NXP Semiconductors has concluded a successful study of embedded passive RFID tags in the license plates of more than 100 military vehicles. The study, conducted for the past 12 months at a military base in the Netherlands, confirmed the secure and reliable use of RFID for vehicle identification in various weather conditions and at speeds of close to 100 miles per hour.
The successful pilot has already led to a large scale implementation of the applied chips in electronic license plate projects in South America. Embedding
RFID into license plates can lead to other business opportunities, such as automated fee collection in parking garages if car owners agree to terms beforehand.
“Because the solution fully supports a privacy respective implementation that respects privacy for all cars, and as the costs of equipping cars with electronic license plates are getting lower, electronic license plates are ready for large scale deployment in Europe,” said Olaf Renz, managing director of Tönnjes, a system integrator that worked on the project. “When cars are equipped with these electronic license plates, new business opportunities can also be developed. Similarly, the technology can be used for tamper proof vehicle registration and identification, traffic management and access control.”
The trial started in 2015 with cars and trucks equipped with IDePLATEs and IDeSTIXs (windshield labels) with integrated passive RFID chips. Authorized reading units, mounted on a gantry, continuously read the privacy protected unique chip IDs on the license plates and windshield labels of passing vehicles.
“Different challenges were overcome with the field trial,” said Koert Kirpestein, owner and general manager of license plater manufacturer Kirpestein BV. “Many military vehicles are equipped with additional metal cladding and grits which caused interferences for RFID tag antennas. The major challenge was to ensure a reliable identification and verification of IDePLATE and IDeSTIX even with those vehicles. The trial enabled optimizing the results by securing the interaction between hardware and software. These adjustments ensured a secure verification even at high speeds.”
The RFID chips in the field trial used the latest long-range crypto technology developed by NXP, called UCODE DNA. The technology applies the latest security standards and works with cryptographic authentication over distances of up to 12 meters and at a speeds up to 93 miles per hour (150 km/h).
“NXP is committed to offering solutions that include security features,” says Maurice Geraets, managing director of NXP Netherlands. “The UCODE DNA chips are designed to reveal identity information to authorized parties only. The chips send identity information in highly secured transmissions so that only RFID readers, stationary or handhelds, which have access to the corresponding secret cryptographic keys, can decipher this information. With this technology, only authorized readers can monitor which cars are driving where.”