Making Toll Roads Tolerable!
We move fast in life these days. Instant messaging, microwave dinners, chatbot interactions for quick answers. But we aren’t any match for the speed of technology—both in its advancement and in its ability to process data. We are, however, adept at building the advancements so they can attain such fast processing capabilities, and in turn, help us live with more conveniences and information just a lighting-speed click away.
One recent unveiling of RFID technology in Europe exemplifies how research, testing, and rebuilding took RFID tags to their most advanced level yet in vehicle applications. According to an article in RFID Journal, two technology companies collaborated and successfully broke the speed record for tolling solutions. The work was done in phases, as the first round of readers were able to read tags at speeds of 130 kilometers per hour (80 mph). Further developments created 160 kilometer per hour (100 mph) reads. When they realized that the various conditions meant that the applications would require the tags be read at faster speeds, they re-engineered to get readings at 220 kilometer per hour (136 mph).
They performed live testing in front of 90 people from 30 countries. As the article reports, “The testing consisted of heavy trucks, cars and motorcycles. As they circled the track, Kathrein reader antennas captured each tag’s unique ID number and updated the software accordingly. They tested the tags in crowded environments, in which vehicles follow closely behind each other on the track, as well as on vehicles travelling at high speeds and on changing lanes.” Of course, no one is going to buzz through a toll at 136 miles per hour … right? They had to design the parameters at their highest capability so the reader can capture multiple variables and "environmental" possibilities.
RFID tolling is a large-scale and scalable system, with many countries already using it—and initiating it upon registration of the vehicle. Designs include integrating tags into license plates, which also allows for vehicle identification—the tags also have the ability to be paired with cameras for multiple identification purposes. Motorcycles can now have RFID tags in their headlights. Some countries are looking to expand the capabilities to be used at fueling stations, making the application of these RFID tags almost limitless.
We love stories like this because it shows us all that as we expand these types of explorations, we can see that what we imagine is impossible … can be lurking right around the corner … with the right engineering design and development. These engineers applied real-life scenarios to anticipate what and how they would need to make adjustments in their design and application.
Traffic-jammed toll roads are never a good time, but with these now in place, you’ll be able to get where you’re going in good time!
We’ve seen the evolution of many technologies morph through the years. Some start off fairly rudimentary and exponentially advance to an almost entirely new form of the original. Projects we have worked on recently have addressed next generation of technologies such as Bluetooth 5, wearable RFID sensors, flexible circuitry, and exploring—and finding solutions for—IoT advancements to help professionals receive immediate feedback for whatever their needs may be.
Updating and Upgrading Technology
In one instance with a customer of ours, IMA North America, a large OEM packaging equipment manufacturer, wanted to upgrade the design and capabilities of its count verification system. The goal: 100% accurate counting of tablets, capsules, soft gels, and caplets of all shapes and sizes with a flexible hardware platform that is reconfigured with the touch of a button.
Here are some of the finer design points of the upgrade:
- The new TruCount®machines are 39” and 16” wide—scalable to manage growth
- Built-in redundancy of 40 networked cameras replaced one camera previously tasked with covering 40” of pills dropping. Now if they lose a camera, they’re still in business.
- Photo diodes and detectors scan the product at nearly 2,000 times per second
The case study offers more information about this remarkable technological solution. Is the solution, update, or upgrade you need one download away? Download it now to find out.