Digital license plates debut in California

June 06, 2018 // By Rich Pell
California and the city of Sacramento are deploying new digital license plates on the city's electric car fleet.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is conducting a pilot project with connected car platform provider Reviver Auto (Foster City, CA) to test the company's Rplate Pro digital license plates that allow changeable messages controlled by the driver or remotely by fleet managers. The City of Sacramento has outfitted its auto fleet of Chevy Bolts with the plates, expected to total 35 such equipped vehicles when the city receives more of the vehicles.

The digital plates feature a monochrome bistable display, wireless connectivity capability, battery, processor, GPS, accelerometer, RF sensors, storage, and CAN bus access. The installation of the plates, says Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, represents another step in the city's evolution into a testing ground for clean vehicle technologies.

"Sacramento intends to be the state and national leader on alternative fuel technology, on autonomous vehicles, on research and development, and on all things innovation," says Steinberg.

The digital plates will allow the city to oversee the movements and mileage of its electric vehicles - used in city departments including public works, utilities, and community development - as well as issue a signal if they are stolen. The plates can also be used to display messages - such as public service announcements and Amber Alerts - while not obscuring the license plate number when the car is being driven.

According to Mark Stevens, the City’s Fleet Manager, the digital plates cost slightly less than the GPS system the city uses for its gas-powered vehicles. The city would continue installing digital plates, he says, as it adds more electric vehicles to comply with the city's sustainability requirements.

Features of the Rplate Pro include automated registration renewals, charity plate options, personal messages, vehicle locator, safety alerts, stolen vehicle information, payment solutions for parking and tolls, and marketing capabilities.

"Reviver Auto has brought license plates into the 21st century," says Neville Boston, CEO, Reviver Auto," offering modern conveniences to improve the overall driving


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