American car manufacturer Ford has filed a patent for an apparatus for vehicle-to-vehicle communication methods that involves the exchange of crypto tokens to facilitate traffic flow, according to a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent application published yesterday, March 27.
Traffic congestion, according to Ford’s Sept. 16, 2017 patent application, is caused when reduced traffic flow “is compounded due to the psychology of human drivers who focus on their individual travel time preferences.” The patent proposes a way to work around these individual preferences through a “Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass (CMMP)” system.
The application discusses the possibility for cars with communication models and a cooperative adaptive cruise control (CACC) to communicate with other cars through the exchange of CMMP tokens, switching their priority from the individual to the “group flow rate through the traffic cataract.”
Cars with this communication system would trade CMMP tokens in individual transactions that could, for example, have one car “occupy slower lanes of traffic” or allow another car to “merge into their own lane and pass as necessary” as a way to marshall traffic. The cars that sacrificed their individual time preferences for the good of traffic flow would receive tokens from other participating vehicles.
As another example, if a driver is “running late for an appointment,” a request could be entered to pass any vehicles for the next 10 minutes in exchange for a certain number of tokens.
Earlier this month, German car manufacturer and parent company of Mercedes-Benz, Daimler AG, introduced its own Blockchain-based digital currency that will reward environmentally friendly, responsible drivers with coins that could be redeemed for VIP events.
By Molly Jane Zuckerman