Dubai to test digital car number plates

The plates will use digital screens and GPS to monitor traffic conditions and alert emergency services to accidents.

Press Association
Last updated: 13 April 2018 - 12.32pm

Drivers in Dubai may soon be using digital number plates as part of plans to help alert emergency services when accidents occur.

The city will become the first in the world to test the system, which is called Tag2Connect and has been developed by the its Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

[Read more: What happened with self-driving cars in 2017?]

The system, which is to be trialled at the end of this year, will see vehicles fitted with smart plates with digital screens that are equipped with GPS, transmitters and a microprocessor instead of the traditional metal plates.

The technology was demonstrated at the Future Cities Show in Dubai earlier this week.

Sultan Abdullah Al Marzouqi, director of the vehicle licensing department at the RTA, said the new plates would also enable messages to be displayed – for example flashing if someone tries to steal the plate.

(John Stillwell/PA)
(John Stillwell/PA)

He told the UAE’s Khaleej Times the digital plates would also allow cars to connect with each other and exchange information on traffic conditions ahead, and could be linked to an e-wallet to automatically pay for parking.

Users could even use the connected RTA app to change their number plate should they so wish.

The trial will begin in the city in May and run until November, with Al Marzouqi explaining the RTA want to test the technology’s ability to function in the humidity and dust of Dubai.

It is the latest announcement in a series of high profile transport technology innovations unveiled in Dubai which include plans to launch drone taxi trials to help with congestion and a high-speed Hyperloop between Dubai and UAE capital Abu Dhabi, which could complete the around 75 mile journey in 12 minutes.

[Read more: Self-driving cars at risk of mass hacking, expert warns]

More from BT