HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – PennDOT has launched an 18-month digital license plate pilot program.

As technology inside vehicles continues to advance, state officials are now looking at how they can use license plates to keep people safe.

“We’ve put it on various types of vehicles that might see different conditions,” said Erin Waters-Trasatt, the press secretary at PennDOT.

You can only find about 20 digital license plates in the state. Some are in Erie, and others are in the Capital Region.

“What we’re testing is durability, how they last, the visibility, just looking at all of those available technology options, looking forward in the future,” said Waters-Trasatt.

The plates aren’t meant to just look cool. They actually have features to help law enforcement and keep communities safe.

“You could see anything from, ‘this vehicle is being searched for as part of an Amber Alert,’ or it could just be saying, ‘there is an Amber Alert available,’ or, ‘this vehicle had some sort of infraction that we need to follow up on,” said Waters-Trasatt.

Still, you won’t see a big switch anytime soon.

PennDOT isn’t looking to make digital mandatory, just yet.

“We’ve talked about it as an option at this point,” said Waters-Trasatt.

There would need to be legislation in order to implement digital license plates.

Only a few other states have tested out the plates or allowed it as an option.

They’ve discovered that since the plates are equipped with GPS technology, they can help emergency crews find crashes faster, and assist police in tracking down stolen vehicles.

“One of the things that we’re seeing in transportation overall is our vehicles, our signals, all of our infrastructure is going to be more connected in talking to each other,” said Waters-Trasatt.