Vehicular RFID Access Control
Automatic Vehicle Identification Methods
Speed, security, efficiency, and ease of access are all fundamental components of a gated system. If you reflect on how long it takes to get into your average gated community or access-controlled parking garage, you spend a lot of time waiting to trigger the gate. For locations that see a lot of traffic, automatic vehicle identification (AVI) can prevent traffic jams and potential vulnerabilities at the gate.
RFID is emerging as one of the best solutions to this problem.
RFID tags, stickers, and badges have long been used in commercial settings. They have been recently scoring attention as a method for automatic vehicular identification in parking and residential settings. Whether you need to control the security of a residential complex, parking lot, or parking garage, RFID is the technology you’ll want running the show.
RFID systems are easy simple to manage. As opposed to having a remote device or passcode system, an RFID tag uniquely identifies its holder. Tags can also be deactivated within the access control software, or set to automatically expire after a certain time. It all gives you more control over who goes in and out.
Property managers will especially appreciate being able to remotely deactivate credentials without hunting users down to get back their gate clickers.
Legacy clicker systems have a major inherent vulnerability. Clicker signals can be easily duplicated or cloned using common, readily available technology. This allows a malicious party to gain unauthorized access, with no ability to track or recognize suspicious activity. RF theft is a much more difficult process easily foiled by signal encryption. Uniquely identifying codes work with your access control software to permit valid users and stop bad guys from getting in without a trace.
Common RFID solutions as used for personnel are transferable – think a keyfob, keycard, employee badge, etc. The problem with these is that they are easy to share or transfer from a valid user to an unauthorized individual. With or without the valid user’s knowledge. Even if a valid user wants to share his or her access, that means you have some sort of guest protocol which is being ignored or bypassed. Probably for a reason. Access sharing is a bad thing, no doubt about it.
In locations that value their security and protocols, transferable credentials like hang tags are not viable for this reason.
As a security measure, externally mounted vehicular RFID tags need to be non-transferable. Upon removal, the transmitter should break, rendering the tag useless for gaining access.
Accuracy is KEY
It cannot be understated how important security access accuracy is, otherwise the whole system is useless. When searching for an automatic vehicular identification system on the market, you will notice three major categories: license plate recognition, windshield RFID, and, well, HeadlightStickers™.
The most obvious shortcoming of the three comes from license plate recognition (LPR) systems. Trailer hitches, inclement weather, bad sun glare, and etc. can prevent license plate recognition systems from getting a clear positive identification. Because LPR has to deal with such conditions, most LPR systems have an “acceptable” margin of error to speed things up: something like five or six out of seven characters matched can give an access granted. Not acceptable.