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RFID SYSTEMS : Vehicle Tracking

Automating check-ins saves time at the depot

RFID tags allow vehicles to be electronically identified as they enter or leave a specific area or move around within a confined space. Vehicles can be checked in and out of the depot automatically without the need for an attendant to be present to grant access or log arrivals and departures.

Each time the vehicle passes a reader, it is automatically identified by its tag and the information is uploaded to the IT system which keeps a record of its movements. Therefore RFID systems can improve traceability of shipments and management of the distribution or materials handling fleet. By automating check-ins, they also save time and reduce bottlenecks at the depot.

Sites can be divided into specific areas and RFID readers can be installed at fixed points and used to restrict access to certain areas or locate vehicles within a particular zone.

Ocado used a system developed by CoreRFID to automate the check-in process at its distribution centres

RFID tracking vs other systems

RFID systems track vehicles from point to point, unlike GPS which can provide continuous tracking. However RFID has a number of advantages over GPS, including automatic identification and recording, greater accuracy and reliability, and the ability to operate within indoor or confined spaces with no GPS signal.

While tracking vehicle on the open road will generally require a GPS system, it is possible to use RFID systems outside of your own depot, for example by installing readers at a customer site. Often vehicles will incorporate both types of system – GPS for when vehicles are on the move and RFID for recording their arrival and departure from depots.

RFID Vehicle TrackingAutomatic number plate recognition can also be used as part of a vehicle tracking system. It is relatively low cost and ideal for identifying an individual vehicle. RFID is particularly suited to systems working with unregistered vehicles or where identifying trailers, rather than the registered tractor, is the important element of the system.

Developing RFID vehicle tracking systems can be challenging because of the need for the system to deal with moving tags and tags on metal vehicles. CoreRFID has developed systems for many leading operators and can advise on the right combination of tags and readers for your particular requirements.

Case studies