California, one of the havens for the most advanced technology and startups, has taken an important step forward just a few weeks ago. The American state has legalized digital car license plates, a new gadget that banishes traditional metal plates, which can be used by individuals and companies, although not exempt from conditions.
Technology is advancing at a real giant step, but not the regulations that regulate certain matters related to cars. To legalize certain aspects and technologies, in-depth studies are carried out and discussions are held with experts about their suitability and permissiveness, which always has some important issues to deal with on the table.
The West Coast state, a paradise par excellence for startups specializing in advanced technologies, has been the first in the United States to legalize digital license plates for cars. At the end of last September, the governor of California signed the law “AB 984”, which considers electronic license plates legal -also in Arizona and Michigan, and only in commercial vehicles in Texas- praying in the text as “a legal alternative to the traditional metal plate”, explain american sources.
Digital license plates will come to Europe
It is the great recognition of a pilot project initiated by the only company that has a license for the production of these electronic license plates baptized as «RPlate». those of revive tests began in 2018 with 175,000 digital license plates in use, after learning that the state of California had been looking for an alternative to traditional metal license plates since 2013. Their project featured a monochrome ink screen electronics protected by a special film six times harder than glassendowed with special abilities.
Although its purpose is to show vehicle registration only, it can also play other messages such as warnings. You can even have technology Bluetooth feeding on a small battery that has a useful life of five years, through which it can send messages to mobile devices such as theft warnings. The provider can now ensure that the license plate works perfectly, since a malfunction will be subject to an infringement.
Digital license plates are not free, they generate costs
What has not been clarified is for whom, if for the owner of the vehicle, who must ensure its correct operation and if not resort to the supplier, or directly to the manufacturer. The California government strictly prohibits including a GPS tracking function in the case of individuals, but allows it in fleet vehicles, which has generated an important debate on data protection. In addition, for company vehicles it can also be backlit.
The current license plates only have to be replaced when they are damaged, but they do not generate more costs for the owners. In California, they don’t come for free: Individual music lovers who like to be up-to-date in technology and show off a digital license plate will have to pay $19.95 a month for 48 months or sign a four-year contract paying $215.40. At the current exchange rate and moving the same model to Europe, it would cost us just over 19.35 Euros per month or almost 220 Euros per year.