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Would You Pay $700, Plus a Monthly Fee, For a Digital License Plate?


An nameless reader quotes a record from Ars Technica: It’s been a few weeks now since a Bay Area startup put a virtual registration number plate on my automobile. So a ways, no person turns out to have spotted. I have never but been pulled apart through police or civilians asking what it’s. At first look, this digital instrument appears precisely like a conventional, stamped steel registration number plate. The new virtual plate has the similar scripted CALIFORNIA icon up best and makes use of the very same measurement and font to turn the numbers and letters. But in reality, what I’ve is an “Rplate,” a $700 plate-sized Kindle-like display screen at the again of my automobile — high-contrast grayscale e-ink and all. The instrument additionally comprises an RFID and GPS chip that let me to look the place my automobile is at any given second, to voluntarily monitor my journeys, and to even optionally show DMV-approved custom designed messages in a small font beneath the plate quantity itself.

Were I a real paying buyer, I’d be paying $7 per month in a service fee, too, most commonly to offset the knowledge connection to Verizon. The one-time $700 ticket on my own is a bit excessive for me. To be transparent, I’ve a loaner type, and by the point this tale comes out, I’m going to quickly be sending the plate again to the corporate, Reviver. The type I have been the use of is without doubt one of the first 1,000 such plates which are legally out on California roads at the moment. Still, after my enjoy of a few weeks, there is no transparent and compelling case to be made as to why maximum folks non-rich people want this fancy plate. Also, there are nonetheless unanswered questions on its safety and what it manner to voluntarily give up such a lot private location information to a unmarried corporate.


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