When it comes to technology on the roads, often times what we see is nothing short of amazing. Just think of the first time you saw a touch-screen display in a vehicle, or when you learned that adaptive cruise control, lane assist or self-parking cars were a thing.
Pretty cool, right? Then there are the self-driving cars, which are in a bit of hot water these days but still represent a giant leap in automotive tech.
Another new thing is hitting the roads, and while kind of neat, it seems a bit less necessary than some of the other inventions we have seen. Not only is it unnecessary, but the possibilities for it to be a bad thing are pretty apparent.
License plates are so 2017
If you thought there was no way license plates could get a technological upgrade, you thought wrong. A company called Reviver Auto has created a digital license plate that, along with being a plate, also functions as a cloud app store.
Because the world needed that.
Known as the Rplate Pro, they are being tested in Sacramento, California right now. (Although we first told you about this technology months ago, when it began testing in Dubai) . Could this be the start of something that will soon take over? Not yet.
Don't expect them to be on every car though, as it will cost around $700 for the plate and another $7 per month to keep the plate activated. They are not required, and the plates will not be available through the DMV.
Why get one?
If you are looking for a reason other than the fact that they are neat, it is possible states will allow for personalized messages to be displayed. Those could be changed at any time, giving the car's driver plenty of freedom to have a little self-expression. What could go wrong there?
Or, if the plates are attached to government vehicles, they could display useful information like road closures, Amber Alerts and other messages of note. Companies could also want them on their vehicles, as every car with a digital plate could turn into a bit of a mobile billboard.
As a security measure, the plate could let police and the car's owner know exactly where the vehicle is in the event it is stolen.
As for the drawbacks
Indeed, there is more to worry about than just the price. A "smart plate" could in theory be hacked into, and if your bank account or other information is attached to it, that would not be good.
Never mind that police or the government could use the plate to keep an eye on you.
If you are driving above the speed limit, might the plate alert the police? Will it track wherever you go? These are just a couple of questions that come along with technology like this, and even if that is not the plan right now it is easy to see a world where the plates are used for that purpose.
We already deal with a lack of privacy with so much of our technology, do we really need to bring that concept to our vehicles? And for what? A license plate?
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As much as we'd like to believe flying cars will be a thing really soon, they won't. It's going to take years before that technology is perfected. Just look at how self-driving cars are moving along. But our cars ARE changing. In the next five years, we can expect them to be connected like never before. What will your new car know about you?
Have a question about these smart plates or anything tech related? Kim has your answer! Click here to send Kim a question.
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