After five months of initial charging and payment tests, a group of researchers is ready to increase the scope of IOTA adoption in the Netherlands following “uplifting” study results, according to Invade.
Charging a Whole City
Since its inception, the Germany-based IOTA Foundation has experienced a strong draw to its protocol, with real-world use cases becoming a regular feature of the DAG-powered cryptocurrency’s narrative.
ElaadNL, a Dutch charging station and portable power manufacturer, took the reins in building IOTA-enabled car charging stations for the Netherlands–utilizing a miniature Tesla to simulate real-world scenarios.
In April, the ElaadNL test site was inaugurated by State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, Stientje van Veldhoven, alongside a suite of additional charging outlets including a fast charger, battery and charging island.
The charge station serves as a proof-of-concept for displaying IOTA’s prowess in an administrative setting and is part of a broader plan to integrate the Tangle protocol into a city-wide network of interconnected machines and devices.
Harm van den Brink, IT Architect Smart Grids and DLT expert at ElaadNL, explained to Invade:
“No back office and no communication protocol are required to operate the charging station; the transactions are exchanged directly without the use of a charge card or subscription.”
For the uninitiated, Tangle is a DAG-based network that facilitates machine-to-machine interactions in real time–including feeless micropayments and secure data transfers between nodes.
The five-month test has provided definite and conclusive evidence for researchers to plug the chargers into an IOTA-powered smart network that is capable of dispatching information and sensitive data across a city-wide node system.
The next goal is to integrate the charger into a smart network that uses IOTA for information distribution. Tangle can also collate energy usage information from various devices, allowing a smart flow of electricity to high-power demand areas.
According to van den Brink:
“The transformer can ask connected devices to do smart charging, and if they listen to that, they will get incentivized directly by sending them IOTA tokens. This will also be a proof of concept, and we expect results by the end of this year.”
Tests with Tesla
The IOTA charging station is a fully-automated kiosk that both communicates between devices and handles user micropayments. Meter values are updated every 15 minutes on the Tangle network, ensuring seamless administration and reliable information flow.
As previously mentioned, ElaadNL researchers used a miniature Tesla to test the charging stations, which also feature a QR code to facilitate payments for using the charging stations.
For now, tests are limited to electric cars and devices, as fuel-driven vehicles would require a fundamentally different mechanism for payments.
Meanwhile, van den Brink concluded:
“We are very pleased to see that this can work, even in a real machine-to-machine way. However, the software/hardware is still very experimental, and thus not ready for upscaling–in my opinion.”
Cover Photo by Alex Caselli on Unsplash