RFID—Enabling Smart Transportation
Apr 27, 2016
By 2025, the global rise in urbanization levels will result in challenges such as congestion and a dearth of parking spaces. Radio frequency identification (RFID) is one of a few technologies that will help address these issues. However, the adoption of RFID technology in mobility related applications has historically been slower than expected due to factors such as economic downturn, lack of proven business cases, and customer conservatism. Recent years have seen increased awareness levels of the benefits of this technology, which augurs well for the future.
Growing ecosystem redefining competition
The growing trend of connected everything is vast and there is no one-stop-shop solution model. This expansive ecosystem results in companies facing competition from newer stakeholders. Competition will arise from both emerging participants and end customers developing in-house expertise.
For example, parking is a $25 billion industry in the United States and a €50 billion industry in Western Europe (EU-15) that is primarily operated and managed in a traditional manner with very little focus on innovation and smart parking. However, this scenario is changing with automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and technology companies entering the ecosystem.
Technology advancements augment further adoption
The interoperability of RFIDs with allied standards and technologies such as Wi-Fi and sensors opens a myriad of applications. That said, key applications for RFID are automatic vehicle identification, electronic toll collection, congestion management, and parking management. The evident increase in research and development (R&D) efforts by RFID vendors have resulted in improved performance, reliability, and scalability. As industry participants focus more on developing robust, error-free, and efficient solutions, a greater inclination towards faster return on investment (ROI) through technology is expected. The aforementioned applications use both active and passive RFID technologies.
Developed economies drive demand
The developed economies of North America and Europe are expected to offer considerable growth potential attributed mainly to government spending on improving inter-city and intra-city congestion. Furthermore, the RFID growth prospects are being augmented by government mandates in emerging economies that curtail non-complaint license plate registration and automatic vehicle identification.
For example, India is a promising market for RFID thanks to several government initiatives highlighting the futuristic implementation of smart parking, electronic tolls, and license plate recognition. The future economic engines of growth include nations like Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Turkey, and Indonesia.
As is evident from the last decade, the increasing awareness about technology and its benefits, coupled with market trends, continues to drive adoption levels of RFID in this industry. Although still in its early days of adoption, RFID use in the transportation market is growing and the market outlook is positive. Business models with customized ROI models and reduced opportunity costs are expected to help RFID gain momentum in emerging markets. Also, with the emergence of IoT, changing business landscapes are becoming increasingly common with new value chain partnerships and product innovations. The convergence of RFID with allied technologies is expected to witness considerable traction, driving the adoption rates in these applications. Thus, the market for RFID in transportation is one that needs to be exploited by vendors in this space.