Ford Patents Crypto-enabled Car-to-Car Communication For Traffic Marshalling

American car manufacturer Ford won a patent for a vehicle-to-vehicle communication system that allows cars to drive at higher speeds in less congested lanes by paying other cars using a cryptocurrency.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company’s unit Ford Global Technologies had filed for the patent titled “Vehicle-to-vehicle cooperation to marshal traffic” in September 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office document released Tuesday showed.

According to the patent application, traffic congestion “is compounded due to the psychology of human drivers who focus on their individual travel time preferences.”

Ford proposes to overcome such situations with a Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass, or CMMP, system in which “driving behavior is monitored, recorded, and evaluated in a collective manner by themselves and other participating vehicles.”

To achieve this, cars also need to be equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, communication modules that can cooperate when in transit such as a cooperative adaptive cruise control or CACC.

The CMMP system would temporarily allow for particular cooperative vehicles, referred to as “consumer vehicles”, to drive at higher speeds in less-occupied lanes of traffic and also to merge and pass freely when needed, the patent application said.

Other participating cooperative vehicles, referred to as “merchant vehicles”, can voluntarily occupy slower lanes of traffic to facilitate the consumer vehicle to merge into their lanes and pass as needed, it added.

The company said the merchant vehicles and the consumers’ vehicles can trade units of cryptocurrency referred to as “CMMP tokens” under the proposed system.

“The CMMP tokens are used to validate and authorize a transaction in which, at a consumer vehicle 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 patent application said.

The merchant vehicles can gain these tokens from the consumer vehicle when they grant a request. Further, the number of tokens the consumer vehicle choose to spend at a particular time will determine the time allotted for that request.

“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,” the patent application said.

by Jyotsna VRTTNews Staff Writer

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