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Technology

AD4HERE: Digital License Plate Ads May Come to California

DiscoblogBy Joseph CalamiaJune 23, 2010 12:55 AM

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What'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. Related content: Discoblog: Shell Eco-Marathon: How to Drive the Car of the Future Discoblog: Eight-Wheelers, Bamboo, and Bunny Slippers: The Oddest in Electric Cars Discoblog: For the Driver Who Has Everything: An Augmented Reality Windshield From GM 80beats: Forget Car-Jacking: Car-Hacking Is the Crime of the Future

Image: flickr / gruntzooki

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