The car market in China is an important issue: Beijing alone ranks first in the list of global leading countries in this industry. What is more, according to the World Health Organization, China is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for drivers.
Pollution, traffic, safety are only some of the reasons that have prompted the government to take a number of measures, such as the activation of a car identification system which uses RFID chips installed in the windshield, as recently reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Unlike GPS localisation systems and cameras, RFID technology offers some advantages since it can work in foggy conditions and can quickly process information: the new reading devices, installed at the edge of the road, will track cars in real time by transferring the corresponding data to the Ministry.
Researchers will be able to collect sufficient data on traffic flows, peak hours, places most likely to experience traffic jams or delays in order to intervene on the most significant problems, starting from the reduction of pollutant emissions. The activity, sponsored jointly by the Ministry of Public Security and of Transport, provides for the voluntary activation of chips this year, which will become mandatory for new vehicles as from 2019. But there are already those who suspect that the technology will be used as a mass control tool: for example, Maya Wang, Senior Researcher in China for Human Rights Watch, has told Inkstone that the Chinese government has invested heavily in new technologies with the aim of creating a multidimensional surveillance state to prevent any threats to power.