China trials electronic ID tagging for cars

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The city of Shenzhen in China has started issuing electronic IDs to vehicles; piloting a system that sees 200,000 IDs installed to allow real-time tracking of cars.

The IDs are supplied by a central Government agency, and the first batch have been given to eight specific types of vehicles, including school buses, heavy duty trucks, and anything carrying hazardous materials or waste. A statement from the agency said that if successful, the project will be expanded to all private cars in the city.

The project is intended to help lay the foundations for mainstream autonomous driving, which would require vehicles to be able to communicate with each other in real-time. But, it also raises concerns over monitoring of individuals and their movements by the Government – who are also currently pushing to register the real, full name of every user of the internet in the country.

The ID tags will use radio-frequencies to tune in to traffic monitoring equipment, and it’s hoped will help cut down on fake registration plates and illegal driving activity. But there’s potential for data gathering too, which could help with traffic and town infrastructure planning.

What do you think? Would you be happy for your car to be issued with an ID tag – or do you think it’s already monitored through other means? Let us know in the comments below.

 Photo credit: Wikimedia

Author Lex Barber

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