Article by NWI Group: Vehicle Recognition Technologies in Automated Weighbridge Systems

Article by NWI Group: Vehicle Recognition Technologies in Automated Weighbridge Systems

NWI Group (Australia) - Automated weighbridge systems across Australia have gradually implemented new technology to make the weighing process easier and more streamlined. Some of the big leaps have been in vehicle recognition technology which allows for controlled access and faster weighing procedures. Let’s take a more detailed look at vehicle recognition technology and how it’s being used in multiple industries.

What is vehicle recognition technology?

Vehicle recognition technology spans two main types, and different sites can choose the type they find most effective.

These two major technologies are:

  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
  • Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR)

These technologies have their positives and negatives, however, they are both very effective in identifying vehicles both before entering a site and also during the weighing process. The aim of these technologies is to provide advanced site security regarding the collection and delivery vehicles. Vehicle recognition technology also speeds up the weighing process.

The major appeal of vehicle recognition technology is its ability to streamline operations. There are now remote-access capabilities that can extend operating hours and, in some cases, even remove the need for weighing stations to be manned.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID):

RFID is a popular technology in a range of industries and is particularly useful for weighbridge operations. Identification data is coded into RFID tags that a reader can detect through radio waves. In a lot of ways, it is similar to the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology used when you pay for something using a smartphone. Other uses for RFID tags include entry to buildings, car parks and identifying charges on toll roads.

The system is comprised of 3 main parts:

  • The RFID tag carried by the driver
  • An RFID reader at the weigh station/site entrance
  • An antenna

Depending on the frequency used (125kHz for short-range and 860-980mHz for long-range), RFID recognition can work as close as 100mm and as far away as 7 metres. When looking at a standard weighbridge application, the reader would match the RFID tag’s data to a database of known vehicles, triggering an action such as raising a boom gate or giving the driver the green light to enter the weighbridge.

Why RFID works well:

RFID provides the following benefits:

  • A lower installation cost (however, RFID card/tag costs are ongoing)
  • Unaffected by weather or environmental conditions
  • Over 95% efficiency

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR):

ANPR technology works with visuals instead of radio waves. Usually, an ANPR camera is placed in an appropriate place, like the site entrance or the start of the weighbridge. The number plate of a vehicle is captured by the camera, sending the information to a database. Much like RFID, the system then triggers an action such as allowing the vehicle to enter the site or guiding them to enter a weighbridge.

For those concerned with accuracy, most ANPR systems use multiple images to mitigate errors and increase accuracy. Modern ANPR cameras operate with around 97% accuracy, even in poor conditions. Essentially, these multiple images are captured, converted to text data and sent to the database for recognition.

Why ANPR works well:

ANPR stacks up pretty well against RFID, offering the following benefits:

  • No ongoing costs
  • Number plate information is easily added to the database
  • No driver intervention is required
  • Over 95% accuracy
  • Up to 15m range

If you’d like to know more about vehicle recognition technology for weighbridges, contact NWI Group today.

 

Picture 2 Caption:

NWI Weighbridge Automation Diagram.

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