Ford files patent for car-to-car cryptocurrency technology

Ford files patent for car-to-car cryptocurrency technology

US automotive giant Ford has become the latest major player to file for a patent relating to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, according to reports.

Published on Tuesday, the Ford patent is designed to protect a system of “vehicle-to-vehicle cooperation to marshal traffic,” a model that looks at ways of allowing cars to communicate with one another to ease traffic flows and improve congestion.

The technology will allow different vehicles to communicate and coordinate their respective speeds, allowing for the most efficient allocation of travel according to current levels of congestion, according to the carmaker.

As opposed to the current system, where individual drivers focus on their own preferred timescales and speeds when driving, the Ford model could allow different vehicles to establish the most efficient speeds between them, for more efficient transport overall.

The patent application documents a so-called “Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass (CMMP) system,” which would collect real-time data about different vehicles and driving behaviour, before allowing for algorithmic analysis of the most effective variables for efficient transport.

“This system would temporarily allow for particular cooperative vehicles (sometimes referred to as ‘consumer vehicles’) to drive at higher speeds in less-occupied lanes of traffic and also to merge and pass freely when needed. Other participating cooperative vehicles (sometimes referred to as ‘merchant vehicles’) voluntarily occupy slower lanes of traffic to [allow] the consumer vehicle to merge into their lanes and pass as needed,” the patent application stated.

The application goes on to describe how a new currency, referred to as CMMP tokens, could be used to carry messages between vehicles, and to establish the most efficient traffic priorities: “The CMMP system operates with individual token-based transactions, where the merchant vehicles and the consumers’ vehicles agree to trade units of cryptocurrency.” The CMMP tokens can be used to validate and authorize a transaction, such as occupying slower lanes of traffic, or merging into another lane and pass as necessary.

“For example, a driver of a consumer vehicle which is running late for an appointment may request to pass any participating merchant vehicles for a duration of 10 minutes on a particular road or highway for 60 CMMP tokens, at a rate of 10 seconds preferential access per token,” according to Ford.
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