Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is testing new "Smart Wallet" technology, which would enable future drivers of the luxury cars earn cryptocurrency and make driving related payments on the move.
The UK's largest car manufacturer said the "earn-as-you-drive" tests would mean future owners of its models 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 their rewards, such as free coffee, or use them to automatically pay tolls, parking fees and for smart charging electric vehicles.
"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," JLR said in a statement.
Unlike other similar systems, due to its structure, Smart Wallet would require no transaction fee to operate and over time transactions will get faster across the entire network, forecast to include some 75 billion connected devices by 2025. Drivers could also top-up their Smart Wallets using conventional payment methods, JLR said.
JLR, the UK-based car giant, was acquired by Tata Motors in 2008.
"The connected car technologies we are developing will be transformative and truly turn your Jaguar or Land Rover into a third space, in addition to your home or office," said Russell Vickers, JLR Software Architect.
"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," he said.
Smart Wallet, which uses the latest cryptocurrency technology, involves a JLR partnership with next-generation blockchain IOTA Foundation to harness "distributed ledger" technologies to make and receive such payments.
"Our distributed ledger technology is perfectly 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," said Holger Kother, Director of Partnerships at IOTA Foundation.
The advanced connected technology is being trialled at the new Jaguar Land Rover software engineering base at Shannon in the Republic of Ireland, where engineers have already equipped several vehicles, including the Jaguar F-PACE and Range Rover Velar, with Smart Wallet functionality.
Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering at JLR, said: "Working with our engineering hub in the UK, the team in Shannon are pioneering and testing these sophisticated connected technologies that will help people to make the most of the time they spend in their car."
"Jaguar Land Rover is embracing autonomous, connected, electrified and shared mobility technology as we endeavour to make cars safer, cleaner and smarter for everybody."
The Irish R&D facility is focussed on developing new technologies to support electrification and self-driving features on future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.
Supported by the Irish Development Agency, JLR said its team at Shannon is also developing the next generation of electrical architecture as well as exploring advanced driver assistance systems features for future vehicles.
The company said the technology research forms part of JLR's Destination Zero strategy, which aims to achieve zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.