RFID: Contactless Automatic Object Identification Using Radio Waves - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1210 Words
Date:  2023-01-30


The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a equipment delivering and providing contactless and automatic identification of objects with the use of radio waves. Often, in the United States, the RFID system is compared to the barcode identification system. In their usage, the RFID tags are fixed to the commodities to ensure that they are tracked with the use of an RFID reader connected to an antenna. When the tags receive the transmission from the antenna, the waves are transmitted to the tag's chip (Roberts, 2006).

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However, since the beginning in the 1980s with RFID's expansion into the vehicle identification and toiling, the idea of identifying vehicles particularly on high speeds delivered significant development on the railroad industry in the United States. The issue concerning RFID application in the United States railroad business is justified not only as a result of the present situation in which there are numerous developments of railways but also in terms of flexibility, effectiveness, and competitiveness compared to other transport industries. Since the first development of the Radio Frequency Identification on rail cars in the 1980s, into the inception in the 1990s, the RFID has been majorly used and benefited the U.S railroad industry (Roberts, 2006). Regardless, various RFID standards apply in the U.S railroad industry. This paper will discuss the different RFID standards applying in the U.S railroad sector.

In the different industries, in this case, the U.S railroad industry, there are various elements and standards of RFID. Through these standards, they enable the manufactures to make similar products for a variety of markets that increase the economies of scale, which in this case, involves the U.S railroad industry. Two major international RFID standards govern RFID; International Standards Organization (ISO) and the Electronics Product Code Global Incorporated (EPC global); however, more significant principles ensure proper running of activities. The rules are critical in the numerous RFID applications such as payment of services which incorporate a selection of different frequencies and applications (Roberts, 2006).

Auto-ID Tag Standards

Within the U.S railway management systems, one of the significant practices involved in the wagon or rail is car tracking. Tagging rail cars with RFID tags serve a vital role since they can serve different purposes. For instance, the ID tags can be used to identify the rail wagons for visibility, preventive maintenance, or a combination of both. In the identification of rail cars, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) delivers that all rail wagons ought to be uniquely identified from other in the same rail yard. In this, the RFID developed the Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) standard, which involves tagging of each rail wagon with the responding logistics of the cargo. On the other hand, by tagging of the rail wagons, it enhances visibility which aids in the reading and setting of intervals since they can accurately provide speed, and directionality which improves the proper calculation of time (Zhang &Tentzeris, 2011).

The Auto-ID tag standards apply in the U.S railroad industry since the tags play significant roles as delivered. To standardize the RFID tags, the Auto-ID created a sequence of classes within the standard to facilitate the application of the tags in the railroad industry. For instance, there are six major classes within the criteria. The Class 0 series is applicable whereby it is a primary read-only tag that uses backscatter as the tag was planned during the time the tag fragment is manufactured. Moreover, the Auto-ID tag standard is applicable in the U.S railroad industry since the Auto-ID Center developed the Electronic Product Code entails an air interface protocol that assists in tracking rail wagons, or cargo through the railway services. In most of the cases, the standard of the tag plays a dominant role in the railroad industry since they help in managing the railways' systems which revolve around identification of the rail wagons, visibility to read stations, and consideration of the preventive maintenance with the UHF RFID (Amanna, Agrawal, & Manteghi, 2010).

International Standards Organization (ISO) Standards

The International Organization of Standardization has delivered different standards for tracking, which are significantly applicable in the U.S railroad industry. Based on the aspect of the RFID involved such as air edge and procedure; conformance testing; data substance and arrangement, amongst others, the ISO RFID standards reduce into various groups. Majorly, the ISO standards are categorized in the form of series. For example, ISO 10536 is a standard for close-coupled cards; ISO 11784 defines how data is structured within the RFID tags utilized in the rail wagons, for instance. Furthermore, ISO 14443 provided descriptions for air edge procedure for RFID tags that are applicable in propinquity structures which are majorly utilized with payment systems. ISO 16963 is used in item management, which is a unique identifier of the RFID tags (Roberts, 2006).

Correspondingly, there are other ISO standards applied in the U.S railroad industry. For instance, the ISO 18000 series delivers significant impacts and development in the railroad management system. Specifically, the ISO 18047 describes the trying, which includes trying of RFID readers and tags. Within this series, it split into different categories that describe the various applications in the management of tags (Roberts, 2006). Also, the ISO 24770 series standard plays a significant role in Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS), which are critical in the railroad management systems (Ward, Van Kranenburg, & Backhouse, 2006).

In as much as there are different series of standards within the ISO standards, most of the elements are critical in the railroad management. As a result, such developments apply in the entire United States railroad systems since most of the states holding railways rely on the operating systems. Furthermore, despite the utilization of RFID standards in the tagging od rail cars, various companies using railways for the transportation of different products choose to tag them with RFID. Through this, it increases the possibilities of asset management possible through tagging and tracking. Ticketing has been another role delivered by the RFID standards since it involves encrypting the embedded HF tags eliminating chances of counterfeiting, which consists of the use of railcards or single-use tickets (Malakar& Roy, 2014).


The RFID is delivering significant advancements and developments in the United States railroad industry. Through the addition of extreme accuracy, operational efficiencies, and visibility, the RFID is lowering costs of labor and enhancing operations. However, these benefits are possible and evident as a result of the various RFID standards (such as the ISO standards and Auto-ID tag standards) which apply in the United States railroad industry. There are other advancements with the developing technologies and programs which are also playing a significant role in the growth of the U.S railroad industry.


Amanna, A., Agrawal, A., & Manteghi, M. (2010, January). Active RFID for enhanced railway operations. In ASME 2010 Rail Transportation Division Fall Technical Conference (pp. 31-37). American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Malakar, B., & Roy, B. K. (2014, February). Survey of RFID applications in the railway industry. In 2014 First International Conference on Automation, Control, Energy, and Systems (ACES) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

Roberts, C. M. (2006). Radiofrequency identification (RFID). Computers & Security, 25(1), 18-26.

Ward, M., Van Kranenburg, R., & Backhouse, G. (2006). RFID: Frequency, standards, adoption, and innovation. JISC Technology and Standards Watch, 5.

Zhang, X., & Tentzeris, M. (2011). Applications of fast-moving RFID tags in high-speed railway systems. International Journal of Engineering Business Management, 3, 6.

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RFID: Contactless Automatic Object Identification Using Radio Waves - Research Paper. (2023, Jan 30). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/rfid-contactless-automatic-object-identification-using-radio-waves-research-paper

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