RFID for Vehicle Tracking: Running an Effective Business With RFID
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) continues to be a good technology in different fields. You might have been used to seeing the technology work great for access control in office setups. However, the same can also work quite well in vehicle tracking. This is where a company can use RFID for tracking the movements of their vehicles, among other things. We deep dive into having a better understanding of how RFID can work well for vehicle tracking.
Reasons To Use RFID for Vehicle Tracking
RFID has continued to work well in the vehicle tracking industry. This is mostly because of the many benefits that come with this type of technology. We want to look at the reasons for using RFID for vehicle tracking in detail to get a better understanding.
RFID tracking allows for real-time tracking. This is because a company can have the RFID readers installed at various checkpoints. Each time the vehicle passes at a checkpoint, its details are logged and updated in the system. This ensures that you can have an easier way of tracking whatever is being transported.
Improves security and prevents theft
This is also among the reasons people actually track their vehicles. Each time you find that the vehicle is not logged at the right time it is supposed to, then the driver can be asked why this happened. So, it is important to install such devices to help improve the security of the cargo.
Better fleet management
Technology such as RFID can do a lot in helping you manage your fleet of vehicles. This includes monitoring the fuel use, vehicle movements, and when servicing has to be done. Other than using them for fleet management, you could also use them to help the business reduce its operational costs. In the end, you should have improved productivity overall.
Easy to Integrate with Other Systems
RFID systems are easily integrated with other systems. You can easily upgrade them when the time comes. The good thing is that they are universal since they are made with ISO standards in mind. The result is that in case you need to make upgrades to the existing system, go ahead and do it without worrying, you would not incur so many expenses.
Many companies offering RFID for vehicle tracking systems would also have several customization options. This is to ensure you can have an easier time customizing the performance of the RFID system to your needs. Also, there is better scalability. Maybe you started with a small fleet, and now it has grown. Simply add more RFID tags and integrate them into the existing system.
RFID vs. Other Methods for Vehicle Tracking
You might be thinking to yourself, but there are other methods available that you could use for vehicle tracking. What makes RFID better?
We can see that RFID is largely loved for offering benefits such as real-time tracking. So long as the readers are placed strategically, you can have all the information you need about your fleet anytime.
Still, a person gets enhanced security. The RFID tags are mostly tamper-proof and will help prevent cases of theft. The use of RFID still helps with reducing human error so that you can have an efficient way of managing your vehicles.
The cost savings you get with RFID in the long term is another good reason to consider using RFID for vehicle tracking. Who would not want to use knowing they can save on implementing a system that can help them run their company effectively?
We now have to compare with the other options in the market.
1. Global Positioning System (GPS)
GPS remains a top choice for many industries, just as RFID. Some of the reasons people prefer GPS is because of its global coverage. You would be able to also experience higher accuracy.
GPS is still a highly versatile system and works with a wide range of tracking systems. Its long-range performance also makes it a high competitor against using RFID technology.
However, GPS is highly dependent on satellite signals. This can make them hard to use, especially in dense forests or urban canyons. Also, it is easy to detect GPS devices and disable them by thieves. Another downside is that GPS devices can be costlier to acquire than RFID devices.
2. Cellular-based tracking
You could also come across cellular-based tracking as an option. This is where the tracking system uses the cellular networks for transmitting the location of the vehicle. So, the vehicles equipped with this system would periodically report their location.
The good thing with this system is the wide coverage you get. You can also find it reliable because cellular tracking is readily available in several environments. Still, frequent data updates are possible.
The downside is that you need cellular data plans to keep the devices active. We all know how sometimes the data plans can get expensive as you keep using the tracking devices. There is a chance you may experience poor cellular reception. This means that tracking is also affected.
3. QR Code or Barcode Tracking
This might not be the most popular way of tracking vehicles, but it is possible. You can have QR codes or barcodes attached to the vehicle windscreen. Each time the vehicle comes to a checkpoint, it is scanned for identification.
We find this method low-cost, which can be good if you are on a tight budget. Also, the simplicity of the system makes it easy to use and handle. You can also integrate the same with other existing systems, and it would work great.
The downside is that line of sight is required. The codes should be visible and scannable. You can also find that the barcodes and QR codes have limited information. The manual process of scanning each vehicle does not help either. Sometimes this can introduce errors.
There are other methods, but we see these as the main competitors. All-in-all, RFID strikes a balance in terms of cost and how good it can be for helping with vehicle tracking.
How RFID is Used For Vehicle Tracking
Seeing all these benefits of using RFID for vehicle tracking might interest you enough to consider using it for vehicle tracking. So, how best would use use RFID for vehicle tracking? Here are ideas to keep in mind.
1. Fleet management
This is probably the primary reason you are using RFID for vehicle tracking in the first place. Businesses rely on keeping their fleet of vehicles in good condition to ensure they can handle several things on time. So, once you are able to know the location of the different vehicles, you can know when to arrange for pickups and drop-offs.
2. Automated toll collections
You will also like how RFID plays a crucial role in automating toll collection systems. Toll roads and highways would have this kind of system installed so that they can make toll collection easier and faster. Each time a driver passes through the system, the amount is deducted automatically from the account.
As you can see, there will be fewer lines at toll collection centers reducing traffic congestion and improving overall efficiency.
3. Vehicle access control
You can also control who has access to the vehicles in addition to tracking. Let us say you park the vehicle in parking facilities or any other place. Using RFID as part of access control adds another layer of security to ensure that you do not end up losing the vehicle to thieves.
4. Vehicle identification
Parking facilities can also use RFID for vehicle identification. Each time the vehicle enters the parking facility, its tag information is captured, ensuring that the correct entry time is logged. This information can be used to calculate the parking fee and improve how well the parking facility is maintained.
5. Vehicle anti-theft and recovery systems
Losing a vehicle is not fun, and sometimes you would not be compensated to a point you would like. To make sure you do not experience this, we recommend installing RFID for vehicle tracking. This can help in adding law enforcement officers to locate and recover the stolen vehicle.
The RFID tags are mostly built to be tamper-evident. This makes it hard to remove them or disable them. Depending on the design, you could hide them in plain sight, and the thieves would not know much about them.
6. Rental car management
In case you own a car rental business, you could also use the same for managing the vehicles. The vehicles will be fitted with the tags so that the agency can track them easily. Also, the same can help monitor rental durations. Having this information can help you have efficient turnover and understand how best to improve your services to serve customers better.
How to Implement RFID for Vehicle Tracking
A number of things can go into implementing RFID for vehicle tracking. It largely depends on your needs. That is why we have a quick guide below on what you can do to add RFID as part of your vehicle tracking system.
- Start by having clear objectives and requirements for the system. This helps you know how best to utilize the RFID system for the tracking environment.
- Proceed to choose a brand such as JLTcard that can help with a proper understanding of the various RFID technologies. This helps you pick the right one for your needs.
- Select the right RFID technology now that you know more about them. You may come across options such as passive, active, and others. Many people would pick their best RFID systems based on their read range, environmental conditions, battery life, and other factors.
- Proceed to install the RFID readers. The readers are supposed to be installed strategically so that they can work well just as you had anticipated. The idea is to provide you with optimal coverage and read range. Look at factors such as antenna placement, connectivity, and signal interference to have the best performance.
- Integrating with your existing system is what follows next. Let us say you have vehicle fleet management software, how do you then use the same to work with your new RFID system? We recommend integrating with the existing system and then proceeding to tag the vehicles.
- You simply have toattach the RFID tags to the vehicles as advised. Just make sure they are surfaces that would not affect the performance of the tags. It is common to see companies putting such devices on the windshield or other areas that are easy to access in case scanning is needed.
- Test the system and calibrate it. If it is working just as you were expecting, then deploy it. Make sure to train and educate the staff to know how best to use the system. This helps in ensuring you get the best performance out of the system generally.
Keep evaluating the information you collect from the system and feedback about it from the users. This can help improve where necessary so that the system can serve you better.
Limitations of RFID for Vehicle Tracking
You should always remember that even if the technology is good, sometimes it may have limitations. It is the same thing for RFID for vehicle tracking. Here are a few limitations you may experience while using the technology.
- Limited range can be an issue depending on the type of RFID tags you use. Sometimes you have to be too close to the vehicle to scan it.
- Environmental factors and interference, such as metals, can cause the performance of these tags to deteriorate. This can be an issue if you really want accurate data.
- The cost varies from one brand to another, and also the type of RFID devices. The initial cost, including readers and software to integrate them, can be expensive for many companies.
Radio Frequency Identification technology is a versatile and powerful technology that will do a lot to help in vehicle tracking. In addition to this functionality, the same also improves security, offers real-time monitoring, and improves efficiency. As much as there might be some limitations, they are still an issue for most companies as the benefits are more than the limitations. Just make sure it is a continuous improvement of the systems to keep them effective over time.