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RFID Helps to Identify and Protect Motorcycles

Datatag's MASTER Security Scheme identification system is being used to protect mid-sized motorcycles from theft in the United Kingdom, while city police departments are considering use of the technology for smaller road bikes.
By Claire Swedberg

The tags also serve as additional identification in the event that a QR code is damaged, as well as if a wiring assembly or seat are separated from the rest of a bike. Reading the tag ID can let a user quickly confirm whether there is a problem with a particular vehicle.

Currently, Luscombe says, there are approximately 3,000 readers in use throughout the United Kingdom. They are typically in the hands of trained vehicle crime officers or traffic police. Many officers, however, may struggle to access the information they need, in which case an officer or dealer can call Datatag's operators and learn the process for reading and understanding content.

The system also includes the application of a bottle of microdots to mark a bike's engine and other parts. Ultraviolet etching enables individuals to read identification information using a 365nM UV light. "The idea is that we provide a layered approach," Luscombe says. In that way, if parts are replaced on a motorcycle, or if the whole bike is stolen and some technology is disabled, there is redundancy in identification technology.

The technology not only has prevented thefts, but also helps to identify that a bike has been stolen, and determine which parts might be sold illegally on eBay. Datatag is presently in conversations with London's Metropolitan Police, as well as police forces in other cities throughout the United Kingdom, to provide the technology to address smaller motorbike and scooter thefts.

The Datatag systems are being supplied worldwide, Luscombe says, including to more than 50 production lines or factories around the globe. These include JCB, John Deere, Caterpillar and Triumph.

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