Electronic registration plates could be on the way
All talk at the moment is of the imminent arrival of the so called '132' plate, the first time in history that Irish registrations have been split over the course of the year. However, the next big move in licence plates could have little to do with the numbers they display and be more concerned with how they are displayed.
A South Carolina based company in the USA called Compliance Innovations has developed an electronic licence plate that is soon to go into trial to ascertain its suitability for the road.
The plate uses ePaper technology similar to that used in devices such as the Kindle with a switchable display that will be easy for members of the Gardaí to read.
In normal driving the display would show the normal '132 D 12345' registration, but if the car is uninsured or driving with expired road tax it could flash a message for all to see. In theory the display could also flash 'stolen' if the owner wakes to discover the car is not on the driveway where he/she left it the night before.
Considering the rate at which car technology changes isn't it time we updated something that has effectively remained unchanged since the days of Karl Benz? Or is this just change for the sake of it?