PennDot program in early stages as states begin green-lighting digital license plates

Jim Melwert
July 15, 2019 - 12:29 pm
Automotive Engineer Works on the Personal Computer, He Perfects New Car Model Prototype Sketch. He Works in the Bright and Modern Office. - stock photo

gorodenkoff/Getty Images

Categories: 

PENNSYLVANIA (KYW Newsradio) — Digital license plates have been given the green-light in a few states across the country. Here in Pennsylvania, PennDOT is in the early stages of a pilot program.  

Neville Boston is co-founder and CEO of Reviver, the company behind the digital plates. He says they use similar technology as an e-reader, where unlike LCD or a tablet, the image stays on the screen without power.

“It operates just like a metal plate, you can see it from 125 feet during the day and you can see it from over 100 feet at night and it doesn’t take power for the image to stay there,” he said.

He says plates could simplify things like tolls or parking, maybe down the road, eliminating the need for a municipality to pay for parking meters or kiosks.

They could also give real-time information on traffic, Boston says, for example, showing if traffic lights need to be adjusted and even help in Amber or Silver alerts.

Parents could set up boundaries – called a “geo-fence” – and get alerts if their car is driven outside those boundaries, or if it exceeds a certain speed.

He says they’re well aware of privacy concerns, and everything is encrypted similar to a bank. The user controls their own data, and can set what they do or don’t want made public, Boston explained.

In Pennsylvania, the pilot is only for PennDOT vehicles. If it’s extended to private vehicles the digital plates cost from $350 to $500 and have a monthly fee for cellular connection, paid for by the user.