Michigan drivers now have the option of adorning their cars with digital license plates, which can locate lost vehicles and receive public safety alerts – for a fee. Reviver, the maker of the connected plates, that Michigan residents and businesses can now purchase the device (known as the RPlate) online. Consumers can choose between two models: a battery-powered plate and a hard-wired plate that includes GPS. The plates have been available for sale in California and Arizona, and the company is aiming to make 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 hard-wired model) that includes a number of security and personalization features. Drivers can switch between dark and light modes and select personalized messages to appear at the bottom. The GPS-enabled plate also includes telematic transponders, so it can locate a lost or stolen vehicle and send alerts to your smartphone if it detects suspicious movement. There’s a companion mobile app that allows drivers to track mileage and renew their vehicle registration online.
Reviver’s digital plate also includes a couple of security features that could be overkill for some. For example, there’s a “Valet Parking” mode that lets you monitor your car remotely while it is being parked by a valet attendant and a geofencing option for family members or employees who drive the car that sends alerts if they violate the travel boundaries.
The digital license plates do not come cheap. Both models require a subscription ($ 19.95 per month for battery-powered and $ 24.95 per month for hard-wired) and cost an additional $ 150 if you elect to have a professional install the plate. 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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