There are many manufacturers producing all manner and type of vehicles. Aside from auto manufacturers, there are organizations producing fork lifts, golf carts, and motorcycles, among many others. The challenges companies face are twofold: First, they must quickly and efficiently move vehicles coming out of production to customers and dealer networks. Second, they have to track developmental vehicles through the research and development process. Lowry Solutions has developed a system using passive RFID technology to provide real-time visibility to finished goods as they move through the logistics of the delivery process. The same system provides real-time visibility to developmental vehicles as they move through development and testing processes. The system is based upon passive UHF RFID technology and is combined with GPS technology to provide real-time “last seen” location data on target vehicles.
In many cases, manufacturers store or stage finished vehicles in large lots, many of which are outdoors. Lowry Solutions’ Vehicle Tracking system enables the organization to quickly find a target vehicle in a sea of hundreds or even thousands of similar vehicles. Lowry combines fixed RFID readers — to break large geographic areas into smaller more manageable zones — with handheld RFID readers equipped with GPS technology to identify the exact location of the target vehicle within a specific zone.
RFID tags are applied to finished vehicles at the end of the production process. Fixed RFID readers are placed at the entrance and exit points of each zone. Personnel responsible for moving finished vehicles to holding areas are equipped with GPS-enabled handheld readers. As vehicles move into or out of a zone, the fixed RFID readers report the movement to the vehicle tracking system. As vehicles are parked within a zone, the personnel scan the RFID tag with the handheld, capturing both the RFID tag ID and the GPS location, which provides the vehicle tracking system with the exact location of the vehicle within the zone. Any vehicle can be located within seconds using Lowry Solutions’ Vehicle Tracking software.
The vehicle tracking software application is a web-based application accessible by a browser running on any PC, laptop or tablet. In the case of outdoor vehicle tracking, the application displays a Google Earth-type image of the area to be tracked. The image is created by performing a Geo Survey of the area, collecting GPS coordinates of the entire perimeter and loading them into the application. In the case of indoor vehicle tracking, the system displays a blueprint of the facility in which vehicles are housed. In both indoor and outdoor applications, vehicles are displayed on the map where they were last seen by either a fixed RFID antenna or a handheld RFID reader.
Lowry’s vehicle tracking software has many applications aside from the obvious automobile tracking. Transportation and logistics companies will find it useful to track and find specific tractors and trailers. Manufacturers of material handling equipment will find it valuable for end of production logistics, moving finished goods from the plant to a dealer or end user. Lowry Solutions’ Vehicle Tracking application is the perfect solution for all those that need to quickly and efficiently track and locate a specific vehicle — or type of vehicle — over a large geographic area or among a dense population of vehicles.