Dubai's new "smart" license plates can communicate with onlookers

April 14, 2018

New license plate technology being put to the test in Dubai could benefit drivers but not be too helpful to car thieves. Among their myriad high-tech features, the plates can flash the word “stolen” in lieu of a registration number to quickly notify authorities.

The digital plates go by the name of Tag 2 Connect and will be put to the test next month through November by the emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

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Speaking with Dubai’s Khaleej Times Wednesday, the head of the RTA, Sultan Abdullah al-Marzouqui explained that theft alert is just one of many useful features of the plates. The Tag 2 Connect plates will also be able to display information about traffic congestion, update driver’s about road conditions and provide warnings about accidents. In addition to those features, drivers will have the ability to connect a smart wallet to the plates to pay for parking and registration fees using a smartphone app.

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The plates will come with the ability to be changed via the RTA website or app to display other information such as a special symbol noting that a new driver is behind the wheel.

During the testing period, the plates will be subjected to the harsh weather conditions of the Middle East. If all goes well, the emirate plans to roll out the plates en masse within a year or two.

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