A 58-year-old British gent had a problem, reports Time. His problem, familiar to all of us who also happen to drive $284,000 Ferraris, was simple: ladies who saw him cruising “approached him for dates” — or at least, he’s pretty sure they did. Actually, he wouldn’t know, because he was driving so fast they could not possibly catch his attention. He was, for lack of a better term, leaving romance in the dust. But where others see speed limits, Marc Ackerley saw solutions. And so he founded a tech startup.
Platewave, the “social network for UK drivers,” lets you message anyone, as long as you’ve got their vehicle registration number. You enter their license plate, which I guess you write down on the license plate tracking notepad you keep in your glove compartment, and then you leave them a message. “Nice Subaru!” you say. Or “Do you really think it’s safe to put on mascara while driving” and then you add a winky face so she knows you’re flirting. “You also park at this supermarket?” I’m not really sure. But if your future lover-on-wheels also belongs to Platewave, your message will pop up in their inbox, and if they’re into it, they’ll message you back.
Clever! Also, creepy! While there’s nothing illegal about writing down a few sexy license plate numbers — or even taking pictures of them and organizing them into a database, as Platewave hopes users will — it seems a little less “meet-cute” and a little more “I am an aspiring NSA surveillance officer.” On the other hand, though, it might be a pretty good way for like-minded people to find each other: you both like cars, and also, you both belong to a social networking site where you keep track of other people’s license plate numbers.