New technology to combat vehicle number plate thefts
Researchers are set to launch trials of technologies that could improve vehicle identification and combat number plate thefts and misuse.
One technology being trialled is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sticker on a vehicle's front windscreen which will act as a third number plate, according to researchers from La Trobe university in Australia.
The sticker would self-destruct when removed, enabling police to identify vehicles that are suspected to have a stolen or cloned number plate.
The second technology is Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), a digital technology that can communicate with road infrastructure and could also be used to identify automated vehicles in the future.
Additional security features for number plates, like holographic patterns on driver's licences and passports will also be tested.
New digital identification methods would make it harder for an offender to hide a vehicle's identity as the additional identifiers will not match a stolen or cloned number plate.
"Our Centre will evaluate how selected technologies perform in live deployment and how reliably they can provide tamper-proof digital vehicle identification information in a cost effective and efficient manner," Aniruddha Desai, Director of the Centre for Technology Infusion (CTI) at La Trobe, which will conduct the trial.
The trials will determine how the technologies operate in practice and how they will integrate with existing systems including Automatic Number Plate Recognition currently used by police.
Stolen and cloned number plates are often used to hide a vehicle's identity when committing other crimes such as ram raids, petrol drive-offs and toll evasion.