Jaguar trialling smart tech

Ian Kerr investigates Jaguar’s bold new ideas around mobility in this guest post

[Credit: Jaguar Land Rover]

There is a theory that has been floating around for a few years that the delivery sector can play a role in feeding data to smart cities.

The idea is that delivery fleets could collect data, such as road condition reports, and report the data to local authorities. Data collected on a massive scale by delivery fleets would create an income stream - all the more important when margins are slim.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced it is trialling new technology in its passenger vehicles that will do all that – and more.

Earning on the go

JLR’s new “smart wallet” technology will allow drivers to earn credits and make payments on the move using connected car services.

Drivers earn credits when their cars automatically report road condition data - such as traffic congestion or potholes - to navigation providers or local authorities. Credits can be redeemed for rewards or used to automatically pay tolls, parking fees and for smart charging electric vehicles.

Why is JLR doing this?

This initiative forms part of JLR’s Destination Zero strategy, which aims to achieve zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

So what might that mean in practice? JLR suggests the connected ‘Smart Wallet’ services will promote a reduction in congestion thanks to live traffic updates and offering alternative routes to drivers, which in turn could reduce tailpipe emissions from idling in traffic.

Technology behind the smart wallet

Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with the IOTA Foundation to harness ‘distributed ledger’ technologies (cryptocurrency) to make and receive these payments.

The smart wallet requires no transaction fee to operate. JLR envisions that drivers could also top-up the ‘Smart Wallet’ using conventional payment methods.

Is this a missed opportunity for posts?

To be fair to postal operators, JLR is only in the early stages of testing its new technology. This may instead be an opportunity for postal operators to take a “wait-and-see” approach by keeping an eye on JLR’s trial.

Will it be a viable proposition? Here are just a few points to consider:

  • How much would this technology cost to install?
  • How much will the data collected earn? Enough to pay for a cup of coffee? Enough to pay for a road toll?
  • Will data be shared across other non-JLR platforms?

The potential is there – but the question remains as to how it will work in practice.

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