California to get digital license plates?

by Mark R

I’ve learned that there is a group in San Francisco that wants to make license plates digital. This doesn’t surprise me. I suppose that print is a slowly dying medium, and I think we all knew that all road signs are going to be replaced with video displays.

License plates are things that change all the time, and if there was some digital way of tracking them and changing them when needed, then new ones wouldn’t have to be printed all the time.

Sounds good, right? Here is the kicker. Apparently, the same group that wants to do digital license plates wants to make it possible so you can put ads on them. You might want to read more after the jump.

Yes, that’s right. Ads. These ads wouldn’t be displayed while the car was in motion, but if the car was motionless after a few seconds, then the commercials begin.

The whole reason for having these ads is to help California pay for debts that the state has accrued over the years. Apparently, the state governed by the Terminator has a $19 billion dollar debt.

I honestly don’t know if a state would get in debt more with this program. I also don’t know if it would be good to put even more advertising on the streets. Do we really need another distraction on the road?


5 reviews or comments

hukiworld Says: June 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm

That would be the mother of all ads OMG! Going digital on license plates is a VERY bad idea because we all know how easy hackers make all electronics thing go wacky. Imagine driving and your plate goes wild and starts displaying porn or changing numbers. A printed plate will not a get a virus, can not change period so why fuck around with perfegg system? that $19B debt will not be resolved through such an absurd idea. Arnold needs to go back to his own country and stop assuming his ideas are good- even his acting sucked.

Skeptic Says: August 7, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I believe the digital plates have a hidden agenda. Each plate would have some unique identifier, readable by ad placement networks, so the ads downloaded to each plate would not be duplicates of the plate in the next parking space. Eventually these plates with radio ID markers would be used to collect traffic ticket revenues, by reading the speed of the plate as it passes through a speed trap and issuing tickets via mail. That will provide far more revenue to government than ad placement fees.

On another note, I can imagine the furor when registered Republican voters find their license plates displaying ads for Democratic candidates.

And of course, it boggles the mind regarding the temptation to hack/hijack all the plates near you to display the particular message that you hold near and dear.

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