Jaguar Land Rover will pay you cryptocurrency to hand over driving data

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Jaguar Land Rover has partnered up with cryptocurrency IOTA to add several crypto-related options to its cars. 

Most importantly, drivers will be able to earn cryptocurrency by allowing the car to hand over some driving data. These coins will be redeemable for things such as coffees, parking tickets and electric car charging, the company announced Monday.

This technology, which is currently undergoing testing at Jaguar Land Rover, will allow the car to automatically report "useful" road conditions, like traffic congestion or potholes to entities such as navigation providers or local authorities. If the car owner allows this, they will get "credits" — presumably IOTA coins, though it's not specified — which will be redeemable for a variety of products and services.

Ideally, you should be able to turn this on and after a certain mileage have the car pay for, say, a road toll fee all by itself. Owners will be able to top-up their "smart wallet" with additional credits themselves should they desire to do so. And in the future — when and if cars become truly autonomous — all of this could happen without the owner even being in the car. 

"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," Russell Vickers, Jaguar Land Rover Software Architect, said in a statement. 

The sorts of micropayments required for this service going global aren't typically practical on blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, but IOTA has a different underlying ledger technology called Tangle which requires no transaction fees, and is (according to IOTA) much faster than blockchain-based coins.

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There's no word on when this technology could show up in a car you can actually buy. We've asked IOTA about it and will update this post when we hear from them.

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