California Rolls Out Digital License Plates
【Summary】The sleek units allow individuals to create messages and beam it over to the plate, displaying a personally crafted message on the surface.
California is in the process of adopting digital license plates. The state recently launched a pilot program in various cities, including Sacramento, while preparing for a larger roll-out event in the near future.
Individuals residing in the state may purchase the digital plates from car dealerships for $699 (the units are not available for sale at California DMV facilities). This fee does not include installation and maintenance costs. A monthly subscription fee of $7 is required to use the service.
No Stickers Required
The new plates are equipped with small computer chips, a battery pack and wireless capabilities. With the sleek unit, car owners no longer have to attach registration tags on the plate every year. The car is registered with the California DMV electronically.
From a security perspective, the digital plates can help law enforcement retrieve stolen cars. The plates enable seamless tracking of vehicles, as long as the unit is not removed from the back of the car.
This feature does come with a handful of privacy concerns. First, police could (theoretically) track almost any vehicle with the digital plate – even if it isn't stolen. Next, the feature may attract hackers and criminals looking to exploit sensitive data about the daily routines of citizens.
"Your locational history has the potential to reveal a lot more than where you happen to be at a particular moment in time," said Stephanie Lacambra, a criminal defense attorney. "It can reveal your associations, who you speak with, where you go to work, where you live."
It is important to highlight that a standard plate is still required at the front of the vehicle – a practice applicable to residents of the state. In Sacramento, a total of 24 units will be tested on the city's fleet.
Interestingly, owners of digital license plates would be able to customize the display boards. The units allow individuals to create messages and beam it over to the plate, displaying a personally crafted message on the surface. Although such features are readily available, the California DMV must first approve and set guidelines for displaying messages on the plate.
The feature is expected to attract businesses, as it can serve as an alternative form of advertising in local areas. In order to ensure license plate readings on the road are not disrupted by the messages, the license plate number is conveniently displayed in the corner of the board.
For official use, police fleets equipped with digital plates may display various types of timely announcements, such as Amber Alerts, lost pets, closed roads, city events and etc.
"Some businesses will use them as mini-billboards to advertise their products or services," said Neville Boston, founder of Reviver Auto, during an interview with The Sacramento Bee.
"The license plate number will still appear on the screen when messages pop up, but it will be smaller and tucked into the upper right corner of the screen."
Other states, including Florida, Texas and Arizona, are also in the process of adopting digital plates.
Michael Cheng is a legal editor and technical writer with publications for Blackberry ISHN Magazine Houzz and Payment Week. He specializes in technology business and digesting hard data. Outside of work Michael likes to train for marathons spend time with his daughter and explore new places.
ISO Releases Drone Standards, Addresses Trespassing and Safety
GAC Unveils the Electrified Aion S
British Columbia Pushes for Zero-emission Vehicles, Sets 2040 Deadline
Ford Open to Driverless Partnerships and Investors
Driverless Startup Apex.AI Completes Series A Round, Raises $15.5 Million
GM Hints at Flying Cars, Talks the Future of EVs
E-scooter Giant Lime to Launch EV Rental Service
Premium E-bike Maker Biomega Debuts Four-passenger EV Concept
- SEC Sues Tesla CEO Elon Musk for Lying to Investors
- Volkswagen CEO Claims Adopting EVs Can Possibly Crash the Automotive Industry
- Arizona-Intel Collaboration to Launch Driverless Research Institute
- Another Top Executive Departs Tesla, Joining Dozens of Others Who Left the Automaker in 2018
- J.D. Power Finds Infotainment Technology is Improving, Still a Large Problem for Some Automakers
- KPMG Study Names Top 20 Countries Prepared for Autonomous Vehicles
- Tesla Begins Taking Model 3 Reservations in China
- General Motors is Pushing for National Zero Emissions Program
- France Partners with Hitachi and Bosch to Launch Autonomous Trains
- AT&T and Harmon Announce the Harman Spark, a Device That Turns Any Vehicle Into a Connected Car