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Legible licence plates

Use words not random characters
 
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Presumably the length of licence plates issued generally becomes longer with time, as more vehicles enter the system.
This makes current systems involving alphanumeric strings less workable as they become harder for the average human to process and remember reliably.

However, many years of effort are invested in developing reading ability to the extent that processing word sequences is trivial to almost all.
I therefore propose a new system which uses a sequence of three words chosen from lists of about a thousand carefully chosen, distinct words each. This would give a billion combinations - which should be enough for most juristictions.
Admittedly this would make the plate larger at the same font size, however, I propose that this is significantly outweighed by the benefit of rapid licence plate recognition.

Loris, May 18 2011

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       When I first glanced at this, I thought it said...
lurch, May 18 2011
  

       Interesting idea, but I'm not sure why it's desirable that average humans have the ability to process and remember plate numbers any more reliably than is currently possible.
tatterdemalion, May 18 2011
  

       When I managed service stations, back when they still had service but before junk food, I would get rewarded by oil company credit card organizations, for spotting license numbers belonging to people not paying on their accounts but still using their cards. Oh, and I did have to keep their card - that was always fun.   

       Remember, there was a time before electronic communications.   

       So it's all about incentives to remember.
normzone, May 18 2011
  

       Doesn't everyone do this already? I use "MY JAG", "OTHER JAG" and "SPARE 1" for precisely the reasons you state.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 18 2011
  

       [MB] you're a considerate and modest guy for helping rapid recognition of your license plates. BTW, what are the makes of the three cars?
Sir_Misspeller, May 18 2011
  

       Astons, but there isn't enough space on the plates and most people don't notice the difference anyway.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 18 2011
  

       There's a driveway I pass on my way to work where the owner has his Aston and Bentley parked which have the licence plates "2 BE" and "NOT 2B"
hippo, May 19 2011
  

       Having established that there is no longer any need for humans to quickly recognise registration numbers, you also have the problem that most vehicles already in production don't have the physical space required for a larger plate.   

       As a motorcyclist, I object to large plates. After the design engineer has made every effort to reduce drag, the legal requirement to carry a 9" x 7" airbrake is a kick in the teeth.   

       I'm also sufficiently dyslexic that it's no easier to recognise and remember words than random sequences.   

       (-)
Twizz, May 19 2011
  

       //Having established that there is no longer any need for humans to quickly recognise registration numbers...//   

       Really?   

       I know the camera network is extensive, but when did we ensure that it would see all road-accidents & crimes and inform all relevant constabulary of appropriate vehicles to pull over?   

       //I'm also sufficiently dyslexic that it's no easier to recognise and remember words than random sequences.//   

       I'm surprised - I would have thought it would still be easier to remember - by thinking of what it represents rather than the spelling.
Here is a random alphanumeric string: VA3BSIW
Here is a sample three-word phrase: robot butterfly gemstone.
  

       I know which I find easier to remember (and also to read in the first place).   

       (These were generated as fairly as I could easily manage, using an online tool and word list respectively)   

       //As a motorcyclist, I object to large plates. After the design engineer has made every effort to reduce drag, the legal requirement to carry a 9" x 7" airbrake is a kick in the teeth.//   

       That's a reasonable point. However, it may not necessarily be that much larger a plate, since I suspect that the font size could probably be decreased a bit (and long words would be avoided on the lists - 'butterfly' in the example above is probably too long).
Also, potentially bikes could have their own system since they don't have the same frontage as cars.
Loris, May 24 2011
  
      
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