Welcome to the 21st century, where even license plates are digitized.
Cars have come a long way in the past century. From the early 1900s, when the Ford Model T was the latest car cruising Americas (unpaved) highways and byways, to now, when cars are crammed full of modern technology, there’s always been one common thread. That piece of metal that hangs out at the back, and sometimes the front, of your car: your license plate.
Yep, the humble license plate has soldiered on for more than a century, and has hardly changed since its inception. It’s simple, effective, and most of all, cheap to make. But in an age where everything is connected to everything else, that just isn’t enough. Did you know you can even buy a “smart” duvet that will make itself every morning when you get out of bed? We rest our case.
Enter Reviver Auto with the RPlate Pro, a digital license plate that aims to take the old-fashioned metal approach into the 21st century. It looks more or less like a tablet you stick to the back of your car, and you wouldn’t be too far off the mark. It has a monochromatic screen, a rechargeable battery, and a CPU backed by a cadre of chipsets that comprise its “brain”. This lets the user customize what appears on the digital plate, such as slogans for DMV-approved cause plates, registration tags, and parking meter information.
Built with fleets in mind
While consumers can purchase and use the RPlate on their own cars, its main features are aimed primarily at fleets. That is, the RPlate uses GPS to track vehicles and send geo-fencing notifications to dispatchers. The connected app lets users see where the vehicle’s been, so they can keep a better grip on fleet operations. Businesses can also use the RPlate to display targeted messaging, like advertising a dealership on loaner cars. Reviver Auto claims DMVs across the country can use these plates to remotely update a vehicle’s registration tags when the car’s owner pays to renew them. So long to the old system of changing your tags every year.
As with every digital solution to analog problems, however, it’s not cheap. Currently, the 12-inch by 6-inch RPlate costs $599, plus a nominal service plan of around $8 a month. The RPlate will also just be available in California, Arizona, Florida and Texas this year, according to Reviver Auto’s website.
Check back to TFLcar.com for more tech news, views, and real-world reviews!