The state of California has begun a trial of digital number plates in order to make the process of registering and re-registering cars easier. To be available at a cost of about $699 (approx. Rs 47,000), the digital license plates will also be able to display custom messages, advertisements and traffic information. However, these messages will only be displayed when the car is parked. The cost excludes installation charges and also requires an additional monthly fee of roughly $7 (Rs 472) to be paid.
The number plate itself is essentially a simple tablet with a built-in battery and tracker which can register trip data, log traffic conditions and help in tracking stolen vehicles (that is presuming that the plates aren’t removed when the car is stolen). The trials have begun after assuring union representatives that these license plates will not be used to track drivers.
Meanwhile in India, the government has mandated that all vehicles made on or after January 1, 2019 are required to be fitted with High Security Registration Plates (HSRP). Existing models can be retro-fitted with the HSRP, as well – provided that the old plates have been surrendered and destroyed. As is the case with digital number plates in the US, factories in India will roll out new vehicles fitted with the HSRP plates.
The HSRP is meant to make vehicles theft more difficult and discourage counterfeit number plates and registrations. To ensure the HSRPs are not stolen, the circular by the government says that the rear HSRP will have to be fastened with "at least two" non-removable/non-reusable snap locks.
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