Can I Use RFID to Monitor Cars on the Road?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan I Use RFID to Monitor Cars on the Road?
RFID Journal Staff asked 14 years ago

Is such a tracking application of the technology possible?

—Name withheld


I'll say up front that at RFID Journal, we don't believe it is ethical to monitor the movements of individuals. That said, if you are interested in, say, tracking company-owned cars, radio frequency identification could be used for that purpose—though it would be a very expensive proposition, and there are better technologies available.

Active RFID transponders are currently used in toll-collection systems. They have a read range of 300 to 1,500 feet, and they could be installed at entrances and exits to highways and other main roads, so you could use them to collect data regarding vehicles' movements. However, you would need a lot of readers, and you would need to connect them to your back-end system via your cellular phone network. This would costs tens of millions of dollars for extensive coverage.

A much more effective technology for tracking the locations and movements of cars on the road is the global positioning system (GPS). GPS transponders are more expensive than an active RFID tag, but you would not require any interrogators, and you can easily cover an entire country.

—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal

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