Is it time to go digital?
Through the decades, we have digitized so many aspects of our daily lives. We utilize this technology to pay toll fees and store information about vehicle registration and driver details.
Today we have massive screens in our vehicles. Some of them merge the gauge and infotainment sections of your dash. They literally deliver information and control to your fingertips. With screen technology ever-evolving, it is now headed outside of your car.
A company in the US is now offering us the option to digitize one of the vehicle’s most analog facets: the license plate.
US company Reviver has introduced the digital license plate or “RPlate” to the US market. Aside from the typical display of vehicle registration, this external screen packs a lot of features. As of this article, the state of Michigan has approved its use by residents and businesses. This move follows California and Arizona, which earlier approved the sale of digital plates. With ten more states set to follow suit, RPlates are getting recognized and are now legal to use in 50 states.
What are these plates and what makes them so special? With the technologies like GPS and LTE, these HD display screens can offer customizable security features. These features, like location tracking and having a “Valet Parking mode” can be accessed through the app on your smartphone. That means extra security when the car is not in visual range.
Other features include visual personalization and In-App Registration Renewal. It also has safety and telematics. This means you will receive an alert if your vehicle moves and you can even report it stolen via the app. There is also customer support for people who have purchased waterproof, heatproof, and freeze-proof plates. New features are in the works too. Integration with toll roads, parking meters, and other DMV services are all coming. With a battery life of 5 years yes, it also has a dark mode too.
The problem, however, is the cost. The service in the US requires a subscription to any of two plans being offered: $19.95 a month (about PHP 1,063) for the battery-powered version or $24.95 per month (about PHP 1,330) for the hard-wired model. There will be a $150 fee (about PHP 7,995) if you will have a professional install the plate. Compared to the cost of regular plates, it might not be worth it yet.
Still, the move to digital has given the end-user (us) convenience. Someday lining up to get your vehicle registered and all those “analog” processes could be a thing of the past. With the recent modernization of the Land Transportation Office or LTO, will this technology be on their wishlist of things to modernize? The tech is already there but only time will tell.