• Dec 12th 2006 at 4:58PM
  • 7
Yesterday it was chipped tires, today it's chipped license plates. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is becoming more popular in everything from credit cards and passports to toll transponders and now license plates. RFID tags can simplify life by providing an automatic ID when scanned. RFID uses a microchip and antenna that stores personal data and can be installed in a device or embedded into an object (or even under the skin). Although this raises a whole 'nother debate about the Big Brother aspect of monitoring people's movements and unwanted access to personal info by hackers, RFID can be used effectively to speed things up. Or to automatically register information. Which brings us to today's use generously shared by our brothers and sisters at Engadget: license plates.
Because of the frequency of auto theft in Malaysia, their Road Transport Department (RTD) has decided to start using RFID-equipped license plates. Integrated microchips will help make scanning and identifying vehicles easier for the authorities. Authorized mechanics will install the plates with the embedded microchips storing data about the vehicle's make, model, and driver info. Known as the e-plate, naturally, it has already been used effectively in Japan and the UK, where the chips can automatically record data from another vehicle's RFID in the event of an accident. Especially in hit-and-run situations this could be a Godsend. The RTD is hoping that Kuala Lumpur will see reductions in thefts as the new plates will make things tougher on carjackers because swapped plates won't match the vehicle ID. The program will start with new registrations and gradually work its way to older models on renewals. You just know these RFID tags are going to be implanted under the skin at birth in the not-too-distant future.

[Source: Engadget]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dude! am i the smartest guy reading this blogs?

      How abaout taking it off?
      How abaout removing them?
      • 8 Years Ago
      #3, #4--A car without plates would definitely attract police attention, which is not what a thief would want. And putting another plate on the vehicle would mean that the info on the plate wouldn't match the vehicle description (or driver info) if it was scanned by an officer.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I always though a screwdriver would be the best way to (ahem) remove the plate and put your own on it while taking the stolen vehicle to the chop shop.
      • 8 Years Ago
      RFID's do NOT hold "personal information". It's not a SIM-card with an antenna attached.. that's called a cellphone... and that's already been implemented in cars with things like "on-star". All it holds is a key that can be used to look up data in a database somewhere.

      RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification. and there are two types: active, and passive. Active, is an RFID that has a battery and sends out a signal occasionally with one string of info via a Radio Signal: a number/letter combo that is unique to that chip. The passive RFID is an RFID that will only send out an ID when it is passed through a magnetic field (by means of induction). But it is still only a global unique ID.

      The magic in all this lies in enterprise systems and their backing databases that would allow the manufacturer of a product to go "the vehicle with VIN ######### has an RFID tag with the id number ##########"

      Thus... RFID is allowed to be very small and flexible, doesn't need a power source (in the case of passive) and cheap. Thus, one could hide it in 17 places in a car, incorporate it into plastics, cover it with paint or carpet, and all any agency would have to do is wave a wand at the car and go to an internet form and figure out exactly where it's supposed to be, whether it's stolen, etc.

      But, as everyone has pointed out... having the little yimmies on something easily removable and widely publicized like a license plate will probably only deter inept thieves. Those sophisticated enough to pay off DMV-esque people to change values in a database or manufacture their own IDs and those who are very desperate for a car will probably not be dissuaded.

      I see a lot of potential for how RFIDs could make untraceable car-theft that much more difficult... but I also see it being a long time before all the kinks and loopholes are worked out.
      • 8 Years Ago
      From the article: "RFID tags can simplify life"
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think it's a step in the right direction, as long as privacy is maintained. Good idea.
      • 7 Years Ago
      hi, we Ecosensa is a RFID Malaysia Player involved in this eplate project.

      Ecosensa is also an EPCglobal Malaysia member.

      If you interested to get to know more about ePlate. Do contact us at www.ecosensa.com
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