California is currently testing a new technology. After seeing a handful roaming the streets, we can now confirm that digital license plates are officially a thing.
The digital display board allows changeable messages to be controlled by the driver or remotely by fleet managers. This can be useful for a plethora of reasons, but the piquing of interests seem to be more for the vanity of the capability.
These new plates use the same computer technology as Kindle eBook readers, along with a wireless communication system. They come with their own computer chips and battery. Anyone that chooses to buy these new plates can register their vehicles electronically. This will remove them from having to physically stick tags on their plates each year. They also may be able to display personal messages – to a certain extent.
There’s More To the Technology
There’s apparently more to the technology than just looking more modern. They are also equipped with a real-time tracker.
Thus, if the car is stolen, the plate’s manufacturer says the plate can tell the owner and police exactly where the car is or at least where the license plate is if it has been detached.
A Pilot Project
For now, these plates only exist in California. This is because the state Department of Motor Vehicles is conducting a pilot project with a Bay Area company, Reviver Auto, which makes the plate and is about to begin marketing it for sale at auto dealerships.
Last week, Sacramento became the first city to test the plates. They ordered a shipment of two dozen plates for all in-house vehicles initially.
How Much Does This Cost?
Dealerships are expected to sell the plates for around $700 a pop. And that doesn’t even include paying for installation.
On top of that, there is also a monthly fee of $7 to maintain its working features and conditions.
Sacramento sees these plates as a stepping stone. Along with an upcoming Verizon 5G Wi-Fi network, the city is slated to become a national testing ground for autonomous or driverless vehicles as a whole. The goal is to create cutting-edge jobs for city residents.
The jury is out on whether or not other states or cities will order their own pilots. I imagine certain areas are just awaiting approval for a greater rollout.
In the meantime, what do you think of this? Does this excite you or could you do without it? Please leave your comments below.