UK begins testing RFID-tagged license plates

| Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Officials in the United States will be watching closely as the British government begins a program that will implant traffic-tracking sensors into its license plates.

The UK Department of Transport has given the OK to begin testing Radio Frequency Identification chips, or RFIDs, embedded in cars’ license plates as a way to track vehicles and relay driving data to nearby sensors.

The technology could be used in the future as part of an electronic toll-collection or traffic monitoring system, according to Wired News. RFID has seen limited use in the United States, but Department of Homeland Security officials recently began using the devices as a way to track freight crossing the U.S./Canada border.

“We definitely have an interest in testing an RFID-tagged license plate,” Jerry Dike, chairman of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, told Wired.

UK officials are being tight-lipped about the specifics of the pilot program, but speculators believe the devices will be tested in the plates of police vehicles, according to technology blog engadget.com.

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