If we were to compare the evolution of the car with the evolution of the license plate, we’d see a huge difference in progress.
After all, we are now closer than ever to the idea of the flying car, while license plates have not changed since their invention. Of course, there are some changes in the materials used and general design, but it’s still a piece of aluminium that doesn’t offer any room for customization!
Not to mention that the registration process is lengthy, difficult, and requires a good deal from your nerves. So is the electronic license plate the change we’ve been waiting for?
If you’re not familiar with the concept, an electronic license plate is a smart device that replaces the standard plates. The device was first designed by Compliance Innovations, a company from South Carolina, and they are quite hopeful that the future will bring more for their product.
How Would Our Future Look Like?
If electronic plates catch on, it could change the way we register our cars for good. Right now, if you decide to switch from regular to private number plates, you must go through a new registration process, and get new plates. Still, with a special device mounted on your car, the registration authority could simply send a message to your plates, and the old number will be replaced with the new one.
But it’s not just about making the registration process easier! LCD screens mounted on our cars, with communication possibilities, open up a world of opportunities for police, DMVs, and even advertisers.
Opportunities for the Police
Vehicles get stolen every day and reckless drivers tend to forget to pay their insurance or taxes. Right now, the only way to identify them is by checking the car’s documents and running the plates through a database. Of course, big cities also offer access to the CCTV system, but this is not the case everywhere.
Electronic plates would have the possibility to communicate with other cars and display messages that can’t be controlled by the driver. For instance, if the insurance is expired, the plate would simply display “UNINSURED” – who would dare risk such an exposure?
Another great example is in the case of auto theft. The police would have the possibility to send out a signal towards all plates and flag the one that was stolen or tampered with.
Opportunities for the DMV
The DMVs everywhere deal with a slow registration process and the ability to streamline it would save both time and money. Such plates are extremely useful for companies that own entire fleets and must go through the renewal process, but it would also help the average Joe, who only owns one car.
The new electronic plate could display important information such as Amber alerts or Weather Warnings. If they will be fitted with GPS, these devices could log speeding incidents on the spot and simply send the details to the nearest authorities. Electronic plates could be the answer to traffic accidents and illegal behaviour on the road!
Opportunities for Advertisers
We live in a world where advertisements are everywhere, so why not have them on electronic plates? While it may seem annoying, it may also be useful to see an interesting advertisement when you’re stuck in a traffic jam – it diversifies things.
But there are more opportunities for drivers as well – according to the producing company, the plates will be able to display personalised messages, from one driver to another (or to the world). This would definitely make things more fun on the road and it will give you the chance to make new acquaintances.
Is this a Viable Option?
The South Carolina Company already has a prototype in testing, but there’s still a lot to work out before we’ll see such devices on our cars. For now, the aspects that concern us the most are durability, cost, visibility in the sunlight, and reliability.
After all, an LCD screen attached to a car must withstand vibrations, bumps, debris, dust, and dirt. Not to mention that warning messages are of no use if you can’t actually see them in daylight! Finally, the cost of an aluminium plate is quite affordable, but a smart plate may be expensive and difficult to maintain.
For now, the idea of electronic plates is right next to the idea of flying cars, but who knows? Maybe there will come a time when both will be extremely normal.