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Intelligent license plates now set for February launch PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 November 2009
The Gauteng Department of Transport in South Africa is set to spend US$4m to introduce its new intelligent license plate system, but certain aspects of the project are still outstanding. Although previously stating the rollout would begin in January, the department now says the manufacturing process will only begin in February 2010. The project is scheduled to run for four years, and should be completed by November 2013. The new plates are required for the province’s new free-flow electronic tolling system that will recoup the US$3.3 billion being spent upgrading Gauteng’s N1, N3, N12 and R21 freeways. The system – which is being implemented by a consortium led by Kapsch Sweden – is scheduled to go live in April 2011.

The electronic license plate system will place a number validation label on the rear windscreen of vehicles, along with a bar code that traffic authorities will be able to scan. License plate manufacturers will have to be accredited and the plates bolted onto vehicles with tamper-proof screws to prevent fraud. All plates will be aluminum and will also have an RFID tag that contains a unique identification code programmed into a 2D bar code. The unique code will be used in the encryption of the tag and contain a secure electronic mark. This mark will act as a digital signature and will certify the numbers on the plate, the vehicle it was issued to, and if they were issued by a registered manufacturer. This will prevent the cloning or illegal copying and use of plates – a common problem with the current system.