Electronic Number Plate To Be Trialled In UK

Mon 20th Jun 2022

The biggest revolution in number plate tech in the UK could be around the corner with the news that trials of electronic number plates could begin as early as next year.

The technology is already being trialled across the Atlantic, with three separate states approving fully-digitalised licence plates, and although the trial appears to have many potential issues, the main one being cost, a British firm has already promised that it will be launching its first product early next year.

The US trial is being spearheaded by market leader, Reviver, who claim that the solution has a number of advantages over the traditional version. With digitisation, the technology could be used to alert police and other authorities as to whether the car has valid insurance, MOT or is even stolen, with a range of different colours indicating the vehicle’s validation state.

The digital plate could also send reminders to the car owner about MOT and insurance expiry, according to the data on British firm, iPlate, the technology can also be fitted with GPS which will allow owners to track the location of their car.

Other potential uses for the digital licence plate could be personalised messages, while some are even suggesting that the tech could be used for advertising. But the biggest barrier to adoption in the UK could be cost, in the US there is a monthly subscription of approximately £20 for the technology, or a one-off payment of £670. These fees dwarf the existing costs of adding a plastic number plate to a vehicle.

Another issue would be the potential for sensitive data held within the number plate to be hacked and stolen. But some car manufacturers are excited about the potential for digitalisation, allowing them to consider building the plate into the design of the car.

Neville Boston, Reviver’s founder, said: “The metal licence plate is a 19th-century feature of 21st-century vehicles. In it, we see untapped opportunities for motor vehicle administrations and vehicle owners.”