Is This The Future of Personalised Number Plates
Drivers in Dubai may soon be using digital number plates under new plans.
In a trial starting next month, vehicles will be fitted with smart plates with digital screens, GPS and transmitters.
The new plates will be able to inform emergency services if a driver has an accident.
Dubai has recently spearheaded a number of new transport initiatives as it seeks to become an international technology hub.
What are the advantages of the plates?
According to Sultan Abdullah al-Marzouqi, the head of the Vehicle Licensing Department at Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the plates will make life easier for drivers in Dubai.
As well as contacting the police and ambulance services if the vehicle is involved in a collision, the technology allows real-time communication with other drivers about traffic conditions or any accidents ahead.
The number plates can also change to display an alert if the vehicle or digital plate is stolen.
Payment for fines, parking fees or renewing registration plates will be automatically deducted from users' accounts. Number plates can also be changed using the RTA's app or website.
What is being tested?
According to Sultan Abdullah, the trial will work out any potential technological glitches caused by Dubai's desert climate.
It is not clear how much the plates will cost, with Sultan Abdullah saying that the final cost of the project will only be known after the trial ends in November.
However, the technology allows the transport authorities to track drivers, raising potential issues surrounding privacy and information security.
Dubai is continuing its drive to become one of the most advanced cities in the world when it comes to transportation.
As well as pioneering the use of taxi drones, the metropolis is also looking at extending communications technology in standard cars.
Under new plans, digital licence plates could be fitted to cars in order to automatically inform the emergency services in case of an accident.
The plates would be connected to GPS transmitters inside the car and inform not only emergency services and the police in the event of an accident, but also other road users to warn them of traffic disruption.
Sultan Abdullah al-Marzouqi, the head of the Vehicle Licensing Department at Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said that the plates will make life easier for drivers in Dubai.
Automatic parking fine payment
The digital number plates would be synced up to a user's account so that any outstanding parking fees, road fines or licence plate renewals would be automatically deducted.
The plates could also change to display a special alert or some other form of warning if they're stolen.
It's not clear how much the plates will cost, but according to Sultan Abdullah, they are currently being tested. The trial is set to run until November and will find out how the technology works with Dubai's desert climate.
Naturally, there are some privacy concerns as the plates could possibly be used by the authorities to track drivers.
“Once you’ve bagged that number plate – if it’s a good one it adds value to it. Some are iconic and will be sought after. Some of the best are simple but exquisite.”
The biggest went for £180,000 in May last year – for KR15 HNA – which was a new British record for the most expensive current style personalised registration plate.
Today, plates with just one number and two letters cost an estimated £60,000, 20 times more than the early 1990s, when drivers could expect to pay somewhere between £3,000 to £5,000.
A DVLA spokesman said: “Many people enjoy displaying a personalised registration number and the general sale and auctions remain extremely popular with the public.
“Since we began selling personalised registrations we have raised around £2.3 billion and all the money raised is passed to the Treasury.”
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