Asset Tracking
RFID Technology: How RFID System Is Used on Roads

RFID Technology: How RFID System Is Used on Roads

RFID Technology: How RFID System Is Used on Roads

RFID is modern and advanced tagging technology which allows keeping track of items and products regardless of any concerned industry.

In this new era, we witness great inventions and discoveries now and then. On them is RFID technology developed from the smart, new, digital, and engineering technology.

Looking deeper and clear into the innovation of RFID technology, it is used widely in every sector and industry to increase their productivity and efficiency.

Components of RFID

RFID is a technology that enables digital data encoded in RFID tags (smart labels) is captured and read through radio waves.

Following are three components of RFID:

1. RFID reader

The RFID reader is the brain of the RFID system and it is necessary for a system to perform any function. The RFID reader transmits and receives radio waves to communicate the information with RFID tags.

The readers are of two types -

  • Mobile RFID - Mobile readers are handheld devices that allow flexible reading of RFID tags to communicate with a host computer or a device.

  • Fixed RFID - As the name suggests fixed RFID are placed in stationary point such as Tollbooth, Entry & exit points of Mall.

2. Antenna

An RFID antenna is used to convert RFID reader signal into RFID waves to send to RFID tags. They receive their power from RFID readers directly.

Without some type of RFID antennas, the reader won't be able to properly send and receive signals to RFID tags, either it is integrated or standing alone.

Also Read: How RFID transformed asset tracking in oil and gas industry?

3. Transponders (RFID Tags)

These transponders are making RFID innovation user-friendly and accurate. In the simplest form RFID tag constitute two parts -

  • Antenna - for transmitting and receiving signals

  • RFID Chip - for storing tags ID with other information

RFID tags do not have any battery, instead, they receive energy from the radio waves generated by the RFID reader.

It has 3 frequency range:

  1. Low frequency (LF) - 125-134 kHz; range - up to 10 cm

  2. High frequency (HF) - 13.56 MHz; range - up to 30 cm

  3. Ultra-high frequency (UHF) - 856-960 MHz; range - up to 100 m

There are three types of RFID tags:

  1. Active - The active RFID owns a power source and has a broadcast range of up to 100 m. it is ideal for the material location.

  2. Passive - The passive RFID does not own any power source instead it is powered by a reader. It has a read range from near contact of up to 25 m.

  3. Semi-Passive - The Semi-Passive RFID does not transmit active signals. They monitor things like climate and security breaches in the container. They are battery-powered. It has a read range of 860 MHz - 960 MHz i.e. 0.34 m - 0.31 m.


According to the data of NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), U.S. Department of Transportation:

1. Statistics of Reported Crashes by Crash Severity (2006-2015)

Year Fatal Injury Property Damage Total 2006 38,648 1,746,000 4,189,000 5,973,000 2015 32,166 1,715,000 4,548,000 6,296,000

2. Fatalities by Person Type (2006-2015)

Type 2006 2015 Passenger Car Occupants 42% 36% Light-Truck Occupants 30% 28% Large-Truck/Bus/Other Occupants 3% 4% Motorcyclists 11% 14% Non-Occupants 13% 18%

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Statistics

3. Types of Crashes based on Driver's Behavior

There are two main reasons behind the crashes recorded on the basis of the driver behaviour, according to the data of 2015:

  • Alcohol-Impaired Driving - 10,265
  • Speeding - 9,557

How RFID technology is Applicable as RFID System on Roads?

The RFID system on roads includes RFID tags installed on the roads and the RFID readers installed on vehicles. It is an essential need for future transportation systems.

The RFID system on roads some advance features which did not come to exist before like:

  • Lane Level Position
  • Road Traffic Control Information
  • Vehicle Distance Estimation
  • Real-time Driving Behavior Analysis, etc.
Also Read: 7 Major Sectors Using RFID Technology for Asset Management

Applications of RFID System on Roads

Almost all the applications of RFID System on Roads are designed on the observance of Road Crashes that happened in some of the previous years.

Let's get started.

1. Navigation System

The RFID tags are fixed on the roads' surface and know their own location. A vehicle estimates its position by obtaining the position of a tag while passing/crossing over the tag.

This RFID tag provides abundant information to the driver like:

  • Traffic Direction
  • Speed Limit
  • Lane Regulation, Lane Number, Lane Destination, Lane Condition, and other statistics related to that lane
  • Event Notification

The user is benefited with real-time data of lane level navigation services which were not possible with the current Global Positioning System (GPS) as it used to provide low positioning accuracy.

2. Electrical Traffic Control System

Electrical Traffic Control System using RFID

According to the above-mentioned report, the breakdown of the traffic control system was also a major reason behind the road crashes. Following are the reasons, why traffic control had a negative impact:

  • Failed Traffic Lights
  • Non-Line-of-Sight
  • Misleading Traffic Signs

Overcoming this problem electric traffic control system provides accurate and near real-time data of traffic control. The central database processing system has two parts:

  • Dynamic Database - It stores records of vehicles currently crossing the RFID tags, temporarily.
  • Permanent Database - It stores the records of all the vehicles that have crossed the RFID tags.

Advantages of Intelligent Traffic Control System

  1. Traffic signals operate in accordance with the current volume of traffic. The system has the advantage of how the traffic volume is calculated.
  2. Priorities assigned to vehicles like -
    - Unrestricted passage - Ambulances, Fire Brigades, VIP Vehicles
    - Higher Priority (during working hours of offices and schools) - Scooters and Cars
    - Higher Priority at Night - Heavy Vehicles
  3. E-Tolling of Vehicles
  4. Stolen Vehicles can be tracked through the obtained time and direction of the vehicle
  5. Traffic data can be generated for statistical purposes
Also Read: 5 Instances of Incredible Customer Experience via RFID Technology

3. Unmanned Patrol System

Many ill-mannered drivers commit certain violations that frequently occur but do not get registered or documented due to the absence of a patrol system. Therefore, the patrol is conducted on every site to detect all the violations without any exception.

Considering the former traffic cameras and patrol systems were not able to deliver that level of surveillance. So, unmanned patrol systems implementation provided strength to the security of traffic regulations, providing 24*7 monitoring systems.

Under the unmanned patrol system, the RFID reader sends the collected information to the On-Board Patrol (OBP) device. The OBP is observed through the authorities like Police Officers. OBP judges if the driver has violated any rules, based on the received information.

Type of violation OBP can detect:

  • Speeding
  • Turning Violations
  • Failing to Stop
  • Passing Violations, etc.

4. Unmanned Ground Vehicles

The unmanned ground vehicle is an idea in which everybody is dreaming of years. Many governments, universities, and private companies have tried and worked on this project like Google's driverless car, General Motors, etc.

Following are the reasons why RFID system on Roads is an excellent system to support driverless vehicles:

  • RFID system on Roads is less expensive to provide similar functions as physical tracking.

  • Flexible tag programming.

  • Scalable with easy deployment and redeployment.

  • Assist a set of other systems like navigation, traffic sign, parking, access control, and distance estimation.

5. Vehicle Distance Estimation

There should be a certain distance between two of the vehicles for safe driving and road journey. This is an important parameter that gets unnoticed for safe driving.

Vehicle Distance Estimation using RFID

It is required to get aware of the real-time distance of vehicles on the road so that the driver can maintain a safe distance and can take necessary action on time (if required).

What people usually do is estimate the distance of any vehicle from their vision and experience, as a result, affects by visibility.

The vehicle distance estimation totally depends on the time synchronization among the vehicles and fast speed RFID read & write operations.

Also Read: 5 Big Brands that Uses RFID Technology in Business Smartly


RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology utilizes radio waves to read and capture the data from the storage tag. The RFID tag can be attached to any object like clothes, electronic gadgets, daily use items, inventories, fleet, etc. It gets difficult in case of a good quantity fleet to read the informative RFID tags.

The attractive feature of the RFID technology is that the tag does not require direct line-of-sight of the reader to get itself detected.

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