Michigan drivers now have the option to decorate their cars with digital license plates, which can locate lost vehicles and receive public safety alerts — for a fee. Reviver, the maker of the affiliated plates, announced that Michigan residents and businesses can now purchase the device (known as the RPlate) online. Consumers can choose between two models: a battery-operated plate and a wired plate with GPS. The records have been on sale in California and Arizona, and the company is committed to making them available nationwide.
But what exactly is a digital license plate? The Rplate is essentially a license plate with an HD display and LTE connectivity (as well as GPS for the wired model) with some security and personalization features. Drivers can switch between dark and light modes and select personalized messages that appear at the bottom. The GPS-enabled plate also includes telematics transponders so it can locate a lost or stolen vehicle and send alerts to your smartphone if it detects suspicious movements. There is an accompanying mobile app that allows drivers to track mileage and renew their vehicle registration online.
Reviver’s digital record also includes a number of security features that may be over the top for some. For example, there’s a “Valet Parking” mode that allows you to remotely monitor your car while it’s parked by a parking attendant and a geofencing option for family members or employees driving the car that sends alerts if they cross travel limits.
The digital license plates are not cheap. Both models require a subscription ($19.95 per month for battery power and $24.95 per month for wired) and costs an additional $150 if you choose to have the plate installed by a professional. The company is also working on a number of new features, including integration with toll roads, parking meters and additional DMV services.
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