The future of cars could be crypto if a patent filed by Ford is anything to go by. According to a document published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the motoring manufacturer submitted a patent application for a new vehicle-to-vehicle communication system on March 27, 2018.
As outlined by the document, the system will form the basis of a new traffic management system that will be powered by cryptocurrency technology.
Cooperation Through Cryptocurrency Technology
At the heart of the fledging technology is the Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass (CMMP) system. From this, Ford will develop CMMP tokens that are processed between merchant vehicles and consumer vehicles. Through a process similar to one used by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Dash, cars running the system can exchange tokens for space on the road. As one car in the network slows down, another one can essentially “pay” for a spot in the fast lane. The end result is a decentralised network of cars all working together to create a free flowing traffic system.
Although the project sounds like the work of science fiction, its fundamentals are based in reality. The Dash system is already being used to facilitate autonomous, high-speed transactions online. Unlike Bitcoin before it, Dash introduced a second tier known as master nodes. Essentially points of authority behind the main network, master nodes can help speed up transactions. Based on this, Dash has found its way into a number of industries since its launch in 2014. Web agencies such as ISFX Media and Ether Design currently accept Dash payments. However, the most interesting use cases so far come from the gaming industry.
Swift Transactions Make CMMP Possible
For lovers of classic games, Retro Towers and NestroGames currently allow users to purchase everything from Game Boy products to old consoles using Dash. Beyond being a way to make physical purchases, the crypto has also become a useful deposit method for gamers. Because Dash blocks are processed in four seconds, casino sites can offer super-fast transfer times when they accept this cryptocurrency. In contrast, modern Bitcoin casinos are at the mercy of ever-increasing processing times of up to ten minutes. It’s this type of processing speed that Ford will need if it’s going to develop a crypto communication system.
Although the patent doesn’t indicate whether Ford will create its own blockchain or link into an existing platform, the project is certainly intriguing. What will be interesting to see is how other manufacturers make use of blockchain technology and whether a central service would link different systems. For those with a love of speed, clear roads are clearly a bonus. Admittedly, it will be a while before cars are smart enough to allow BMW i8s to safely overtake the Vauxhall Corsas. However, it seems that change is inevitable. As companies like Tesla continue to push the envelope, it’s forcing other brands to think outside the box and follow suit. For fans of Ford, this may soon mean crypto cars that make merging and passing a breeze.