Ford Wins Patent for Cryptocurrency-Fueled Vehicle Technology
Americans could soon be doing cryptocurrency transactions from their vehicles and arriving at their destinations quicker. A subsidiary of Dearborn Mich.-based Ford Motors has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a cryptocurrency-fueled technology to power its cars. It is called the Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass (CMMP) It was filed in 2016 and was just granted to Ford Global Technologies.
CMMP is a token-based system which works within its own ecosystem but also out on the open road. It's a vehicle-to-vehicle or car-to-car communication platform on which — at the request of participating drivers and enabled by GPS technology — automobiles can talk to one another about traffic patterns. The system would also track and collect data on drivers, which during a time when Facebook has been skewered for data sharing could raise some concerns.
«The CMMP system works with individual token-based transactions, where the merchant vehicles and the consumers' vehicles agree to exchange components of cryptocurrency,» according to the patent.
It offers the consumer car «preferential lane access» during periods of heavy congestion, allowing them to weave in and out of traffic for a cost. The patent further clarifies: «merchant vehicles voluntarily occupy slower lanes of traffic to ease the consumer vehicle to merge into their lanes and pass as needed.»
Merchant vehicles are paid in CCMP tokens for giving the consumer automobile the right away. The purchase price depends on the time advantage that the consumer vehicle is asking.
The patent application describes -
«For instance, a driver of a customer vehicle that's running late for an appointment may request to pass any participating merchant vehicles for a duration of 10 minutes on a particular street or highway for 60 CMMP tokens, at a rate of 10 seconds preferential access per token.»
It doesn't say whether other cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin or XRP, are also supported.
Ford's Tech Push
It sounds like a job that could be a part of a startup's ICO, but Ford, which has committed to invest USD 11 billion in electric vehicles by 2022, doesn't mention any fundraising plans. It's also invested heavily in mobile and is pouring over USD 1 billion into artificial intelligence during the next half-decade.
A token-fueled system is a logical step in its push toward what CEO Jim Hackett described as «smart vehicles in a smart world.» Hackett was at the helm of the automaker for less than a year and was brought on to bolster Ford's tech profile.
Meanwhile, automakers have shown an interest in blockchain technology already, with Ford last year looking to hire an engineer with blockchain experience in mobile technologies and Toyota partnering with blockchain startups.