Dubai Testing Digital Licence Plates

Authorities in Dubai are looking at going high tech. But this time it isn't newer hypercars or better roadside cameras. It's digital licence plates.

Its Roads and Transport Authority announced earlier this week that Dubai would be starting trials of new smart plates. They would allow the information showing to change digitally without the need to actually change the plate.

Dubai would be the first city in the world to use the new smart plates, which are made by US firm Reviver Auto. They use a digital screen that the company says is visible in all conditions.

We've been using old-fashioned printed licence plates for over 100 years, and now the Dubai government thinks it's time for a change. The digital plates offer some interesting advantages over current printed versions. Like they can flash an alert if the car has been stolen, or if someone has tried to steal the plate. They can also automatically update the registration date without the need to mail a sticker. But they can also be used to track travel time and route details of the vehicle they are attached to.

Other features the RTA is looking at with the new plates are traffic alerts and warnings to be displayed to following drivers, as well as built-in toll and parking fee collection.

Closer to home, Reviver Auto expects to start making the digital plates available to buyers in California, Florida, Arizona, and Texas this year. So don't be surprised to see one on a visiting car sometime soon.

It's just a trial of the plates for now, although maybe they should be called licence tablets. And yes, they will let you change your plate number on the fly. Even if you have to pay for the RTA to do it, instead of getting some James Bond-style anonymity. 

Change your number, alert of stolen cars, and more 4/13/2018 1:05:28 PM