Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Car Identity pROM Chip

Hard coded car identity
 
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Currently, cars are identified via three pieces of ID.

The license plate is given to the vehicle at the point of registration but the plate is easily replaced and therefore provides no secure ID for the car.

The engine is given a ID plate as is the chassis, but these a little more than a metal sheet rivetted to the chassis itself. Harder to replace certainly, but not impossible. Criminals looking to "ring" a car - ie. give it a new ID, would have no problems.

I propose a ROM chip for the car that stores the engine and chassis numbers. At the point of registration, the license number is programmed in, but is then fixed. The chip should be wired in such that tampering with it would destroy important engine management circuitry and thus make the car unuseable.

I would further propose that the chip can be read with a handheld by the police - much like a pet chip for example. That way, the cars ID can be identified without getting into the car.

If we as drivers were asked to register our roadtax against chassis number, rather than license plate number, the handheld could then be used to check for road tax expiration.

jonthegeologist, Jun 21 2003

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       There is new legislation in UK which requires all suppliers of licence plates to be registered, and all purchasers of such plates to provide evidence of a requirement, thus the only person who could buy a plate for K 63 TJU would be me because it's my car (actually, no longer because I've re-registered it with my own plate, but the point is valid).
Further, and somewhat baking part of this idea, I read that several manufactureres are now embedding the VIN (vehicle identification number) into tiny chips and scattering them throughout the structure of the vehicle.
angel, Jun 21 2003
  
      
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