Is RFID Being Used at Toll Bridges?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsIs RFID Being Used at Toll Bridges?
RFID Journal Staff asked 9 years ago

If so, which types of RFID technologies are being utilized?

—Name withheld


Toll bridges are among the earliest applications of radio frequency identification technology. The first electronic toll-collection system was deployed in Bergen, Norway, in 1986. A similar solution was taken live in the United States a year or two later, and these systems expanded across Europe and North America during the 1990s.

Most toll-collection systems employ active RFID transponders. An active tag is affixed to the windshield of a car or truck. It also has a passive transponder. As a car approaches the toll booth, its passive tag receives energy and awakens the active tag, telling it to start emitting a signal (to increase battery life, the active tag remains asleep most of the time). The active tag sends its unique serial number to a reader mounted above the toll booth. That number is associated with a driver, who is billed the amount of the toll.

More recently, some transportation agencies have been using passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) transponders. These were originally seen as too unreliable for use in toll collection, but UHF performance has improved. A coalition known as the 6C Toll Operators Committee (6CTOC) is promoting the idea of using passive ISO 18000-6C UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID tags as the national standard for toll collection in the United States. Four U.S. tolling agencies that have already adopted the technology formed the 6CTOC in 2011: Georgia's State Road and Tollway Authority, the Denver area's E-470 Public Highway Authority, the Utah Department of Transportation and the Washington State Department of Transportation (see Efforts to Aid Adoption of ISO 18000-6C RFID for Toll Collection Move Forward).

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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