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Using RFID with Telematics Technology

What is RFID?
Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to exchange data wirelessly. RFID has been used in a diverse set of industries ranging from product tracking to passports to casino chips. There are two basic classes of RFID devices: passive and active.

  • An active device has power source, typically a battery, which provides the energy required to broadcast information.
  • A passive device does not include a power source and instead receives power from the induced electromagnetic field generated by the reading device. Passive devices are typically less expensive. However, the read distance can be far shorter than with active devices.

Fleet Management Benefits
The value of telematics doesn’t stop with retrieving, storing, and analyzing the detailed information pulled from your vehicles. You can better manage your human assets by utilizing radio-frequency identification technology. By leveraging this technology, you can keep track of who is driving, or travelling, in your vehicles. Geotab offers integration with RFID readers from HID for keeping track of your passengers, as well as NFC readers and tags for driver identification.

Passenger Identification
For passenger identification HID’s RFID readers and cards were used. The goal for this type of identification was to monitor and display multiple passengers of a single vehicle, such as a bus. By having passengers swipe an ID tag when they entered, you’d be able to access a database of information about who gets on your vehicle and when. Whether you were transporting employees to remote locations or students on a field trip, by using this solution you could be confident each passenger was accounted for.

Driver Identification
For driver identification a different subset of RFID technology was used: Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC is a form of RFID operating in the 13.56MHz band. The technology can be found in several smartphones from a variety of manufactures. It has also been used in secure contactless payment systems such as credit cards and public transport. Driver identification becomes beneficial when you have multiple drivers for a single vehicle. By using this solution you can easily determine who is driving your vehicles during each independent tip.

If you feel RFID would be a benefit to your business or you have additional questions Contact Geotab to learn more.


  • Posted April 28, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Hi Gary,

    Thank you for the information, and we’re happy to hear that you’re testing a Geotab device. Are you looking into asset tracking? Feel free to send us more information by visiting our Geotab contact page: http://www.geotab.com/contact.aspx and filling out the form, or please reach out to your reseller directly. Your Authorized Geotab Reseller will be able to ensure you have selected the correct RFID tracker. Thank you.

  • Posted April 11, 2015 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    We are testing a geotag device and I would like to add a usb RFID reader to track asset collected at each zone. I am looking for any information on compatible readers and steps required to collect / publish the data collected.


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