Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
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Sell e-mail forwarding based on license plates.
  (+14, -2)(+14, -2)
(+14, -2)
  [vote for,

1. Get a host name like "mail-a-car.com". Alternatively, be a big brand car manufacturer who wants to be hip, and already have your brand as a a host name (e.g., "canyonero.com").

2. Produce license plate holders reading "Send email to" above, and "@canyonero.com" below.

3. With each license plate holder you give out, establish the license plate (and its misspellings) as a forwarding account to the owner's real email address.

On the user side, this can be sold as a dating service, a "how's my driving" service, and a means of settling other conflicts (e.g., a hip police person might send you email before towing you.) I sometimes wish I had a quick, non-threatening way of saying "hey, your left brake light is dead."

On the producer side, an email database with names of car owners with disposable income would sell well, and it's a way of updating your image without much of an actual technology investment.

jutta, Jun 13 2000

Car-Ma http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Car-Ma
Other car/communications-related thread. [jutta, Jun 13 2000]

license.com http://www.halfbake...om/idea/license.com
Very similar 1/2 bakery idea. [egnor, Jun 13 2000]

searchplates.com http://www.searchplates.com/
Messaging to license plates. Depends on people actually checking in with the site, so it's a bit of a shout in the dark thing. [jutta, Aug 10 2007]

Interesting! http://www.emailacar.com/
[hippo, Jul 12 2010]


       If someone wants to buy the domain, I'd be happy to set the service up.
aswartz, Jun 14 2000, last modified Jun 15 2000

       I really like this idea a lot. So much so, that I did just what aswartz suggested.   

       I've registered mail-a-car.com and done the DNS thing.   

       Who wants to help?   

       See my e-mail address in my profile...
tomierna, Jun 15 2000

       I really liked this idea at first, but I seem to remember that in some/many(?) states license plate info is available to the public. So what's to prevent a spammer from using a list of plate numbers to send junk email to those who happen to have "mail-a-car" accounts? I don't think I'd sign up if the spam couldn't be prevented. Solve this problem and I think you have a winner.   

       In a few years (hours?), when in-car internet devices and speech recognition are ubiquitous, it could be used not only for the "your brake light's dead" messages, but the "Sorry, I didn't see you," and "Move over, my wife's in labor" messages between cars in real time.
beauxeault, Jul 06 2000

       count me in too!
ps, Jul 06 2000

       Spam is a way of life. You're never going to get away from spam email, so this should not be a deterrent. The more signficant problems are the security of the database that maps plate addresses to real addreses (privacy), and the maintenance that comes with people changing addresses, buying new cars etc.   

       Maintaining the quality of the data in the db would be a not so small job.
halfdead, Jul 15 2000

       This service already exists in the Netherlands for at least a year. The URL is http://www.license2mail.com/   

       It works like this. You buy the sticker for f16,- and subscribe to the service. Through their website you can e-mail the owner by entering his licenseplate number.   

rrr, Aug 02 2000

       Checkout: www.ragemail.net   

       Based in the US, free service, send email to a license plate. If you want to get notifications register your plate. Seems pretty cool. Atleast they're not charging subscriptions for something so trivial. -jimbob
jimbob, Oct 05 2000

       Stumbled across this older idea... It's still not bad, but it looks like [tomierna] hasn't done much with mail-a-car.com...
phoenix, Aug 10 2001

       I did this to my own plate a year ago. Nothing.
reensure, Jul 22 2010

       I think this title should be "Mail-TO-a-car.com", because when I saw it I thought it was about sending cars through the mail.
Vernon, Jul 22 2010


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