A 58-year-old British gentleman and car fanatic named Marc Ackerley had a problem. His problem was that as he drove his $284,000 Ferrari down the street, many women approached him for dates. But he had no way of knowing if, because of his speeding car, he was missing other women who might find him (or his vehicle) attractive. So he did what any man would do: founded a tech company.
Platewave is “the social network for UK drivers.” It promises to let you “contact anyone through their registration number”: simply enter someone’s license plate into the site and leave them a message. If they also belong to Platewave, the message will appear in their inbox.
As far as dating goes, it’s actually an interesting idea—instead of rolling down your window and yelling, you can discretely attempt to contact that hot girl or guy you exchanged glances with at the traffic light, and they can choose to respond or not. But it’s also creepy.
License plate numbers function as de facto identities for those in car-heavy areas. It’s how drivers are identified in accidents or tracked by the police. Platewave encourages its users to take photos of interesting cars, displaying their plate numbers publicly and organizing them into a directory. Even in the age of NSA surveillance, this seems like an overreach.
If you want your car to act as your Tinder profile, great—but don’t worry if you don’t have the greatest ride. “If I saw the world’s fittest woman getting into a battered old fiesta, I would hardly care what car she was driving,” Ackerley said.