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Car Journalists Take RFID for Test-Drive
A system involving passive UHF tags helps a logistics company track the movements of loaned vehicles during events showcasing the release of new models.
Jun 18, 2015—
Automotive companies show off their newest cars to journalists and others during their new product release events. They typically hire logistics agencies to manage all aspects of the presentation, including the movement of vehicles to the event site in transport (often enclosed) trucks, as well as before, during and after they are presented to, and driven by, journalists.
One such car logistics agency is Driving Events, based in Barcelona, Spain. Last year, Driving Events began using RFID technology to quickly identify the driver of each new car as it enters or exits a specific area, thereby reducing traffic delays and the fines associated with that traffic. The solution, including software on a hosted server to manage the collected tag-read data, is provided by Spanish RFID company Dipole RFID. Driving Events now intends to use the technology at most of the car presentations for its clients going forward.
Putting journalists and others behind the wheel and allowing them to drive new vehicles around city streets, to hotels and other locations, is a complex endeavor. For instance, moving them onto and off of the facility's property, while ensuring that the cars are being operated by authorized individuals and are returned when expected, can cause traffic backups. The delays around these processes often result in traffic tickets being issued to vehicles' owners (the automotive companies) as cars queue up and slow traffic on the roads. In addition, some reporters operate the vehicles in unauthorized ways, such as speeding on rough roads or in parking areas. Local authorities send any tickets resulting from such activities directly to the car manufacturer. In fact, for the automotive companies, traffic fines have been just one more cost of doing business.
"The problem was not only the time issue, but also having to carry lists done by hand," Montaner says. The manual method invited the potential for errors, he explains. There was "the danger of losing the information," as well as the need to manually key in data written on paper.
"We wanted to improve the method that was being used [to create] 100 percent reliability on the data," Montaner states, "and not having to fear for the loss of it."
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