In the age of smart everything, it was only a matter of time before our license plates got some augmented intelligence, too. In Dubai, city officials are rolling out a trial program that will replace traditional metal license plates with digital screens that come loaded with GPS and transmitters.
The BBC reports that the smart plates will have a few key features, including immediate paramedic response after an accident, the ability to communicate about traffic and road conditions with other smart plate cars, and a dynamic screen that can change if a car has been reported stolen. Each car will be linked to an account where fines, registration, and parking fees can automatically be deducted.
Earlier this year, California moved to launch its own trial for digital license plates, which would roll out to a very small percentage of drivers. Both Dubai and California view the plates as a way to maximize bureaucratic efficiency, a sentiment that anyone who’s braved the DMV can get behind. Of course, when that convenience comes with a GPS sensor attached, it’s hard not to be just a little bit skeptical.