicle based on a distributed ledger to ensure data such as mileage is reliable and trustworthy.
Beyond automobiles, IOTA’s Tangle system was deployed as a decentralized data marketplace. The partnership between Bosch and IOTA allows users to share data securely on a shared peer-to-peer encrypted channel. On this marketplace, users can also buy or sell data since the identity of the source remains anonymous.
Mobility’s new face
Smart cars are a product of the 4th revolution. This revolutionary way for us to drive and stay in touch with the world at the same time offers a wide variety of benefits and applications. Implementing blockchain – or other DLTs – is one way to leverage IoT, providing an added layer of trust to the ecosystem. The entire world of transportation can benefit from this collaboration, as connected cars can interact not only with other vehicles but also with specifically designated providers, fostering a safer journey to all.
Technology is playing a major role here, as our current urban context shifts 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 move forward in adopting new technologies.