In a document released last week, it was revealed that the US motor giant Ford was awarded a patent to alleviate traffic congestion on American roads. The patent, Vehicle-to-Vehicle Cooperation to Marshal Traffic is designed to evaluate driver behavior to improve coordination by drivers on the road by communicating with each other en route aided by blockchain technology.
The proposed concept, the Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass System (CMMP) will allow participating monitors to monitor and record other driver behaviors along with their own in order to improve traffic flow and ease congestion. The patent suggests that traffic congestion occurs when one or more lanes of a multilane road are blocked, for example, because of a construction or an accident. The blocked lanes impede traffic flow which is further exacerbated by the psychological traits of other drivers.
The system would allow for participating vehicles to drive at higher speeds in less occupied lanes. Other drivers (merchants) then voluntarily drive in the slower lanes in order for faster drivers to merge into their lane and pass, thus maintaining traffic flow.
The CMMP system will operate with individual token-based transactions, where the merchant vehicles and the consumers’ vehicles agree to trade units of cryptocurrency (CMMP tokens). The tokens validate a transaction in which a ‘consumer’ has requested that a ‘merchant’ occupy the slower lane.
Time allotted to each request will be based on the number of CMMP tokens to spent at that time. The patent explains:
“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.”
Ford states that is looking to further develop the idea by seeking blockchain research expertise in order to deliver the best user experiences for its customers.
Blockchain technology is being utilized increasingly in innovated projects around the globe that are designed to improve the conditions of everyday users in daily life.