Tracking high speed vehicles with RFID

Feb 15, 2022

As you may remember from our last blog, that RFID systems are used in industries across the world, increasing efficiency, speed and security. We have only just scratched the surface of this $12 billion industry that was first started in 1945.

One thing we didn’t talk about was the use of RFID systems in tracking high speed vehicles. RFID systems are uniquely able to function highly effectively with fast-moving objects and in the lightning fast world of 2022, they are crucial. This is especially true when considering the growing use of Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) systems in highways and ultra high speed railways under construction worldwide. But before we get into why RFID systems are so effective and why you should be tracking your vehicles using this tech, let’s discuss how they are able to track them.


How are RFID systems used to track vehicles?

As when using RFID systems in any other industry, tags make it simple, efficient and quick to detect the vehicles identification and any associated data, without the need for human involvement. And again, just like with RFID tags used in other industries, it is just three pieces that make up the RFID system. An RFID tag (attached to the vehicle), an RFID reader and an antenna.

When it comes to cars for example, the tags are typically attached to one of three areas. The windshield, the rearview mirror or the licence plate whereas when we tag vehicles in the rail and freight industry, tagging each major area allows our systems to provide a complete report on what the vehicle is carrying, where it is, where it’s going and more.


How fast can a vehicle be going and still be read through its tag?

This can change depending on a whole host of factors including things like the type of application, the environment and the type of RFID tag being used. That being said, one of the huge benefits when it comes to RFID systems is speed. It has been found that some systems are able to read over 300 tags per second. Other independent studies have even found that an RFID system is able to provide time savings of up to 94% when bulk reading tags.

Here at Coriel we did our own research, conducting a high speed RFID test using speeds in excess of 230km/h. We tested one of our series of readers in very wet weather, and resulted in tags being read at ranges of 3m to 10m and at speeds of up to 233km/h. Take a look at the video here.


Why RFID is used to track high-speed vehicles

When it comes to RFID use in tracking vehicles, there are three main reasons for their use. These are; access control, vehicle identification and vehicle tracking.

Access Control is the ability to allow or deny access based on vehicles having a specific RFID tag. These provide an enhanced level of security by keeping out unauthorised vehicles. These are commonly used in apartment/housing complexes, secure parking lots, construction yards etc.

Vehicle Identification. By reading a vehicle’s RFID tag, information about the vehicle and its identity can be gained. These are hugely beneficial for car rental agencies, car dealerships, even car wash facilities.

Vehicle tracking.While not being able to directly track a vehicle along a huge journey, by strategically placing checkpoints along the route, the location of the vehicle can be understood when it passes each one. This is already happening throughout the country at large truck weigh stations.

Expanding on those main reasons for RFID use, these systems can be found across the world performing tasks such as; rail and freight identification, electronic toll collection, gate access, automation and yard management.

The data obtained through RFID systems can even be combined with a variety of sensing technologies to not only accurately identify vehicles but also provide visual damage/condition assessments, weight, direction of travel and so much more.


The Benefits to tracking high-speed vehicles with RFID

Automatic detection

RFID gives you the ability to instantly and automatically detect the presence of vehicles. Whether you’re looking to simply log movements over time or something more in depth, RFID systems handle it without any involvement from you. Being able to identify and therefore know instantly where a vehicle is, where it came from, and where’s it going can be hugely valuable – especially for freight trains.

Preventative maintenance

The effectiveness of RFID systems at reading tags at high speeds is so good that they are even used for preventative maintenance. Even with a train passing an RFID reading point at high speed, it can diagnose and discover any potential issues very accurately, even down to the individual component level. On a practical level, this in-depth data can be used to monitor the temperature of bearings and magnets within large gearboxes and motors. The RFID systems can even be used to control the safe positioning of trains at stations by ensuring the carriage is correctly positioned before allowing the doors to be opened.

Streamline maintenance

One of the biggest benefits of RFID systems is the ability to streamline entire maintenance depots. By positioning readers at strategic points throughout the road, track or at pinch points throughout a site, maintenance depot staff and systems can prepare for the arrival of a vehicle. They are even able to trigger 3rd party systems. Our very own AVI (Automatic Vehicle Identification) systems can be used to automatically trigger and provide identification information to a wide range of 3rd party systems including weight scales, fault detection camera systems or maintenance tools.

From safety, tracking and repairs to helping entire depots become more efficient, RFID is the ideal system to track all the vehicles in your fleet.

Here at Coriel, we are able to deliver industry-leading RFID and Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) systems. These will simplify innumerable aspects to your business while providing efficiency, attention-to-detail and speed that can’t be matched with other systems. To find out more about how we can work together to get your business running as smoothly as possible, get in touch today.