A new patent awarded to Ford suggests the U.S. automaker is considering the use of cryptocurrency to let cars on the road communicate with each other and reduce traffic.
The patent – “Vehicle-to-vehicle cooperation to marshal traffic” – was published Tuesday and awarded to Ford Global Technologies, LLC. It focuses on ways to alleviate traffic congestion, proposing that communication to coordinate speeds between vehicles can counteract, in part, “the psychology of human drivers who focus on their individual travel time preferences.”
The document published Tuesday details a “Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass (CMMP) system” in which “driving behavior is monitored, recorded, and evaluated in a collective manner by themselves and other participating vehicles.”
The application goes on to explain:
“This system would temporarily allow for particular cooperative vehicles (sometimes 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. Other participating cooperative vehicles (sometimes referred to as ‘merchant vehicles’) voluntarily occupy slower lanes of traffic to [allow] the consumer vehicle to merge into their lanes and pass as needed.”