The credit-card sized chips can be tracked by roadside detector boxes and are programmed with the vehicle identification number.
Although the Department for Transport says its trial of the device is about cracking down on vehicle identity fraud, the technology has the potential to allow vehicles’ tax and insurance details to be checked, movements to be tracked and speed measured remotely. The plates are being made by British firm Hills Numberplates. Marketing manager Adrian Hawley said he expected the chips to become a new MoT requirement should the Government deem the trials a success.
Doug Jewell, spokesman for civil rights group Liberty, said: ‘There can be benefits in terms of keeping property safe, but we must have proper safeguards against abuses.
‘The last thing people want is the worry that the Government is tracking their every move.’ The length of the trial is not yet known.