Arizona’s hackable license plates

Arizona (KOTD):

Arizona drivers now have another option for their license plates, one that the tech savvy will love – electronic digital plates.

I like to think I’m moderately tech savvy, and my reaction to this is not love.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, they are LTE wireless connected devices similar to a tablet. The license plate number is constantly displayed, and the technology allows for added messages such as “invalid,” “stolen” and other notifications if needed.

How many years or months will it be before someone gets swatted via a hacked license plate? “The suspect was stopped by police because the license plate displayed a ‘stolen’ alert. The officer’s weapon discharged… In fact, the suspect was driving his own car. We are currently investigating the origin of the license plate alert.”

Also, the plates cost $500 each, or $800 if you want “advanced telematics,” which probably means hackers can track your location before swatting you. And they come with an “installation voucher,” which probably means that swapping them over to a new car will cost hundreds, if it’s even possible. And there’s a “subscription” of some kind, in case this thing didn’t have enough failure points already. “A fault in Reviver Auto’s servers caused 55,000 Arizona license plates to display an ‘invalid’ alert yesterday…”

On the bright side, though, motorists can renew their vehicle registration via the Rplate phone app, because an annual chore that people can already do online is something that totally needs its own phone app.

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