Ford To Use Cryptocurrency For Car-To-Car Communication System

Announcements, News | March 30, 2018 By:

Detroit-based car maker Ford Motors has been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a crypto-fueled technology designed to facilitate “vehicle-to-vehicle cooperation to marshal traffic.”

According to the patent, the intended utility of the new technology is the alleviation of traffic congestion through communication between vehicles to facilitate the cooperative coordination of “platoons” of vehicles. The process will use a “Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass (CMMP) system.” The CMMP system will incorporate a cryptocurrency called CMMP tokens, allowing the cars to communicate with one another. The system would also monitor and collect data on drivers.

The patent document states that the system would temporarily allow for particular consumer vehicles to drive at higher speeds in less-occupied lanes of traffic and also to merge and pass freely when needed. Merchant vehicles will voluntarily occupy slower lanes of traffic to facilitate the consumer vehicle to merge into their lanes and pass as needed.

The CMMP tokens are used to validate and authorize a transaction in which, at the consumer vehicle’s request, the merchant vehicles either occupy slower lanes of traffic themselves or allow the consumer vehicle to merge into their own lane and pass as necessary. The participating merchant vehicles gain CMMP tokens from the consumer vehicle.

The CMMP tokens would also be used as a kind of on-the-road credit within the proposed system. “In some examples, the time allotted to the request of the consumer vehicle is based on the number of CMMP tokens chosen by the consumer vehicle to be spent at that particular time,” the patent document states. “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.”

It is unclear how the system will be created and whether or not users can purchase CMMP tokens directly. But the system is a logical step in the company’s push toward what Ford CEO Jim Hackett described as “smart vehicles in a smart world.”