Smart number plates will soon alert police and ambulances in Dubai

Smart number plates will soon alert police and ambulances in Dubai

Soon the wired smart plates will replace the existing metal ones and vehicles will have digital screens equipped with Global Positioning System, transmitters and a microprocessor chip, reported Gulf News. The plates will have screens, Global Positioning System and transmitters by which messages can be displayed and cars tracked.

Sultan Abdullah al-Marzouqi, the head of the Vehicle Licensing Department at Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), says the plates will make life smoother and easier for drivers in Dubai.

The plates are touted as a safeguard against vehicle fatalities and thievery, alerting authorities in either situation.

The "Tag to Connect" system would also make cars flash if it's been stolen and you'll even be able to change your registration on an app.

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But concerns are growing that the plates will cause privacy issues as they could be used to catch speeding drivers.

The new plates will be synced up to a user's account so that parking fees, road fines or licence plate renewals would be remotely taken from drivers by cops.

According to Gulf News, the numbers and design of the plates can be changed online via the RTA's website or smartphone app. Symbols can be automatically added to the plate when the vehicle is being driven by a new or learner driver. Because of this, the smart plates are vulnerable to hacking, according to The Verge. An AP investigation found that police officers regularly use such databases to snoop on their romantic interests, among other abuses.

The BBC also mentioned that the desert climate of Dubai along with the scorching heat and sand might pose multiple challenges to the technology. It's already known for its firefighters, who are equipped with water jetpacks, and the drone taxis it's testing. Several high-speed Hyperloop pods are also in the pipeline, one that's capable of transporting passengers to the UAE's capital Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes, over a distance of 120 km.

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