GM app lets you scan the number plate and text the driver

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17 Jun, 2014 12:00pm Tom Goodlad

General Motors reveals an app that lets mobile phone users contact drivers simply by scanning their number plates

General Motors’ Chinese research and development arm has announced its idea of a smartphone app – dubbed DiDi Plate - enabling drivers to text others, by simply scanning their number plate with their camera.

In its promotional video for the technology, GM uses a man asking the girl in front of him on a date, as well as a woman scanning the number plate of the car that’s blocking her in a parking space as examples of how the app would be used.

The system simply scans the number plate and enables the driver to get in contact with the owner, whether or not the recipient has downloaded the app.

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DiDi Plate raises a host of concerns for safety, privacy and even the potential for unnecessary displays of road rage. While an ‘anything goes’ approach may apply in China, it goes without saying that such an app would contravene a host of UK laws.

We’re sure GM’s intentions are honourable but the reality is that there is huge potential for abuse by drivers. Just imagine what will happen when one driver decides to let the person in front of them know what they really think of their bad driving – by texting them. The consequences could include verbal exchanges, road rage or even worse. Then you’ve got the more basic issue of the app encouraging phone use behind the wheel.

What do you think of the idea behind GM China’s DiDi Plate? Let us know in the comments section below…

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From what I've seen, drivers who take exception to those around them already seem to have a means of communication...

Hmm. I'm betting it would take only a matter of seconds were it introduced into Britain before someone texted something along the lines of: 'I am going to follow you home and do nasty things to you.'

OoooH the possibilities!!

I don't believe this! We have enough darn idiots on the roads now who jabber on their mobiles & try to text on the move, yet some muppet develops an app to do it.

If the brown stuff were brains this developer would be in the same category as Einstein.

"GM's intentions are honourable? Come off it, they've just seen another way to attract the youth market and make more money.

I've always wanted a way of communicating with other drivers to let them know about something wrong with their car, such as a headlight or brake light not working. I know that they should check these things before they leave and such technology is ripe for misuse, but I would like to think there are still courteous and well-meaning drivers out there - I'd hate for someone to get a ticket because they didn't do a full vehicle check that morning for whatever reason - we're only human. Perhaps an app with a limited choice of preset messages would be a good compromise?