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Honduras, Philippines Deploying RFID-enabled License Plate System

The Cayman Islands is already using Tonnjes' IDePlate and IDeStix technology to link vehicles and plates, locate vehicles of interest, and confirm the identities of vehicles on public roads.
By Claire Swedberg

To date, Honduras has acquired 3 million sets of plates and stickers, which are being rolled out in its two-year replacement effort. The government plans to seek fixed RFID readers that will be deployed on some public roads, as well as RFID readers for mobile applications. The country intends to install those devices at several checkpoints, where it will capture both license plate and windshield IDs and confirm that they match.

Tönnjes' Jochen Betz
If a specific vehicle is a subject of interest with regard to some illegal activity, the system can be set to seek its windshield and plate ID numbers, and to prompt an alarm at that checkpoint when the reader interrogates the tag ID, for use by public-safety officers stationed there. The tag IDs can be read at border crossings and toll gates as well, and could be used to identify speeding events and link a particular speed with a specific vehicle.

In the Cayman Islands, the system was taken live in 2017, with approximately 50,000 vehicles now equipped with the RFID-enabled plates and windshield stickers. Between five and 10 checkpoint readers provided by Tönnjes are scheduled to be installed around the county. The company supplies the middleware and software that captures the tag ID reader data and feeds that information, linked to the vehicle IDs, to the Cayman Island government's vehicle database. The reader installation is posing a unique challenge, Betz says, since the devices had to be mounted on hurricane-proof gantries. The Cayland Islands government needs to ensure that the gantries would be able to sustain high winds.

The IDeStix
When it comes to the capturing and filtering of data, Betz notes, one software-based challenge for a system like this is the large number of RFID tags already attached to parts of most modern vehicles. In fact, he estimates, there can be 15 or more RFID tags on a single car, most attached to parts that were being tracked by the manufacturer prior to the car's sale. "We don't want to talk to 17 tags [on a single car]," he states. Therefore, the system is designed to screen out all tag reads that are not recognized as part of the IDePlate system.

Turkey has also piloted the technology with vehicles on a testing course of the country's traffic police, while a trial in Russia tracked the movements of public buses throughout the city of Kazan. In addition, Tönnjes and Kirpestein are in discussions with the government of the Netherlands to conduct an open-road pilot, and is also in talks with vehicle authorities in that country regarding further pilots of the technology.

In addition, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), a department of the Philippine Ministry of Transport, has hired Tönnjes to deliver 3.25 million of its license plates for cars and motorcycles. The government is also purchasing IDeSTIX windscreen labels for 775,000 cars, and IDeSTIX Headlamp Tags for 1.7 million motorcycles.

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