Drivers will be able to earn cryptocurrency and make payments on the move using new connected car services being tested by Tata Motors' Jaguar Land Rover.
Using 'Smart Wallet' technology, owners earn credits by enabling their cars to automatically report useful road condition data such as traffic congestion or potholes to navigation providers or local authorities.
Drivers could then redeem these for rewards such as coffee, or use them to automatically pay tolls, parking fees and for smart charging electric vehicles.
Smart Wallet removes the need for drivers to hunt for loose change or sign up to multiple accounts to pay for a variety of everyday services, JLR said.
Smart Wallet uses the latest cryptocurrency technology and JLR has partnered with the IOTA Foundation to use 'distributed ledger' technology to make and receive these payments.
Unlike other similar systems, due to its structure, it requires no transaction fee to operate and over time transactions will get faster across the entire network, forecast to include some 75bn connected devices by 2025. Drivers could also top up the Smart Wallet using conventional payment methods.
The advanced connected technology is being trialled at JLR's new software engineering base in Shannon, Republic of Ireland, where engineers have already equipped several vehicles with the functions.
The research forms part of the automaker's Destination Zero strategy which aims to achieve zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion. Part of reaching this target is developing a shared economy where the vehicle plays an integral role as a data gatherer in the smart city of the future.
For example, the connected Smart Wallet services will promote a reduction in congestion with the sharing of live traffic updates and offering alternative routes to drivers, reducing tailpipe emissions from idling in traffic.
"The connected car technologies we are developing will be transformative and truly turn your Jaguar or Land Rover into a third space, in addition to your home or office. 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," said software architect Russell Vickers.
"Our Shannon software development centre is advancing the use of cryptocurrency to make people's lives better, by allowing drivers to safely share data and make payments from their vehicle. Working with our engineering hub in the UK, the team in Shannon are pioneering and testing these sophisticated connected technologies that will help people to make the most of the time they spend in their car," added product engineering head Nick Rogers.
Supported by the Irish Development Agency, the Shannon team is also developing the next generation of electrical architecture as well as "exploring" advanced driver assistance systems features, JLR said.