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HID Global Offers RFID-enabled Fuel-Management Solution

The company's identiFUEL system consists of passive RFID tags for vehicles, readers on fuel nozzles, and controller units to collect data and forward it to the company's fuel-management software.
By Claire Swedberg
May 16, 2016

HID Global has released a set of components known collectively as identiFUEL that it says will enable fuel-management system (FMS) providers to further automate their offerings for managing fueling processes. IdentiFUEL employs passive low-frequency (LF) 125 kHz RFID technology and is designed to enable cashless fueling of a company's vehicle fleets, prevent fraud and contamination (such as a driver using the wrong fuel), and accurately track when fuel is taken, which vehicle operators have done so and the volume of fuel being consumed.

IdentiFUEL is the commercialized version of a set of RFID-based fuel-management components that HID Global acquired in late 2015 from South African company identiTAG. Since 2002, identiTAG customers worldwide had been using those components to track fuel use in their vehicle fleets, but the system is now exclusively available under the HID brand. HID Global demonstrated the identiFUEL system at the RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, held earlier this month in Orlando, Fla.

The fuel nozzle is sandwiched inside the battery-powered identiFUEL HBN905 reader, the two halves of which are screwed together.
After offering identiTAG components to a few customers throughout the past few years, HID Global decided to commercialize the technology for use as a general standard platform, says Richard Aufreiter, the company's product-management director for identification technologies.

IdentiFUEL is designed for use by transportation providers, such as bus and taxi companies, as well as by construction, logistics, car-rental, agricultural, government, mining and aviation firms (for monitoring airport vehicles, in the latter cases). The system could also be used at harbors to manage the fueling of land vehicles and boats.

The identiFUEL passive LF RFID vehicle tags come in four sizes and form factors (clockwise from top left): Block, measuring 2.0 by 1.18 by 0.6 inch (52 by 30 by 14.5 millimeters); Cap, 1.18 by 0.67 by 0.79 inch (30 by 17 by 20 millimeters); Wing, 0.98 by 1.0 by 0.44 inch (25 by 25.8 by 11.2 millimeters); and Disc, 1.18 by 0.2 inch (30 by 0.5 millimeter).
By using HID Global's identiFUEL technology for fueling automation, Aufreiter says, companies can reduce the transaction time for drivers, who might otherwise need to fill out paperwork. The identiFUEL system automatically captures additional data, such as a driver's ID number and the vehicle's engine time running. What's more, it offers security, since the collected read data will permit the dispensing of fuel only if a driver or vehicle is approved.

The new system features HID Global's passive LF IdentiFUEL vehicle tags, which are attached to vehicle fuel tanks. The tags are fuel- and water-resistant and will self-destruct if removed after installation. A battery-powered RFID reader, installed on the nozzle of a fueling station's pump, reads the ID encoded to a vehicle's tag and transmits that data, via a 433 MHz transmission, to an IdentiFUEL Wireless Controller, which forwards the information to the user's FMS software system on a server or a local database.

The reader awakens when its built-in motion sensor detects that the nozzle has been removed from the pump. This design enables the reader's battery to last for approximately three years, Aufreiter reports, assuming 200 minutes of use per day. Once activated, he says, the reader captures the vehicle tag's ID, which enables the FMS software on the hosted server to identify not only the vehicle being fueled, but also the fuel type appropriate for that vehicle. The FMS software instructs the IdentiFUEL Wireless Controller to release the flow of fuel.

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