Calif. Examines Ad-Supported Digital License Plates

It seems impossible to escape advertising, and California, looking for any possible way to close its budget gap, may make it still more difficult.

The state is considering electronic license plates. The reason for the digital-age change, though, is strictly monetary: advertising.

The plates would appear to be standard license plates when the vehicle is moving, but when the vehicle is stopped for more than four seconds, either in traffic or at a stop light, would switch to digital messages. The number wouldn't vanish completely; it would still be visible in the corner of the plate.

In emergencies, the license plates could be used to broadcast Amber Alerts, traffic information, or emergency instructions. The plates would use technology being developed by a 3-person San Francisco start-up, Smart Plate.

SB 1453 has passed the state Senate and is now before the Assembly. If it becomes law, and is adopted on a wide scale, the author, State Sen. Curren Price, D-Inglewood, said California would be the first state to embrace such technology.
Via:  Hot Hardware
Super Dave 4 years ago

Is it April 1st already?

inspector 4 years ago

Yes it is Super Dave!

LOL ads are going everywhere now -.- (Getting too advanced is starting to be a problem Big Smile)

Marius Malek 4 years ago

Well we already have them on youtube. 

der meister 4 years ago

Then my fees I pay every year for registration should be waived if i am providing "free" advertising for them.

animatortom 4 years ago

If we were to get all the money from that advertising then I say yes? If not this is just another way for them to violate your rights. Imagine if they started to make everyone stick those advertising stickers on their cars if they want to drive.

Of course it would start with, only requiring law breakers to advertise as a form of community service.

Or the plates could be set to broadcast....This guy has alot of insurance and no lawyers!

Marius Malek 4 years ago

I find it funny how the best methods of fixing a crippled economy always violate someone's rights. 


Super Dave 4 years ago

Perhaps just a simple hack and the license plate will show advertising at the flip of your dash-mounted switch. Now you can blow those red light camera-enforced intersections with a big smile on your face!Big Smile

Inspector 4 years ago

I can see a spike in crime/law breaking rates if this gets approved/used... Criminals have a new easier way escaping cops in their get away car...

xylem 4 years ago

^^^^^^^^ I soo much love that thought Dave. Though its not my intention, Some times I get involved in road rage and I would wan't to "kick some a#%". This way, it would be easy. Big Smile

AKwyn 4 years ago

This is bad for three reasons.

1. I already see advertisements on billboards, if this passes then advertising will be one step away from being inescapable.

2. I can see how someone would be able to hack the license plate in order to avoid identification and/or tickets.

3. How will it stand up to heavy conditions, and why do we have to endure California's attempts to fix their mistakes.

I'm sorry but this will not work. lol at Super Dave.

animatortom 4 years ago

So instead of distracted drivers reading text messages, they will be reading Plates?

Imagine when they start using this to display "My child is an honor student, and your kids sucks:P" bumper sticker quotes.

DMurtagh 4 years ago

Lol, I whipped out my Crystal Ball and have two predictions -

a) Widespread crashes when some uber-hax0r manages to get his *** collection to display on the plates.

b) New law : Must idle your car at the lights / in traffic congestion more than 2m away from the car in front, to allow the advertiser fair bang for their buck. Of course, failure to adhere would open you to instant fines so a win-win for any cash strapped state / county / country / dictatorship :D

3vi1 4 years ago

I've got a counter proposal for California, which I thought was supposed to be so into 'green' tech: License plates that use no power at all, practically never wear out, can't be hacked on the fly, and never fail.


realneil 4 years ago

This is so California, and they will do it whether anyone wants it or not. Anything to make a buck is the new state motto there.

ZianneC 4 years ago

There is no way it is going to be worth the marketing to take out an unsecured loan just to pay for lawsuits when someone gets in an accident.

jturnbull65 4 years ago

I see a significant hurdle involving the situation where the car owner is unwittingly advertising and thereby giving the appearance of endorsing a product with which he/she does not wish to support.

ClemSnide 4 years ago

(1) I wonder if the traditional license plate manufacturers, that is criminals in jail, will also do the new ones? If so, they may come pre-"jailbroken." I can just imagine having a botnet that works using license plates.

(2) Would the license plates of illegal immigrants display the ads in Spanish?

(3) What happens when the battery powering this contraption dies? No license plate? That's going to make for some interesting lawsuits, especially if the batteries are rechargeable and (as many have) die prematurely.

(4) Didn't James Bond already have something like this in his Aston Martin?

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