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'Smart' car license plates eyed to combat congestion



Yomiuri Shimbun

In an effort to combat traffic congestion and car exhaust emissions, the Construction and Transport Ministry decided Monday to introduce "smart" car license plates with integrated circuit chips on an experimental basis from fiscal 2006, ministry sources said.

It will be the first large-scale experiment of its kind in the world, although the City of London is to start a similar experiment on a limited scale this summer to restrict the flow of traffic into urban areas.

From fiscal 2006, municipalities that have more than 100,000 cars registered will be able to put their names on license plates. The ministry plans to use those municipalities as test subjects for next-generation traffic systems, such as for traffic congestion or emission control technologies, the sources said.

IC chips containing each car's registration number, size and other data in its automobile inspection certificate, will be equipped with small transmitters into the smart license plates.

The size of the system, which was jointly developed by the ministry and an automobile part manufacturer, is just four centimeters long and four centimeters wide, according to the sources.

Municipalities need resolutions of their assemblies or other public approval in order to put their names on license plates. Though the ministry is to select eligible municipalities in May, municipalities such as Aizu, Izu, Karuizawa, Kurashiki, Sendai and Shimonoseki already have expressed willingness to put their names on license plates.

After announcing the conditions for smart plate experiments, the ministry will place priority on those municipalities that show willingness to cooperate with the test, which requires the development of necessary facilities, including roadside equipment.

If the introduction of smart plates is realized in major cities, the ministry wants to apply the technology to a road pricing system that the Tokyo metropolitan government is currently studying.

The road pricing system is to charge fees on cars entering designated areas at certain times to alleviate traffic jams and air pollution in metropolitan areas. Singapore introduced such a system in 1975, and the City of London as well as Tokyo are studying its possible introduction.
 

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Damn more big brother bull sh**
 

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Discussion Starter #3
silveracc said:
Damn more big brother bull sh**
Werd. Their answer is that it's a "pay to play" system where those using the road systems should be the ones to pay to have them upkept, etc. But in the US where you're the "King of the Road" it seems strange and unwelcomed. :fear
 
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