General Motors Company (GM) prototypes app that lets users scan license plates and message drivers

Posted Jun 5, 2014

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) has prototyped an app that lets China-based drivers scan license plates using their Android phones and message that driver. John Du, GM’s China R&D director, said that one of the challenges with creating this app is having to deal with a street address system that has no format. There are also almost a dozen language dialects.

The prototype app is known as DiDi Plate. It uses the Android phone’s camera to scan the license plate and send the information to a cloud ID service. The driver that scanned the license plate can start texting the other driver after that, even if the other driver did not register the app. GM demonstrated the product by showing a male driver using DiDi Plate to scan and message a woman driving in front of him.

The video demo shows the woman quickly accepting the date. Another situation demonstrated in the video is of a car being blocked in a parking lot. The woman scans the plate of that car that is blocking her and tells the driver to move the vehicle.

The app has also been ported over to Google Glass where you would only have to stare at the plate to bring up the person’s online profile. Sounds creepy and cool at the same time.