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The mundane vehicle license plate, along with the windshield wiper a virtually unchanged vestige from the dawn of the automobile, is in the midst of a 21st-century makeover.

Several companies are applying digital technology to what has long been just a slab of metal, in hopes of making it cheaper to update your vehicle’s registration — and turning it into a portal to the connected world.

Such changes benefit the vehicle owner as well as state motor vehicle regulators, according to Reviver Auto, a company in Foster City, Calif., that has developed technology to swap old-fashioned stamped plates for digital screens.

The article goes on to state the following:

“This is not about a license plate,” Reviver’s chief executive, Neville Boston, said. “It’s about connection. With a digital plate, you can be all connected in just one place.”

Reviver Auto’s RPlate can be validated via cellular signal when registration fees are paid, saving a state the cost of postage and materials for paper renewals.

The screen can display anything, making it easy to switch designs if an owner wants to buy a vanity plate. Amber Alerts can be flashed on the plate; if the vehicle is stolen, the plate can be changed to display that fact.

When the vehicle is parked, businesses can display advertisements on the plate, even targeting a vehicle’s particular location because the plate is connected to GPS. The GPS would also allow commercial fleet owners to track their vehicles.

And an included RFID tag, for the radio frequency identification used to pay automated tolls, means there’s no need for a separate E-ZPass transponder.

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  1. Does this mean the cost of registration will go down? I know stupid question. They keep finding ways to save money but they never pass the savings along to the consumer.

    • No, they’ll actually hi up. California is charging a fee for the new plate and a monthly fee for the service that tracks the plate’s signal.

  2. Umm in a word NO! What happens when it breaks? Gets broken from bumping something or having someone back into your car etc… Then who pays for it ?? And what of these “Businesses” advertising ? What if you don’t like a business ? I say just keep the prisoners busy …

  3. This is a bad idea. We are already “tracked” via our phones, we don’t need our vehicles tracked too. Technology is wonderful, but sadly, Security and Reliability aren’t foremost on companies minds when they push new products. I resent being FORCED to use the “smartphone” for more and more “daily necessities”, and I find societies dependence on these devices both frightening and sad !!!

    • Exactly… Why the hell would someone allow themself to be spied on? WTF.
      The only person who would want one of these pieces of trash is a FOOL.

  4. I am with AFMomXs2 the comment and concerns are spot on. No the cost of registration will to go down and hacking will become a cottage industry, and no I don’t want everyone knowing who I am and where I am, and of course a government like the one they have in California having access to everyone, everywhere, all the time, might just as well off themselves as soon as they own a car, it will be like being a prisoner on parole.

  5. Loss of privacy and personal information would probably be at risk. I don’t like this at all. Scary to me.

  6. Wow, I agree with everyone – our privacy is already on a slippery slope and this would be an unbelievable intrusion. Advertising for businesses? And who would get the revenue from that? There is only one thing I can think of that would be a really good use of this new technology and that would be stolen vehicles, kidnappings that sort of thing…but I still don’t want one!

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