US DOT wants to fund research into crypto token incentives for drivers

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program this week unveiled a series of proposed research areas, including one that proposes to study the use of crypto tokens to incentivize approaches to what he calls “consumer use of modalities”.

The information was included in a pre-solicitation notice published on January 6. According to the document, the research area envisions that, as the U.S. economy emerges from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, parking spaces for consumers, workers and other drivers will become limited.

“This potential shortage of shared parking resources, along with the uncertainty of finding open space without coordination, presents an opportunity to influence commuter decisions in real time,” the DOT said, continuing, explaining:

“A new strategy using blockchain technology would provide a dynamic approach to encourage alternatives to driving. For example, travelers can spend tokens to reserve a parking space or receive tokens for agreeing to use a different mode of transportation. With seats being reserved and scarce, the system may offer increasing incentives, or tokens, for travelers to choose not to reserve a space or to take a different mode, such as public transport and other mobility options. shared. Blockchain technology could facilitate tracked and reliable payment transactions and provide verification to ensure users can access reserved parking space or deserved incentives. “

In addition, the use of blockchain technology could ensure transparent real-time information on travel incentives; provide secure decentralized management of tokens and ensure data credibility; enable the use of new gamification strategies among users as an added incentive, and to facilitate coordination and scaling of the system across multiple facilities, ”the DOT document continued.

Admittedly, the field of research as it is envisaged is precocious; specific funding, the number of which is not determined according to the document, calls for the production of a proof of concept report for a mobile application through which the incentives would be distributed. The follow-up phases would focus on a pilot program.

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