California Considers Electronic License Plates

The legislature in California is considering a bill that would allow that state to begin researching using electronic license plates for cars. When a car is moving, the digital tags would look like regular plates. When a car stops for more than four seconds, the plate would turn into a screen and could be used for advertising.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And today's last word in business is marketing vehicle. California state officials may have come up with a new way to make money.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

They're considering a bill that would allow research on a new kind of license plate for cars. If you're stuck in traffic, you'd look at the car in front of you and discover that the license plate on the back has turned into an advertisement.

INSKEEP: When a car is moving, the digital tags would look like regular plates. And then when a car stops for more than four seconds, the plate would turn into a screen.

MONTAGNE: Just think of the possibilities. You could see and ad for a vacation spot.

INSKEEP: Or your local bus system.

MONTAGNE: And who knows? The plates might even persuade drivers to look up from their smartphones. And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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