Dubai to introduce digital number plates

Digital number plates that let police track your location and automatically fine you for traffic violations could soon be launched in Dubai

Still, some law enforcement agencies are skeptical the changes will improve the growing number of fictitious license plate cases they're investigating.

Sultan Abdullah al-Marzouqi, head of vehicle licensing at Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has told the BBC the digital plates can inform emergency services if the vehicle they're attached to has been involved in an accident.

Fines, parking fees and payments for renewing your registration plate will also be automatically deducted from Dubai residents' accounts. The smart plates will be equipped with digital screens, Global Positioning System and transmitters.

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Dubai is determined to become a global leader in technology and is implementing a range of trials to test emerging technologies in everyday use. "It will be compatible with the different mobile platforms and drivers will be able to conduct any transaction using the plate number, without having to visit the customer care centre".

California was the first city in the World that passed a bill in 2013 to allow the testing of digital licence plates.

The number plates not only enable police or ambulance to find the auto if there has been any sort of accident, the plates can also monitor traffic conditions and communicate that to other drivers.

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Anyone fitted with a smart plate would be hooked up to a central system so cars could communicate with each other about traffic or accidents ahead.

It is not clear how much the plates will cost, with Sultan Abdullah saying that the final cost of the project will only be known after the trial ends in November.

Dubai aims to be an worldwide technology hub and has big plans to expand the use of technology in transport.

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Last year, the city made headlines over its plans to introduce drone taxis to help overcome congestion issues. Several high-speed Hyperloop pods are also in the pipeline, one that's capable of transporting passengers to the UAE's capital Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes, over a distance of 120 km.

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