Dubai will begin digital license plate trial next month

The plates can alert authorities after an accident and change their displays.

Next month, Dubai will begin testing smart license plates, the BBC reports, and they'll be able to contact emergency services in the event of a crash, communicate with other cars about traffic conditions and display an alert if it or the car it's on are stolen. A trial will begin next month to try out the system, test for any technological issues arising because of the city's hot, arid climate and figure out how best to roll out the devices in the future. Along with its communication features, the digital plate will also allow for users' fines, parking fees and plate registration costs to be deducted automatically from their accounts. However, because the plates will be outfitted with a GPS and transmitters, they could trigger concerns over privacy and data security.

Dubai explores the use of new technology quite a bit. In the past, it has tested robot police officers, autonomous patrol cars and a flying taxi service. Last year, city officials announced plans to develop a tunnel that will scan Dubai International Airport visitors with dozens of facial recognition and iris scanning cameras.

The head of Dubai's Vehicle Licensing Department at Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority said the price for these plates hasn't been determined yet, but the project costs will be known once the trial wraps up in November.