Vehicle license plates have not changed much in concept, since the car was invented more than a century ago, but in recent years more digital license plates have been talked about. Now, drivers in Dubai are ready to test them.
Dubai will start testing digital "smart plates" on some vehicles next month, according to the BBC. The argument of the Dubai Highway and Transportation Authority for the test is that these devices will allow a faster emergency response if the driver is in a crash or if the vehicle is stolen. Services such as renewal of registration, tolls and parking fines can also be deducted instantly from the owner of the vehicle.
But because GPS is installed in license plates, there is concern about privacy. The license numbers can be modified by the transport authority remotely, which means they could be hacked. The BBC also said that Dubai's desert climate with heat and sand can also pose a challenge to technology.
California passed a bill in 2013 to begin permitting digital license plate testing, and they began to be implemented earlier this year. Plate readers and tracking are also nothing new for law enforcement agencies, and these smart cards could take it to a new level. What happened to a metal plate again?