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Thread: Digital license plates finally hit the road in California

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    Digital license plates finally hit the road in California

    California’s dramatic new license plate is hitting the streets — a digital display board that allows changeable messages controlled by the driver or remotely by fleet managers.

    The new plates use the same computer technology as Kindle eBook readers, along with a wireless communication system.

    They come with their own computer chips and battery.

    Motorists who choose to buy the plate can register their vehicles electronically and eliminate the need to physically stick tags on their plates each year. They also may be able to display personal messages — if the DMV decides to allow that.

    If the car is stolen, the plate's manufacturer says the plate can tell the owner and police exactly where the car is or at least where the license plate is if it has been detached.

    California, which has been quietly prepping its roll-out this year, is the first state to try out the new plates.

    The state Department of Motor Vehicles is conducting a pilot project with a Bay Area company, Reviver Auto, which makes the plate and is about to begin marketing it for sale at auto dealerships.

    Last week, Sacramento became the first city to agree to test the plates, taking a shipment of 24 plates for its in-house vehicle fleet.

    The technology comes with a high price, however, and has already prompted questions about privacy and safety.

    Dealerships are expected to sell the plates for $699, not including installation costs. Users also must pay a monthly fee of about $7. The plates are not available through the DMV.

    Some drivers are questioning whether the device's communications system could allow the state, the police or private companies to track a driver's movements.

    In a recent blog posting, Alex Roy, an editor at The Drive website, raised those and other questions.

    "What little privacy we have left is annihilated," he wrote. "This makes sense for fleet management. For my personal car? No thanks."

    Neville Boston, founder of Reviver Auto, said he expects initial interest to come from companies for their vehicle fleets.

    Some businesses will use them as mini-billboards to advertise their products or services, he said, but will be able to do so only when the vehicle is stopped. The license plate number will still appear on the screen when messages pop up, but it will be smaller and tucked into the upper right corner of the screen.


    Stewart said the city likely also will experiment with the plates as message boards. When a car is stopped, Stewart said, the license can display programmed public service messages, such as street closure notifications, an ad for a city service, an Amber or Silver Alert warning or some other emergency alert.

    Stewart said city officials will talk first with labor representatives about assurances that the city will not use the plate technology as a monitoring device on city employees.

    The city sees the plates as a stepping stone, he said, along with an upcoming Verizon 5G Wi-Fi network, for the city to become a national testing ground for autonomous or driverless vehicles. The goal, he said, Is to create cutting-edge jobs for city residents.

    "We want to look at ourselves as a laboratory for a lot of these technology companies," Stewart said. "Come to test in Sacramento, come see how your product or service is viable.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.
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    It's an important topic, no doubt, but timosman posted it previously:
    I compiled a "brief" history of events since October 2008 that are defining the global currency war and the role that gold is playing:

    Tin Foil Hats, Economic Reality and the Total Perspective Vortex

    Also, have you contacted your Congressional Rep and asked them co-sponsor Ron Paul's Rep. Paul Broun Jr.'s HR 1098 77: Free Competition in Currencies Act?

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