California Considers Platevertising

By  |  Monday, June 21, 2010 at 2:43 am

The scariest California disaster at the moment has nothing to do with earthquakes, mudslides, or brushfires–it’s the state’s financial crisis. I spend my share of time stressing out over it, and appreciate the need for extraordinary responses. But I still have my doubts about a bill which would roll out electronic license plates to Californian motorists–ones which could display ads when cars were stopped at red lights or otherwise temporarily out of motion.

This article on the proposed technoplates doesn’t provide much detail, other than that the ads would kick in only when a car was stopped for at least four seconds, and that a company called Smart Plate might be involved. But even if you aren’t worried about the potential for the plates being dangerously distracting, the government mandating that we put ads on our cars doesn’t sound wildly different from insisting that we install neong signs in our living-room windows. (No, Governor Schwarzenegger, that wasn’t a suggestion.)

Howsabout this: What if the plates were strictly optional–but driver who elected to use them got a cut of the ad revenue? Each citizen could choose whether to go commercial or keep his or her car a commercial-free zone. Or raise auto-related fees but offer the plate ads as a way of avoiding the hikes. Or something. Your ideas welcome…



7 Comments For This Post

  1. Esteban Says:

    My suggestion: split California into three or four manageable states and end all this madness once and for all. Having one state take up two-thirds of the Pacific coast made sense back in the day when Congress’ main concern was balancing free and slave states to prevent the inevitable Civil War.

    As for the license plate issue itself. Ick!

  2. Bouke Timbermont Says:

    Harry, would you ever use a gaming streaming service? And if you would, what games would you use it for?

    My guess is primarily casual games. Most prospects of this service are casual/fun games users anyway. So my question is: if the only thing you play is lightweight games without intense graphics, why use a service that’s only made to offer intense graphics without the need of a lot of horsepower?

    The games this solution is suitable for (intense games like crysis and Battlefield) are nowhere near the interests of the services potential customers. And even if it were, I think these services would have a VERY hard time turning a profit if all of there customers require enough horsepower to play crysis. (as I pointed out in previous posts)

    That is why I still think these services are doomed from the start. And so far, nobody has even begun to try to convince me of the opposite (showing a demo with a few devices does not convince me you can pull it off with thousands of users!)

  3. Bouke Timbermont Says:

    wow, I commented in the wrong tab x( copying to the right article now

  4. NanoGeek Says:

    That’s a good start, but they also need to have the car’s radio turn on so they can hear the ad as well.

  5. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    All California has to do is end the Drug War and it’s budget problems go away. They put a million taxpayers in prison for smoking, and their kids in foster care. Hair-brained ideas like ads on license plates won’t make up for that.

  6. John Baxter Says:

    The impetuous for my 1989 departure from California (the state of my birth in the 1930s) was the impending collapse of the state.

  7. Leslie Says:

    LoL. This is seriously wrong. Have they ran out of space to advertise their ads?
    And besides, it’s too small to show anything significant.