The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan’s Department of State to pass the bill. Vehicle owners aren’t required to adopt the new technology at this time; for now, digital plates are optional.
The Rplate, which must be installed by an authorized dealer, will be available in Spring 2019 in two versions: Rplate Essential and Rplate Pro. Both models include LTE connectivity, backlit HD displays, plate customization, and personalized messages. The Rplate Pro also supports “advanced telematics.”
The digital license plates won’t be cheap, at least not at first. The Rplate Essential and Rplate Pro are available for preorder on Reviver’s website for $499 and $799, respectively, not including installation charges.
So what are the advantages of a digital license plate other than early-adopter bragging rights? On the most mundane level, the Rplate can automate vehicle registration renewals. You won’t have to affix a new peel-and-stick decal on your plate each year because digital decals on the plate will show the world whether you’re current.
In most states today, personalized metal license plates, also called vanity plates, are restricted to the plate’s letters and digits plus, in fewer cases, a choice of backgrounds that usually have something to do with the state in which the vehicle is registered.
With the Rplate, you’ll be able to take personalization to new levels. According to Reviver, customization possibilities include promoting your favorite charity, declaring your passion for a sports team, or announcing a child’s academic or athletic prowess. It’s not clear at this time how often vehicle owners will be able to change the custom messages or if any measures will exist to screen or censor messages.
Further standard Rplate supported features include plate removal and stolen vehicle information. Built-in GPS via the LTE technology will enable geo-fencing to track government or business vehicles. In the future Reviver intends to update the platform to support Amber and weather alerts, automated parking, and various marketing capabilities.
Michigan isn’t the first state to allow digital license plates. California approved the high tech replacements for stamped metal plates in 2018. According to Reviver, the Rplate is fully approved in Arizona and enabling legislation has passed in Texas and Florida. Washington state will also study Rplate technology and the concept of digital license plates ,and the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority and Reviver are conducting a proof of concept program in the UAE.
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