Frequently Asked Questions



What are the FedElecTag Platform and the FFBT Initiative?

The FedElecTag platform represents the first integrated system platform that truly links in real-time: 1) Federal employee credentials; 2) tag registration and vehicle regulation; and 3) compliance with efficient federal operations mandates per Executive Order 13834.  It features a multi-function electronic display license plate system which is a smart device that operates on the connected cars and/or the Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, and offers unlimited opportunities for regulating the use of vehicles.  The cloud-based fleet solution ultimate goal is to help Federal agencies effectively and efficiently manage fleets within budgetary limits, while meeting mission requirements.

The FFBT initiative is an employee-inspired initiative that represents a progressive IT modernization approach designed for open communication/collaboration with stakeholders and decision makers within the Federal fleet community to investigate innovative products and services beyond just vehicles.  The FFBT initiative is leading the way for the Federal fleet community to modernize and streamline fleet management protocols, processes, and systems; increase productivity and security; and improve customer experiences and Federal services by implementing an enterprise-wide FedElecTag platform. The FFBT initiative presents a model/template for others, and can serve as a bellwether or “gold standard” approach for Federal government IT modernization efforts.

Why should I care about the FFBT initiative and participate with modernization efforts? (i.e., why does the Federal fleet need to modernize?)

Federal fleet transformation and modernization are needed because monitoring and controlling all fleet-related factors consumes considerable time and requires sound administrative abilities.  These responsibilities normally fall upon a fleet manager, and commonly requires about 76 to 100 percent of their time per the latest Automotive Fleet Salary Survey. Demands on this professional position are rapidly increasing, particularly in the Federal sector as ever higher costs and management issues gain the attention of Congress, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and heads of Federal agencies.

Specifically, there is a growing concern for Federal fleets to achieve high operational efficiency, reduced Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, and reduced cost; while doing so during a climate with a growing number of fleet vehicles, increased maintenance cost, rising cost per mile, more fuel consumption, volatile prices, and misuse of vehicles.  There also are a growing number of regulatory mandates for vehicle safety and security.

While public laws and regulations provide the parameters for many fleet management issues; however, time constraints, funding, and agency specific missions are among additional factors that affect achieving organizational and fleet goals.

To address these concerns, active participation by a diverse group of fleet experts in this transformational initiative helps shape faster, smarter, better value, and actionable IT solutions such as the FedElecTag.  This ultimately will lead to driving mission success for the Federal fleet community and other Federal government agencies.

The FedElecTag is for the government, by the government, so let’s innovate together.

What are the organizational benefits that will result from successful implementation?

The E-License Plates and Telematics solution could save Federal fleet stakeholders considerable time of approximately 3.7 million hours annually, 18.7 million hours over 5 years, and 37.3 million hours over 10 years by increasing automation of fleet management practices, operational procedures, and the tracking/recording of vehicle asset level data (ALD).

By minimizing unnecessary fragmentation, overlap, and duplication through using tools like integrated IT and automation software, the potential net savings could save between $1,597 and $1,894 per vehicle.  This represents potential total cost savings of $76.5 million to $90.7 million annually, or $765.2 million to $907.5 million over 10 years.

What is the current status of the FFBT Initiative?

The FFBT initiative currently is in the “Discovery” phase which includes engaging stakeholders through change management activities.  To date, 130+ fleet stakeholders have been contacted regarding project awareness.

The FFBT coordinators/FedElecTag team has engaged in discussions with UNICOR and GSA senior officials, in which UNICOR preliminary has determined that the FedElecTag project is “technically feasible.”

The FFBT coordinators/FedElecTag team has established open communications with private sector experts and vendors via an exclusive industry outreach portal.  The industry collaboration and business development tool is used to communicate with potential Federal government industry partners, pilot partners, and others who will take the technology and transition and commercialize the product capabilities.  This arrangement allows us to build our procurement solutions to better understand industry’s capabilities and alignment with agency requirements.


What are telematics devices?

Telematics devices are devices that collect, record, and transmit vehicle operational data. The devices plug into the vehicle’s dashboard computer and transmit the data directly from the vehicle to a web-based reporting platform.

How is the FedElecTag different from other telematics devices?

The FedElecTag digital license plate represents telematics with a screen, a patented new way to revolutionize what’s shown on registration plates and how to regulate the use of a vehicle via the license plate.  This FedElecTag one-stop shop solution specifically considers the Federal government’s fleet management practices and operational procedures per the “Guide to Federal Fleet Management.”  It is designed to replace or supplement standard car tracking devices used for analyzing driving behavior that could for example impact insurance premiums, or support Federal government sustainability mandates.  It is a visual representation and extension of drivers, confirming identity in three easy steps.  The E-license plate and telematics solution facilitates Federal agency savings, efficient fleet operation and compliance with sustainability mandates.  It’s everything you need bundled into one personalized smart device.

Who handles manufacturing and/or supply chain management?


Currently, only UNICOR produces Federal license plates per 41 CFR 102-34.140 (Made in USA), in which UNICOR already has determined that the E-License Plates project is “technically feasible.”  The FedElecTag digital license plate is designed for manufacturing (DFM) optimization which will pass on savings to agencies.

Domestic manufacturing via UNICOR supports the U.S. President’s “America First” policies and UNICOR reshoring initiatives such as: 1) “Reshoring – Investing in America,” 2) “Repatriation of Products,” and 3) “American Made” or “Made in USA” labeling, unlike private sector offshore supply chain business models.  Also see

Supply Chain

The partnership among UNICOR, the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Federal Industry Partners enables agile development and domestic supply chain management for the FedElecTag platform.

Also, the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract provides long-term support for a modern integrated Federal fleet acquisition solution that incorporates the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms.

This approach leverages the unique, interdisciplinary blend of expertise of the project partners in technology innovation, embedded signal processing software and systems, sensor data analytics, manufacturing capabilities, and cyber-physical systems.

How durable is the digital license plate?

UNICOR has the capabilities in line with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework to ensure that the FedElecTag digital license plates can stand up to cyber attacks, vibration, shock, dust, water, etc.  The FedElecTag will undergo climatic testing, be verified via military specifications/standards such as MIL-STD-167 Vibration and IP66, and will be made with gorilla glass (or similar), the same glass found in many smartphones today.  The devices will be industrial-strength and projected to withstand extreme changes in weather conditions and temperatures from -40 to 85 Celsius (-40 to 185 Degrees).

What is the power draw on the battery for the device?

Per comparable product market research, the power draw should be in the range of about 10-12 milliamps (mA) when the digital plate is idle or in sleep mode. When communicating with the cloud, the draw is expected to be around 40-50mA. The power draw potentially can peak to 80mA as an image is being refreshed, and is not expected to have any impact on the 12v battery. For perspective, most vehicles draw about 50mA from the internal systems (radio, clock, internal computer memory, etc.). Other leading telematics devices power draw typically is about 4.9mA while sleeping.

Can the devices be interchangeable from vehicle to vehicle?

Yes.  The FedElecTag digital license plate represents a shared asset that can be reassigned and repurposed which supports long-term return on investment (ROI), and additional savings beyond a vehicle’s retirement date.  However professional installation is required each time the device is moved to another vehicle.  Most Federal passenger vehicles life-time service is about 5-7 years per the GSA minimum vehicle replacement standards.  This translates to a Federal government vehicle operational use of 14,609 hours (2,087 hour work year x 7 years) at maximum capacity of 8 hours a day.  The FedElecTag will be designed in line with various electronic display technologies that typically are rated for 30,000 to 60,000 hours of use, which amounts to about 10 – 20 years if running the display device 8 hours a day.

Is the digital license plate compatible with other devices?

Yes.  The FedElecTag capabilities allow it to be separate from other equipment contained in vehicles, or coextensive with, or integrated into such equipment [e.g., Infotainment Display Unit or Telematics Control Unit (TCU)].  Also, the FedElecTag is designed for easy plug-&-play installation, and is compatible with other automotive aftermarket third-party devices (e.g., dashboard cameras, video recording devices, etc.).  This is in line with a  “data agnostic” approach, which means sourcing data from different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and from different vendors, rather than conforming to a single data source (e.g., AT&T and Geotab telematics devices).


Does the data from the device interface with other fleet software/systems?

Yes.  The FedElecTag digital license plate will operate on a cloud-based, real-time system that runs through a specifically designed E-License Plates Federal Motor Vehicle Registration System (FMVRS) mobile application (app).   One goal is to automate the tracking/recording of vehicle asset level data (ALD), which will equate to reduced hourly wage expenditures or increased productivity.  The FedElecTag will accomplish this by developing application programing interfaces (APIs) and extensible markup language (XML) feeds from multiple systems in order to automate various aspects of fleet reporting [e.g., FMVRS, Financial Management Information Systems (FMIS), Federal Automotive Statistical Tool (FAST), etc.

Does the software have the ability to document mileage?

Yes.  The FedElecTag digital license plate will capture mileage information in which daily reports could be run to see daily usage on vehicles. Specifically, the system will be designed to automatically upload mileage to GSA Fleet Drive-Thru.  The proposed project will investigate various algorithms for fleet analytics to process data collected from the E-license plate device and provide real-time feedback.  This would include for example, extracting data into Microsoft Excel for data analysis and manipulation.

Can the device monitor who is driving the vehicle?

Yes.  The FedElecTag is a visual representation and extension of drivers, confirming and translating identity in three easy steps, in which agencies can label a vehicle online.  The FedElecTag digital license plate is a smartphone-based telematics device (also known as “personal telematics”) that includes the ID of actual drivers via a Unique Tag Identification Number (UTIN) system.  It allows for the assignment of UTINs via the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12) PIV/CAC smart card in which UTINs replace random tag numbers.  Each “Authorized User” is assigned a UTIN at issuance of the PIV/CAC smart card that remains the same for the duration of the Federal employee’s service (typically 30 years), regardless of changes in government agency, tour of duty, or driving other vehicles equipped with an E-License Plate.  In contrast, competitor systems typically include ID of the actual driver by FOB or PIN.

How does the device software monitor preventative maintenance?

The FedElecTag digital license plate will provide information to fleet managers in near real-time, directly on a portable mobile device app, as well as through cloud/web-based reporting tools.  The FedElecTag is a read only device that initiates sustainability compliance by connecting a mobile device to an on-board vehicle cradle to track vehicle diagnostics via the engine control unit (ECU)/On-board diagnostics (OBD II) port.  Any codes generated by the vehicle’s ECU will be captured in a diagnostic trouble code report (DTC) which provides a listing based on time and vehicle parameters. To minimize cybersecurity threats, the mobile device cradle/OBD II port is designed to provide the “as needed” functionality which limits the ability to communicate directly with the vehicle’s ECU through the Controller Area Network (CAN) or CAN-transceiver.

How does the device monitor greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and reduce fuel consumption?  

The FedElecTag digital license plate reduces GHG emissions and fuel consumption by providing visibility into idling, speeding, and other driver behaviors.  Documented research concludes an unfavorable correlation between speeding and fuel inefficiencies.  Thus, the FedElecTag digital license plate will be designed to show the vehicle speed in real-time via the FedElecTag mobile app and the FMVRS desktop dashboard.  This will be accomplished via a suite of movement and position sensors, coupled with GPS technology.


What are the security measures for this device?

National security is at the core.  The FedElecTag digital license plate is a solution based on accreditation and compliance with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).  The project will apply the FedRAMP guidelines that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.  Note that most current telematics solutions generally don’t fall under FedRamp.

Minimum encryption and cryptographic modules will be incorporated to: 1) securely encrypt end-to-end data transmission between the device and the target server, using an industry standard Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 DIT (Data in Transmission) encryption algorithm; 2) All privacy and security critical data stored on the device would be encrypted using AES 256 DAR (Data at Rest); and 3) use of cryptographic modules that have been validated under Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2.

What happens if the device is stolen?

The FedElecTag digital license plate has built in security that includes a theft deterrent/recovery Global Positioning System (GPS) feature.  A back-up battery and/or optional solar/pulsation devices provide supplemental power in the unlikely case of the device being disconnected from the vehicle power source. The device will continue to alert its location until the battery dies.  Moreover, the FedElecTag system provides a real-time interface with the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS) to quickly identify vehicles that are stolen, associated with serious violations, or used in the commission of a crime.


When and how do agencies have the device installed?

This process is achieved via the use of a FedElecTag mobile app and a FMVRS desktop dashboard for end-to-end automation of fleet management needs.  As part of the “Asset Management” module, vehicle acquisitions will account for the purchase and install of digital plates.  The FedElecTag digital license plate will be installed prior to delivery of vehicles to fleet managers.  Installation will be performed at the dealership locations by certified installers on all vehicle types to include passenger, light duty, and medium duty vehicles as well as large trucks and buses.  Agencies currently install vehicle telematics for all new passenger, light duty, and medium duty vehicle acquisitions when operating a fleet of at least 20 motor vehicles.  However, pending implementing instructions under the new Executive Order (E.O.) 13834 Efficient Federal Operations, Federal agencies should continue to use existing guidance unless revised or revoked, particularly with regard to established procedures, reporting processes, definitions, and technical matters.

How long does the installation process take per vehicle?

Comparable telematics devices typically take approximately 20-30 minutes to install. Timing is contingent upon the type of install such as Diagnostic Port or Three Wire, and any Input/Output device expansions.

See example install video of the Geotab “GO RUGGED” device with similar FedElecTag/E-License Plates specification requirements that’s industrial-strength and can withstand extreme changes in weather conditions and temperatures.


What are the device costs per vehicle?

The FedElecTag projected sales price is $300 to $500 per device based on final functionality and specifications.  However, agency full-costing will be determined based on various procurement options to include: 1) upfront capital expense, 2) capitalized equipment lease, or 3) GSA optional equipment.  The upfront costs will be about $50 for installation.  The installation price will cover configuration and firmware updates with an industry standard one-year limited warranty.  The monthly fees will be $2 – $10 for a GPS tracking and vehicle diagnostics bundled service package.  See the figure below for FedElecTag pricing analysis.

Regarding competitor pricing, the tentative non-discount price range is about $599 to $799 per E-license plate, and $8 to $12 monthly for web access services based on comparable E-license plates development in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).   However, note that this is for standard state DMV registration, and does not meet the national security, safety, and sustainability mandates of the Federal fleet.