The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai will start trials of smart licence plates whose number, design and other information can be changed digitally without changing the plate.

The RTA said Dubai will be the first city in the world to use the smart plates. The move is part of RTA’s initiatives to transform Dubai into the “smartest city in the world”.

The debut of these Smart Plates in Dubai will bring about a quantum shift in the concept of roads as well as the technological infrastructure of transportation. It will contribute immensely to linking several systems and technologies as well. It heralds an era of communication between vehicles and government and semi-government entities concerned with the safety and security of transport.

The Smart Plates can be centrally controlled. As such, it will be possible to change the numbers and designs of plates and display the expiry of the insurance and licensing dates registered at the RTA, without changing the plates. It will also be possible to identify and register the travel time of the driver and details of the heavy vehicle and eliminate the chances of stealing the plates or vehicles. Images and signs can be displayed on the plate to specify the type of the driver — new or under training.

It will be possible to interface the plates with the e-payment system, and warnings and messages can be displayed on the plate in case of an emergency or accident that warrants slowing down or changing the route. Through these plates, it will be possible to reflect traffic congestions on monitoring screens and control centers of the bodies concerned without requiring the use of cameras. The Smart Plates can connect with multi-screens transmitting different materials fed by various smart communication systems.