AD4HERE: Digital License Plate Ads May Come to California

By Joseph Calamia | June 22, 2010 3:55 pm

customplateWhat’s a quick way to make some cash? Sell advertising space on anything you’ve got. That’s what a proposed bill suggests to put a dent in California’s $19 billion deficit. If the bill gets passed, the state will roll out digital car license plate ads for traveling promotion.

While the car is in motion, the plates will display the driver’s standard license plate number, but four seconds after stopping the magic happens. The plates will then flash ads alongside the number until the car starts to move again.

This bill was the bright idea of Curren Price, a democratic state senator from Los Angeles, who told the AP

“We’re just trying to find creative ways of generating additional revenues,” he said. “It’s an exciting marriage of technology with need, and an opportunity to keep California in the forefront.”

By forefront, Price implies that other states are also considering digital license plate technology–which he says wouldn’t only drum up advertising revenue, but would also cut costs associated with the traditional ways states distribute and activate license plates.

A San Francisco-based company called Smart Plate is working on this technology, but chief executive M. Conrad Jordan says the product isn’t ready for the assembly line yet. According to the AP, Jordan also sees the plates as a way to show off college or company affiliations–the next step in custom plates.

Given that researchers have recently found ways to hack a car itself, hacking a digital license plate seems relatively easy. One wonders if the DMV, expected to weigh in on the bill in 2013, will consider not just the possible distractions to drivers, but also what it might be like to drive off into the California sunset with IAMDUM on your bumper.

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Image: flickr / gruntzooki

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
  • edla67

    Can the plate say DEPORT ILLEGALS and go in super-LED mode everytime
    a schools or park closes?
    If we are lacking billions it’s because of them, because CA pays for Mexico coming here for free.

    I can’t believe that someone has thought about putting ads in licence plates, how stupid and distracting, are they going to put small digital billboards under every stop sign and limit speed sign?

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