EMPLOYING BLOCKCHAIN TO CIRCUMVENT ROAD CONGESTION

The time daily travelers around the globe waste on the road is snowballing, influencing the economic growth and the health of the commuters as they suffer from more fatigue, stress, pollution, and premature deaths. Regardless of colossal public endeavors and billions of dollars disbursed to ease traffic congestion, the situation continues to worsen inevitably.

To counter this problem, the blockchain technology is being utilized. The user is levied considering the extent of congestion of the zone he has entered or is driving in. Congestion charging intends to reduce and distribute traffic to ameliorate journey times and lessen the impact of transportation on the environment. This pricing scheme makes the drivers conscious of the charges that would be imposed upon them while driving through the congestion zones during the peak hours, making users more mindful of the adverse impacts on the environment.[1]

The toll differs depending on the time of the day (higher amid peak hours), class of the vehicle (higher for oversized and polluting vehicles) and geography (higher for prime areas)[2]. The platform acts as a traffic management tool comprising of road-side sensors and satellites that impose taxes based on the mentioned criteria, generating revenue which would be used for enhancing the road infrastructure.

The blockchain technology is extremely crucial to have a superior payment medium. In simple terms, Blockchain is a linked and secured a list of records for recording transactional information which enables other applications, technologies, and platforms to be built onto it with maximized privacy. The implementation of blockchain in congestion charging is pivotal due to following reasons[3]:

  • Automatic deduction of the toll from the blockchain-enabled digital wallet or the credit card of the user
  • Simple and secure taxing of vehicles as well as infrastructures, for example, recharging stations and parking areas
  • A blockchain-enabled identity of every user would encompass a proof of age, insurance, identity while protecting the secrecy of the user and providing a protected payment mechanism
  • The transactions would be based on standard models governed by special contracts which would guarantee enhanced tax collection and reporting of the trips taking place

Ride-pooling and autonomous vehicles coupled with blockchain technology would bring an impressive change in urban transportation, by creating an array of new solutions that were unimaginable.

[1] Congestion pricing

[2] Road user charging

[3] Blockchain for Traffic Congestion