Automated Vehicle Identification Systems | Radio Frequency ID

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a cost efficient and extremely reliable means to identify vehicles as part of an Automated Vehicle Identification (AVI) system. AVI and RFID lend themselves quite nicely to parking access and/or revenue control systems as installed by ECI.

TransCore, a supplier to ECI, posted this YouTube video which shows how the system works more efficiently and faster than ticket spitters.

The technology uses radio waves to receive and interpret information which allows rapid identification and authorization of moving vehicles. (Think of a scaled down version of the Illinois Tollway’s I-Pass system with a transponder in your car.) An authorized vehicle is allowed entry into a secured parking lot or parking garage within a defined time period (which can also be 24/7) if it displays proper identification.

Tags + A Reader = Basic RFID System

A very basic RFID system consists of a passive (see below) tag and a reader. The tag contains a microchip with stored information which is read by the reader. The microchip is actually very small, less than a grain of rice. In addition to the microchip, a tag also has a receiver and an antennae.

The microchip and antennae are generally made part of a much larger vehicle tag. This may be a tag affixed to a windshield, license plate tag or removable placard.

There are two types of tags. The least expensive is a passive tag which does not require a power source to transmit its information. Radio energy sent by a reader is used to wake up the tag and supplies power for the tag to transmit its signal and information.

A passive tag generally stores a limited amount of information, about one KB (kilobyte). However, this is more than sufficient to specify name, identification number, vehicle data, etc. The information can be read several feet or meters away from the reader.

Another type of tag is an active tag. Active tags include battery power to boost transmission which allows extended read ranges. Information is periodically sent out or transmitted by an active tag to a reader.

The reader is actually a two-way radio, or both a transmitter and a receiver in one. It sends out a radio signal which wakes up nearby passive tags. The tag then uses the power from the radio signal to send back its identification information.

Interfaces With Access Control Systems

The reader interfaces with an access control system and/or controllers to open automatic barrier gates. This can extend the premise security factors.

Advantages of RFID technology as used in Automated Vehicle Identification (AVI) systems include:

  • Traffic can keep moving (which also saves gas and driver frustration)
  • It is more convenient than swiping proximity cards, reading magnetic stripe cards or bar codes
  • It can eliminate or reduce the need for guards or attendants

Parking and access applications include:

  • Residential Gated Communities
  • Commercial and Municipal Lots
  • Corporate or Business Campuses
  • Colleges and Universities Facilities
  • Medical Centers and Hospitals

Call ECI at 847.949.0134 to find out more about RFID and Vehicle Access Control Systems or click below for contact information.