E Paper License Plates Now Street-Legal in California

Update 14 Oct. 2022: The “Kindle” of license plates—Reviver’s linked, digital RPlate—is now legal for use by any California motor vehicle-operator, pursuing a 10,000-car or truck pilot that started in 2018. The California Motor Automobile Digital Range Plates invoice that California Governor Gavin Newsom signed this month authorizes digital replacements for typical license plates, stickers, tabs, and registration playing cards, such as the initially-to-current market Reviver item.

Outdoors of California, the product has been approved for use by industrial fleet motor vehicles in Michigan, Arizona, and Texas, and 10 added U.S. states are considering authorization.

The battery-operated RPlate for buyers presently sells as a subscription provider for $19.95 for every thirty day period for 48 months a challenging-wired model for professional motor vehicles sells for $24.95 for every month.

In the story below (initially published 18 June 2018), we explain the RPlate and its probable uses most of these details—other than the pricing structure—haven’t changed.

That license plate body sporting a dealership name, sporting activities team symbol, or your favorite superhero? That’s so previous yr.

This yr, automobile dealers in California will be capable to go past individualized license plate frames to promote “Kindle-ized” license plates, in which the overall plate can screen personalized textual content and graphics using e-paper engineering. These shows can be current remotely, with these kinds of updates replacing the small date stickers that will have to be reapplied each and every year when registration is renewed.

And, when the vehicle is stopped, motorists will also be equipped to decrease the license quantity to a modest window and use the relaxation of the display screen for a unique graphic. (Although I’m not positive the men and women stopped powering a tailor made-plate-bearing vehicle will notice so lots of persons take that opportunity to surreptitiously examine their cell phones.)

Reviver Vehicle is making the so-referred to as Rplates, and they are not cheap—the plates are detailed at US $700, additionally an $8 a thirty day period membership payment. [See updated pricing above. –Ed.] The organization is to begin with concentrated on advertising and marketing them to fleet administrators, who are predicted to use the shows for advertising messages, but expects early adopters to swiftly jump on the technologies, and other consumers to appear on board as the organization proves out the plates’ usefulness.

The undertaking begun in 2008, Reviver founder and CEO Neville Boston states, with a approach to do away with those people day stickers—it was time, he imagined, to get registration renewals out of snail mail and into the wireless entire world. In the midst of an financial downturn, he states, he was also wanting to get involved with something that exists in very good instances and bad—and the DMV is undoubtedly that.

Then, he suggests, he commenced wondering about what else e-paper plates could do. His listing of prospects contains:

  • Having to pay for tolls and parking
  • Pinpointing cars as authorized for travel in large-occupancy automobile lanes
  • Replacing unique hangtags and license plates for people today with disabilities
  • Aiding an Uber driver obtain a passenger by displaying the passenger’s name
  • Indicating that a automobile is in autonomous manner
  • Displaying a QR code that could perform with an application for keyless entry
  • Celebrating holidays with greetings, like “Happy Father’s Day”
  • Switching concerning a number of particular interest plates motorists will not have to commit to supporting, say, Lake Tahoe, at the price of Yosemite or the California coastline

Not a terrible listing. But once these changeable plates are out in the wild, it appears like it’ll be just moments just before an individual builds an app to shoot them messages like “Back off, tailgater!”—or probably show the driver’s Twitter feed.

Boston states he’s imagined of that—any information will have to be authorized by the DMV just before it is included to the library, and only messages from that library may possibly go to the plate.

One particular of the earliest adopters will be the city of Sacramento city administrators are ordering the plates for new city-owned motor vehicles and count on to use the plates to screen general public company announcements and Amber Alerts.

License plate identifying the car as stolen.
Picture: Reviver Auto

These plates are also trackable—another boon to fleet homeowners, and it’s possible to mothers and fathers of teenagers—but that aspect raises noticeable privacy concerns, even though Reviver provides a host of assurances about its cybersecurity practices. If individuals considerations are fixed, trackability could be a helpful way to thwart burglars: A stolen car or truck could show its very own SOS message.

California was the initial point out to officially approve the electronic plates Arizona could be next, as it is conducting a pilot test of the technologies. Boston stated three more U.S. states will introduce the devices this calendar year, and his firm is “in conversation” with 10 extra.

Reviver has also signed a proof-of-strategy agreement with the govt of Dubai, who, Boston says, is imagining about the plates a small otherwise than DMV officers in the United States. “They want to know who is driving about in their region,” he states.

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