Skip to comments.Scan license plates so you can text flirty messages to cute drivers with GM’s new app
Posted on 06/22/2014 5:58:41 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine
There are plenty of smartphone apps that make it easier to flirt and set up dates with strangers, but GM has an ace up its sleeve that may trump all of them. No, the car manufacturer isnt muscling its way into the dating game at least not directly. But its China R&D team has developed an Android app that lets a driver scan a license plate in order to start texting the owner of that car.
The romantic implications of DiDi Plate, a prototype app debuted earlier this month at the Telematics Detroit 2014 conference, are obvious enough, even to GM. A video demo at the conference run by John Du, director of GMs China R&D Division, even highlighted a scenario where a male driver scans the license plate in front of him in order to see that female drivers profile. He smoothly proceeds to tell her that hes going to a mountain and would like someone to go with, to which she responds, OK, lets go together.
However, there are other practical (and less creepy) uses for the app. For instance, the demo showed a driver whose car was blocked in a parking lot scanning the license plate of the inconveniently placed car and asking the owner to move their automobile.
Du added that his team has found a way to make the prototype app work with Google Glass, which would make its uses more dynamic or unsettling, depending on how you view it.
While the application of this identification technology to create whats essentially a social networking layer weaved into everyday life is intriguing, the worrisome consequences of DiDi Plate are obvious enough: texting while driving, making road rage a conversational affair and invasion of privacy among them. (Du noted that drivers who dont register for the app would still be contactable.)
The ACLU, which released a study about license-plate reading technology last summer, would certainly be present a strong objection to this type of technology being deployed to the masses in the U.S. Its worth noting that this is, at least for now, a prototype app made for China, where laws regulating texting and talking on the phone while driving were recently put in place.
Du said a hurdle to the production of DiDi Plate or something like it is GMs desire to insert apps into a vehicles infotainment system. But as dash cams become more ubiquitous, GMs prototype app is probably a glimpse into the future more than anything else.
Wouldn’t one have to voluntarily enter one’s plate into some service provider’s database to make it possible?
Nope, no way this would ever be abused or come to grief. Not possible. Next up, drive by scanning of home networks to see if you want to “know” the people who live there.
Of course. And where would the database provider obtain that info?
Um...REALLY? GM doesn’t have ENOUGH problems these days?
People complain about the growing surveillance state and then can’t fork over money fast enough to buy it.
What could go wrong?
stalkers dream come true
Why would something like that be allowed?
Someone would read his own plate into an app and tie it to his email address.
Of course, that would also make a kind of tracking of strangers’ plates possible because there is no assurance that the plate actually is yours.
does the DMV sell that kind of info?
NOPE. If that’s what they plan to do then to hell with this.
Currently it doesn’t.
There is some limited accessibility to companies that manage automated road tolling systems, to make it possible for one state’s tolling company to bill another state’s driver. I worked for a while for a company that had pretty much all the Atlantic states’ toll road business.
The biggest risk is impersonation. Create a mess of profiles for attractive women in the area. Horned up men text them and arrange dates where they’re jumped and robbed by the crook. Or create an impersonation profile and create a grudge.
For instance, see a jerk in a blue Malibu, snag his license plate and then create a profile and harass a guy who looks like the kind who would be violent who drives the same commute just to watch the animosity rise between them.
Biggedt risk us texting while driving
App users can abuse this to no end ...
Reason #316 why I don’t need or use a cellphone. Don’t need or use texting either. Wanna talk to me? Call me on my landline phone. Answering machine will help you if I’m not home.