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A recent patent granted to Ford suggests that cryptocurrency could very well disrupt the current automotive industry. Filed in 2016, the innovative Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass (CMMP) system will allow cars to communicate and reduce traffic through the use of cryptocurrency payments.

Pay for your lane with crypto

Ford’s patent, titled “Vehicle-to-vehicle cooperation to marshal traffic,” was published on Tuesday. According to the application, the current problem with traffic flow is “compounded due to the psychology of human drivers who focus on the their individual travel time preferences.” The new system aims to solve this issue by coordinating speeds between vehicles through the exchange of CMMP tokens. Token payment grants vehicles the opportunity to maneuver between lanes and get through traffic quickly. The exact price depends on the time advantage the requesting vehicle gains from changing lanes.

The patent offers several illustrations of the technology, such as the one detailed below:

“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.”

Meanwhile, cars that give up their time for another car to pass will be rewarded with tokens from fellow participating vehicles. This reward system offers an incentive for vehicles to sacrifice their time for the sake of better traffic flow. For the time being, it is unknown whether Ford will incorporate payments in other cryptocurrencies.

Ford factory

Crypto in the car industry

Ford is not the only major car manufacturer diving into crypto. Earlier this year, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, Daimler AG, presented plans for its own blockchain-based digital currency called MobiCOIN. The cryptocurrency will reward environmentally-friendly drivers with coins that can be redeemed for VIP tickets to a variety of events. Volkswagen also has its own connection to the crypto sphere, as its chief digital officer, Johann Jungwirth, joined the supervisory board of the IOTA foundation back in January. Given these developments, it looks like blockchain technology and crypto are on their way to transforming the car industry as we know it.

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