Digital currency payments in motor vehicles may not be far off, if the ideas in a new patent application from telecom giant AT&T enter real-world use.
Yesterday, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released the application, dubbed "Vehicle System with System Report Generation and Methods For Use Therewith". Within this innocuously titled document, however, is a concept for integrating cryptocurrency payments into vehicles, attributed to AT&T Mobility, a subsidiary of the firm.
Here’s how the patent’s description explains it:
Notably, the application distinguishes between blockchain-based cryptocurrencies and other iterations of electronic money – though, in the case of Beenz and e-gold, some them are currencies that did not stand the test of time.
Specific cryptocurrencies mentioned include bitcoin and monero, among others.
The application goes on to conceptualize what these payments may actually entail, including what are essentially micropayments that occur depending on what happens during a drive.
"For example, an hour highway driving may be worth only one dollar, but identification of a pothole, a damaged road sign or malfunctioning traffic signal may increase the value by differing amounts, based on the condition detected," the application explains.
The submission is AT&T’s second related to the technology. In October, the USPTO released a patent application for a kind of home subscriber server that utilizes a blockchain.
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