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Automatic payment protocol for autonomous cars

4 November 2016

A conjecture about the need to standardize payments made by autonomous vehicles.

There has long been talk of developing, and currently marketing, self-driving cars. It was in 2009 when Google showed its first prototype of a self-driving car. First of all, it was a vehicle adapted with sensors that interpreted the environment and drove the car.

Some time later they realized that this was not the next step in moving the world forward, but that the next step was a vehicle (or a means of transportation without the need to be a car) that would move intelligently. ligant by itself. Get closer to the current Google Self-Driving Car project.

The issue of autonomous cars, reinventing the car and transportation industry, the need to forget what today's cars are like by adding improvements and focusing on creating tomorrow's transportation; these are (among other things) very interesting topics, but they are not the focus of today's article.

Today we focus on thinking that all these vehicles will have to be smart (beyond their own driving), they will need to communicate with each other, optimize resources, have smart use even when stationary, and much more. month. But there is also something that would be interesting for them to have, and it is a standard payment protocol.

Autonomous vehicles need a payment protocol that allows them to act on their own regardless of whether they carry occupants (or drivers) or not.

It is still half-resolved and now we have the opportunity (which will not happen) to create a generic protocol for all brands, users, applications and infrastructures so that these new vehicles share a technology to make payments. With this protocol it would be much easier and clearer for everyone to integrate this technology: from car manufacturers to software or infrastructure developers with the need to make payments.

They could pay for themselves from their stay in a parking lot (even considering that they may have gone to the parking lot, parked and left without any occupants in the vehicle), also in blue zones, toll payments, taxes or ITV type reviews, and why not, also make the payment of consumer goods: the supermarket when collecting the purchase, the fast food restaurant with vehicle service, etc.

The auto industry is about to undergo radical changes, and estimates suggest that the adoption of autonomous vehicles will grow almost exponentially. There is now the opportunity to create a standard payment protocol that can be widely adopted and make life easier for users and businesses. But it certainly won't happen.

This is the same situation experienced with mobile payments, where the big players have struggled to impose and popularize their method. The end result may be that each brand (or group of brands) will try to promote its own protocol and the rest (infrastructure, developers and users) will have to adapt.