If there was ever any doubt that we have entered the “smart” age, well, that doubt’s been erased.
We have smart phones, smart tv’s; heck, we even have smart cars. I can even choose between a “New Folder” and a “New Smart Folder” when I compose articles in “Notes” using my smart phone! Full disclosure: I select the “New Folder” option when I compose because I’ve yet to have the need for the level of sophistication offered with the “New Smart Folder” alternative. It doesn’t mean that I never will, but I haven’t had a need to use that option so far.
Due to health impacts, I gave up driving a while ago. I’m not going to lie and tell you I don’t miss it. I do. But, I still travel by car when I there’s places I need to go: It’s just that someone else does the driving.
In the future there’s the potential and possibly the promise that vehicles, universally, will operate themselves, or, at least, the onboard computer will.
Which brings up the next point: Why do we need the metal license plates (along with the metal or plastic license-plate frames that sometimes envelop them)? I mean, when I travel in a modern vehicle, I notice positioned right smack dab in the middle of the dash, sits this amazing and sophisticated electronic display. To me this more resembles a miniature version of its much larger cousin: the electronic-billboard sign.
Why don’t the automakers just fashion electronic message boards into the vehicle spaces where the license plate normally goes, front and back? I mean there are wires that currently go to/come from a little light that is housed in the vehicle that is used to illuminate the license plate at night on most models, I would think. I haven’t checked lately so it’s possible I’m mistaken. But, if memory serves me well, I’ve got this correct.
With an electronic license-plate display seconding as a message board, such could also display personal driver information to police during traffic stops like driver license ID number, registration and insurance information. This would eliminate the need for the officer to approach a driver directly, which, in certain encounters, might very well keep an officer out of harm’s way. All that would be required is for the driver to push an icon on the dashboard screen and voila, that key data could appear on the vehicle’s exterior license display, front and/or back. Of course, the display would be small enough where the average passer-by would not be able to make heads or tails of that displayed info. And, there would be no need for those little license plate stick-on’s that indicate either the registration month or year, which, to me, just seems like a so last-century practice. Electronic alert mechanisms have even led to the removal of those raised roadway lane-border delineation bumps that were so common back in the day in California. They had a name for those: “Botts’ dots”. Once removed, I can only imagine where those wound up. They were a great invention for their time. But, the point is even those were supplanted with electronics technological capability.
So, is it high time the standard stamped metal license plate go the same route? I’m down with that. And, if automotive dealers are still insistent that there be a dealer identification escutcheon enveloping the smart license display, I’m certain provisions for that can still be left in place.
That’s my take.