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Dubai’s smart license plates contact paramedics when the car crashes

Dubai, a place certainly not shy when it comes to taking new technology for a spin, is about to begin testing smart license plates.

Comprising a digital display and incorporating GPS and transmitters, the new plates will be able to automatically contact first responders when a crash occurs, and communicate information about traffic conditions to other cars and drivers, the BBC reported.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority says the new high-tech plate also has the ability to display and send an alert if the car or the plate itself is stolen.

Perhaps not so great for rogue drivers, the advanced license plate will also facilitate the automatic payment of traffic fines, while it will also take care of any parking charges and registration plate renewals.

Privacy advocates will have other concerns, however, as the incorporation of GPS means that the authorities will have the ability to track vehicles around the clock.

The trial, which begins in May, aims to pinpoint and fix any technical difficulties caused by Dubai’s hot desert climate.

Dubai has made a name for itself in recent years for fully embracing technology across a range of industries. Transportation has proved to be of particular interest when it comes to its high-tech ambitions.

Besides the incoming smart plates, the city is also taking a serious interest in the development of the ultra-fast Hyperloop transportation system and could be one of the first places in the world to host a fully operational Hyperloop.

In addition, Dubai’s rulers are working with several companies — Uber and EHang among them — in a bid to get flying taxis in the air in time for the city’s World Expo event in 2020, and the authorities are also using drones at camp sites and beaches to catch people littering.

There’s more. The government has signed a deal with OTSAW Digital to put self-driving cop cars on the streets. The diminutive vehicle only has a top speed of 9.3 miles per hour, but its powerful on-board cameras allow it to scan locations for wanted persons, stolen cars, or suspicious items, with the ability to automatically alert a police officer (whether human or robotic) if it spots something.

To top it all off, the city’s police and paramedics are heading to incidents in a range of very flashy cars, among them a Lamborghini Aventador, Bugatti Veyron, Lotus Evora, and Ford Mustang. Whatever will they think of next?

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Trevor Mogg
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