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RFID-enabled license plates to identify UK vehicles

RFID news reports that the UK-based vehicle licence plate manufacturer, Hills Numberplates Ltd, has chosen long-range RFID tags and readers from Identec Solutions to be embedded in licence plates that will automatically and reliably identify vehicles in the UK.

The new e-Plates project uses active (battery powered) RFID tags embedded in the plates to identify vehicles in real time. The result is the ability to reliably identify any vehicle, anywhere, whether stationary or mobile, and – most importantly – in all weather conditions. (Previous visually-based licence plate identification techniques have been hampered by factors such as heavy rain, mist, fog, and even mud or dirt on the plates.)

The e-Plates project has been under development for the past three years at a cost of more than £1 million, and is currently under consideration by a number of administrations. It is hoped that e-Plate will be one of the systems trialled by the UK Government in its forthcoming study of micro-chipped licence plates.

Brought to my attention by Stephen Hodgson of Unpersons.net. Thanks.

3 comments to RFID-enabled license plates to identify UK vehicles

  • David Blunkett

    If people have been burning the odd speed cameras here and there, which only invades one’s privacy a small amount, how are they going to react to RFID readers which monitor all our car journeys?

    A FAQ suggests the cost of a reader is $1000. I wonder if they are hardened against old tires, petrol and a burning match?

  • Mark Ellott

    There will, inevitably, be a market in untagged plates – illegal or otherwise.

  • Chuck

    If it is self-powered by a battery, then the power is necessary when being scanned. All you have to do is set up a continuous scan in your garage/driveway and within a few hours/days, your e-plate will be back to a regular old plate and not respond to scanning. If you drive through a place where they expect scanning, you just claim ignorance of the “dew-hicki” and that their scanner must be broken.