Jaguar’s Smart Wallet rewards drivers for reporting traffic jams and potholes

Increased connectivity inevitably makes cars more expensive by adding a degree of complexity. Jaguar-Land Rover is testing an intriguing feature that promises to let buyers recoup at least some of their investment by allowing their car to record important data and send it back to the automaker or to select third-party companies. It’s part of an effort to mine as much real-time, real-world data as possible.

Still in the pilot phase, Jaguar’s Smart Wallet technology aims to fight privacy anxiety by rewarding drivers who allow their cars to detect traffic jams, weather conditions, and even potholes. The firm is using its F-Pace and the Range Rover Velar made by sister company Land Rover to test the technology in and around its software engineering center in Shannon, Ireland.

Jaguar published a brief video to demonstrate how the technology works. Though spectacularly light on details, the flick suggests the car’s front-facing camera scopes out the road ahead to detect when traffic is at a standstill, when the road is icy or wet, and when there is a hole in the pavement. How? Your guess is as good as ours. Contacted by Digital Trends, Jaguar explained it can’t reveal the hardware it’s using yet because the technology is still part of a research project. What we do know is that the car sends out an alert if it detects something abnormal.

Traffic information gets sent to navigation providers and used to provide more accurate alternate routes. Pothole warnings are transmitted to the local authorities, though it’s not too far-fetched to imagine other motorists could also receive an alert before they damage a wheel by driving over a hole the size of a cauldron. Other companies — including Volvo and Mercedes-Benz — already equip some of their cars with vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology that lets cars warn each other when they detect ice patches and other road hazards. Adding potholes to the list of problems cars can talk about would take the feature to the next level.

The feeling of being a good Samaritan isn’t enough for most drivers, so motorists will earn cryptocurrency as they report road conditions. Jaguar hasn’t specified whether it’s doling out Bitcoin or something else. Regardless, drivers can then use the digital money stored in their car’s dashboard to pay for tolls or parking, to charge their electric car, and even to buy a coffee at participating retailers.

“There is no theoretical limit to the amount drivers can earn, but it would depend on the type of driving scenarios the vehicle is exposed to and the services that the user has opted to use,” a Jaguar spokesman told Digital Trends. He added that “the data would be anonymous where possible and the minimum transmitted where necessary.”

You’ll still be able to use the Smart Wallet if you live in an area with no tolls, no traffic jams, and perfectly-paved roads. Jaguar noted drivers can top up their account using what it calls conventional payment methods. The company declined to say when — or if — the feature will reach production. As of 2019, it already lets owners of compatible models pay for fuel using the touchscreen embedded in their car’s dashboard if they fill up at participating Shell stations.

Cars

Can big rebates lure Tesla owners into Jaguar’s segment-bending I-Pace?

Jaguar wants Tesla owners to step into its stores and drive home in an I-Pace, its first and only electric car. The company is offering motorists who can prove there is a Tesla in their household a $3,000 rebate.
Cars

Camaro vs. Mustang: Differences and similarities between two premier pony cars

The Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang are two of America's favorite sports cars. In this comparison piece, we highlight the main differences between the two machines when it comes to their design and performance, among other factors.
Cars

The best family cars you can buy combine practicality, tech, driving pleasure

The perfect family car should exude value, without sacrificing practicality. Thankfully, there are a host of family cars that do just that, including a three-row SUV and one of the best stations wagons ever built.
Cars

Bosch wants to give your car’s instrument cluster a full 3D makeover

Bosch is working on integrating passive 3D technology into your car's dashboard. The company's research shows drivers view and interpret information much faster when it's presented in 3D.
Cars

2020 Honda Civic hatchback keeps the manual-transmission faith

The 2020 Honda Civic hatchback was treated to a subtle exterior facelift. Honda also expanded the availability of both the manual transmission and 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
Cars

2019 Audi E-Tron is the first electric car to earn top IIHS safety rating

The 2019 Audi E-Tron is the first electric car to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. But the IIHS hasn't tested the Audi's two main rivals -- the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X.
News

UPS partners with TuSimple to test self-driving semi-trucks

UPS has been carrying truckloads of goods in self-driving semi-trucks since May. The vehicles are being tested in Arizona routes between Phoenix and Tucson for better service and efficiency for UPS delivery.
Cars

Vintage Electric readies the Roadster Speed Merchant, a souped-up ebike

Vintage Electric introduced the latest in its line of retro-styled premium performance ebikes for fall 2019. The Vintage Roadster gets styling cues from board track racing motorcycles and its power from a 1,123-watt battery.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are some of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

Infiniti’s Formula One-inspired Project Black S may enter production

The Infiniti Project Black S is a Q60 luxury coupe enhanced with a Formula One-inspired hybrid powertrain. The 563-horsepower car can sprint from zero to 62 mph in under four seconds, according to Infiniti.
Cars

Toyota raises the curtain on 2020 Corolla Nightshade Editions

The 2020 Toyota Corolla SE sedan and hatchback with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) will be available in Nightshade Editions, joining the Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, and Sienna with the blacked-out trim style option.
Cars

Here’s why your Uber or Lyft car always seems to be a Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is one of the most popular cars sold in the United States, and not just with retail buyers. Uber and Lyft drivers love the Camry for its reliability, according to a new report.
Cars

The electric Volkswagen ID Buggy makes even Ferrari drivers stop and stare

Volkswagen traveled to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to introduce an electric dune buggy named ID Buggy, and Digital Trends drove it in California. It's a modern-day tribute to the 1960s Meyers Manx.
Cars

Infiniti will take on BMW and Mercedes-Benz with its own crossover coupe

Launching in 2020, the Infiniti QX55 will be a crossover coupe similar to models that have proven successful for BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Infiniti said the QX55 will have styling influenced by its early 2000s FX.