What you need to know about RFID systems

Governments are trying to find ways of paying for road maintenance and construction and because of this a large number of toll or pay roads are being constructed. These roads require users to pay a set amount for the privilege of travelling on them. In the past, toll booths were the norm and, while these still exist, the trend towards using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems has gained momentum. These systems allow a device known as a “reader” to scan and identify vehicle information that is stored in a “tag”.

Thus, a car that has been fitted with an RFID system can simply drive on the toll road and the charges will be billed to the owner of the vehicle. Although this is one of the more common uses for an RFID system the truth is that these systems have made it easy to revolutionize how goods are shipped and billed.

Types of systems

Although there are many manufacturers who are building these systems the fact is that they tend to fall into one of three categories. Knowing which category will meet your needs can help you choose the right system and avoid making costly errors.

The first is known as a passive system. This is a device that is activated by the reader or sensor rather than by any internal power system. It will only emit a signal when it is triggered to do so. This is different than an Active RFID tag that actively emits a signal and which requires a power system to operate. The final type of RFID system is a combination of the two. It has an internal battery much like an active system, but it does not operate unless it is triggered by an exterior signal.

A look at possible uses for RFID systems

Although many people think that the only time an RFID system would be used is on a toll road, the fact is that these systems are used for more than you may realize. One of the main uses has been in supply-chain management as a way of controlling transportation costs and to make it easier to track shipments. If a truck that is delivering items is equipped with one of these systems it is possible to tell where that vehicle is and when the package or item will be delivered.

Other common uses for these systems are not all connected to shipping, toll roads or even vehicles.

  • Retails shops use RFID tagging systems to prevent theft of stock from their shops.
  • Farmers are beginning to use RFID tags in order to track and monitor their livestock.
  • Business can use RFID tagging in access controls systems.
  • Seasonal parking passes also rely on this technology.

As the use of RFID tagging systems continues to be refined and become more effective it will be easier and more affordable to tailor one of these systems to your own needs.

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