Aaron Hetherington is looking into the camera against a picture of a car on a street at the JLR offices in Shannon.
Aaron Hetherington. Image: Connor McKenna/Siliconrepublic.com

How Jaguar Land Rover is making tracks in cryptocurrency rewards

6 Feb 2020

Aaron Hetherington, a software developer with JLR’s distributed ledger technology team, explains how drivers could receive cryptocurrency for reporting road issues.

Staff at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in Shannon are working on more than just manufacturing cars. One area of focus is the company’s connected services, which are being developed under its Destination Zero project – something JLR hopes will lead to “zero accidents, zero congestion and zero emissions”.

A smart wallet, for example, is something the JLR software engineering team in Shannon is working on. Its purpose is to let drivers earn cryptocurrency credits for sharing information that can help roads become safer and more environmentally friendly.

Aaron Hetherington, a software developer on the distributed ledger technology team, explained that JLR’s technology can track when and where a vehicle has hit a pothole, for example, so that details for repair can be sent to local councils in the UK and Ireland.

“Of course, there’s a little bit of a reward for detecting these potholes,” he added. “Using cryptocurrency like Iota, we’re able to pass this reward directly onto our customers.”

By enabling their cars to automatically report road condition data such as traffic congestion or potholes to navigation providers or local authorities, drivers will receive cryptocurrency credits that could be used to automatically pay for tolls, parking and electric charging.

Working at JLR Shannon

Hetherington also told us about his daily work and the kind of skills that are most important for a job on JLR’s distributed ledger technology team.

“There is no typical day for me,” he said. “We start with a daily stand-up. Work cycles are divided into two-week sprints, but inside that sprint I could do anything, from a documentation task of creating some documentation and some design docs to code reviews to encoding. Everything is different every day.”

“We need to obviously be able to break down larger problems into smaller, more manageable problems,” Hetherington added, noting that coding and “a small bit of cryptography” are the main skills that are needed.

And his favourite thing about working at JLR? “I work with a lot of people from diverse backgrounds – [there are] a lot of things to learn from these people,” he said. “There’s a lot of cool and interesting projects happening here Shannon.”

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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