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5 Uses of RFID in Transportation

  • Mahesh Tiwari
  • Sep 04, 2023
  • RFID
Uses of RFID in Transportation

“RFID in Transportation refers to the use of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Technology) in transportation for the purpose of automatic identification and data collection of vehicles, luggage, individuals, etc.”

Transportation means the movement of people and things from point A to point B. You take a bus, a train, or a flight to move between villages and cities and countries and that is what happens with goods as well. Freight trains with 15-20 coaches move from city to city, carrying cargo and so do trucks planes, and ships.

Transportation is thus, not only the movement of these ships, cars, buses, and trains but it also drives business and economy. 

Keeping this in mind governments spend a significant amount of money on creating an infrastructure that allows hassle-free transportation and it is not just limited to building airports, roadways, railways, cars, trains, and planes. It is much more than that. It is also about making sure that movement is smooth and people and things reach point B on time.

In this digital age, various new technologies are available that can enable smooth hassle-free, timely movement of people and cargo and keep businesses running. 

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is one such tool allowing you and your cargo to move from one place to another, allowing for greater visibility and hassle-free movement. 


Here are five ways in which RFID is useful in transportation:


1. RFID-based toll collection: FasTAG:

Although India is a developing nation, the use of AIDC technology is catching on fast here. A few years back, keeping up with its ‘Digital India’ initiatives, the Indian road and transport ministry made it compulsory to use FasTAG, an RFID tag/sticker that is attached to vehicle windshields that are used for automatic toll collection, without having to stop at the tolling stations, on highways.

RFID toll collection has been a success in many countries that employ RFID readers, and antennae at toll booths and vehicles are equipped with an RFID tag that is linked to the vehicle owner’s digital wallet. It saves valuable time for people and allows smooth movement of traffic.


2. RFID at Airports:

Airports often witness some of the worst congestion and taxis and personal vehicles of flyers also make for congestion outside. RFID-enabled solutions can be used to grant smooth access to flyers at the airport premises and can help manage congestion outside as well.

RFID-enabled tickets will allow flyers to enter and exit the airport without having to go through security checks which will facilitate easy movement of passengers and will enhance customer experience as well.

RFID tags can also be used for luggage tracking and processing as well as enabling real-time updates on passenger luggage and easy baggage claim post travel. 

 3. RFID in Railways:

RFID-based solutions can also be used to mitigate crowds at congested railway platforms and to allow easy access to passengers without long security queues. RFID on rail coaches can provide a greater degree of visibility as well. RFID-based smart cards are also being used as tickets in various metro rail services across the world providing easy access and extremely efficient ticketing systems, for example, UK’s Oyster cards and Oyster visitor cards

 4. RFID in shipping:

It is worth mentioning that the shipping industry is the last to adopt RFID given the obvious unfavorable circumstances as to where RFID tags should be used. Cargo ships are loaded with metal containers and handled by an overhead crane, so where one should use an RFID tag so that it can be read by an RFID reader? Notwithstanding this particular problem, RFID can still be used to grant access to people on cruise ships and the various sections of the ships as per the ticketing rules. RFID-based access control will also increase the safety of passengers onboard. 

5. RFID at transport repair and maintenance stations:

Repair and maintenance of transport vehicles, rail engines, or planes at regular intervals is an extremely important part of the transportation industry. It is of utmost importance to keep in mind the safety of passengers and the proper functioning of the transport unit as well.

RFID system can be used to monitor which transport units have been to the maintenance station/ hanger, and which haven’t. This results in proper upkeep of the transport unit and ensures passenger safety at large.

 To conclude, RFID as an IoT technology has the power to streamline transportation and various issues the transportation department faces whether it is traffic management, real-time tracking of vehicles, scheduling or maintenance, and repairs of vehicles. RFID baggage tags can be attached to passenger luggage at airports and real-time tracking can be provided to flyers, enabling enhanced air travel experience as well. 

RFID-based smart cards are being used in various rail and metro transport services across the globe, the UK’s Oyster cards being a primary example.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Mar 15, 2023
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