Drivers in Dubai may soon be using digital number plates.

Dubai will begin testing smart license plates. Vehicles will be fitted with smart plates featuring digital screens, GPS, and transmitters by which messages can be displayed and cars tracked.

The plates will be able to contact the emergency services and the police in the event of a crash and allow communication with the other drivers on the road about hazards in the road or other traffic conditions. The head of Dubai’s Vehicle Licensing Department says that the devices will allow a quicker emergency response if the car is stolen. Along with its communication features, the digital plate will also allow easier access to services such as registration renewal, tolls, and parking fines.

Dubai will begin its digital license plates trial on some vehicles next month, to try out the system, test for any technical issues that could arise because of the city’s hot, arid climate and find out how best to roll out the digital plates in the future.

However, because the plates will be fitted with a GPS and transmitters, they could trigger some concerns about the cars owners’ privacy and data security. The license numbers can be changed by the transport authority remotely, which means they could potentially be hacked.

Plate readers and tracking are not new for law enforcement agencies, and the digital plates could take it to a new level. In 2013, California passed a bill to start testing digital license plates, and the trials started earlier this year. 

According to The Verge.

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