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Mexican Bus Company Fights Tire Theft With RFID

Using EPC Gen 2 tags on the inside of bus tires, the company is hoping to keep thieves from stealing new tires and replacing them with older ones. The tags will also help track tire maintenance.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 18, 2007An intra-city bus company in Mexico began testing a new tire-tracking system this month. Sigmatire, from Actia Mexico, uses RFID to combat tire theft and monitor the number of kilometers a tire has been driven. The bus company, which Actia officials have declined to identify, will run the pilot for 30 days, studying environmental and operational conditions, such as how well the tags can be read based on where they are attached to the tires.

The bus company is using 10 of its 8,000 buses to test the system, says Samuel Lara, Actia's engineer for operations for the Mexico and Central American regions. If the 30-day trial is successful, the bus company will install RFID tags on all the tires of its entire fleet of buses.


Actia's Samuel Lara
"Here in Mexico, there is a problem with tire theft," says Lara, noting that even bus drivers steal new tires during their runs, replacing them with older, less valuable ones. In addition, Lara adds, "tires are one of the more expensive items for maintenance." Affixing tags to the tires helps prevent theft, monitor the kilometers the tires have traveled and help track maintenance operations, he explains.

RFID made its way onto tires several years ago. For example, Michelin North America rolled out a system five years ago, using passive RFID tags integrated with pressure and temperature sensors so fleet truck mechanics could automatically check the air pressure in a vehicle's wheels after a driver returned it to its terminal or garage upon completion of a route. Earlier this month, Michelin began offering an updated version of its RFID tire system, the eTire Pressure Monitor (see Michelin Shrinks Its eTire Pressure Monitor).

USER COMMENTS

jk saha 2013-10-20 10:01:09 AM
can any one update this story as the article is dated 2007 am very curious to know. email me or post ( jk@saha.net )

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