Brand new technology could improve safety on South Carolina roads by swapping metal license plates for electronic ones. South Carolina officials are currently in the early stages of considering the proposal, which is being made by a South Carolina company that invented the innovative design.
Essentially, the electronic license plates, called e-tags, could improve safety and reduce car accidents because the plates would be electronically linked to the DMV. If the car was reported stolen or if the driver had no insurance or a suspended license, the information would appear on the e-tag for everyone, including police, to see.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the design is that it could hold the same image for 10 years without needing power. That’s because the power comes from vibrations created by the car. The only time a charge would be needed is when the status or the image on the plate is being changed.
The e-tags could also potentially be used in Amber Alters, the company said. At this point, though, they are only seeking to test out the e-tags through a pilot program using state-owned cars. That’s because there are still many things that need to be worked out with the design, including bringing down production costs.
At this point, the e-tags cost a whopping $100 a piece to make while the traditional, metal license plates cost only $3 to $7 to make. Even so, the company says states still stand to save a lot of money with the new technology as South Carolina alone loses an estimated $150 million per year because of drivers without insurance or expired tags.
The company also added that insurance companies would likely lower their rates in states that switch over to the e-tags because it would greatly reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the roads.