Table of Contents

How Is RFID Used For ETC?

rfid for etc

Nowadays, there are many different types of RFID systems employed worldwide. RFID-based toll collection system automates the toll collection process by reducing the long queues at toll booths, using the RFID tags installed on the vehicle. Electronic toll collection (ETC) systems have become more efficient and smarter over the years due to implementing RFID technology. Modern electronic toll systems consist of a way of tracking the vehicle, registering it, and billing.


How does it work?


Every time a registered vehicle approaches the toll booth, the infrared sensors will detect the vehicle’s presence. When the car pulls up to a lane with an ETC system, the passive reader in the toll booth constantly emits a signal instructing any transponders that enter the read field to wake up. The passive RFID tag in the car fixed to the windshield activates and broadcasts the vehicle’s serial number. A reader antenna receives the transponder’s signal. The serial number is routed through a local area network to a computer. The serial number is then sent along with toll location and perhaps lane information to a centralized computer and stores the driver’s information. The RFID readers mounted at the toll booth will read the prepaid RFID tags fixed on the vehicle’s windshield and automatically deduct the respective amount. If the tag is removed from the windshield, the cameras fixed at two sites at the toll plaza take snaps of the front and back number plate. The toll can be deducted from the bank account directly since every vehicle registration ID is linked to the user’s account. The vehicles passing through the toll plaza don’t stop to pay toll as the payment automatically takes place from the driver’s account.


RFID based toll collection system components


They include;

  • RFID tagged vehicle
  • Cameras
  • Vehicle registration plate
  • Laser transponders
  • Centralized database
  • Tollbooth equipped with RFID scanners


Advantages of RFID based toll collection system


a)Vehicle owners and administrators

  • Help in vehicle theft detection. All toll plazas are connected along with the centralized server in the form of LAN. Any updates of a stolen vehicle will be updated immediately to the local database and centralized server. When the stolen vehicle passes by the toll plaza, the unique RFID tag number fixed on it, is matched with the stolen vehicle’s tag in the database at the toll booth.
  • Tracking over speeding vehicles. The vehicles traveling above the speed limit can be tracked with 100% accuracy.
  • Automatic toll collection.
  • Tracking vehicles that cross the signal. The RFID readers fixed at signal crossing areas will detect vehicles ignoring the traffic signal and notify the traffic police. This can be done with great accuracy and efficiency.


  • Fuel savings. The queues at toll plazas are fewer or shorter
  • Use of postpaid toll statements. No need to requests receipts
  • Reduced mobile emissions. This promotes faster and more efficient service.
  • Better audit control by centralized user account
  • Lowered toll collection costs



Some toll collection systems are now moving to passive ultra-high frequency (UHF) technology. With passive technology, the reader emits energy that energizes the tag which then reflects back a signal with the encoded serial number. The advantage is that passive UHF technology is cheaper and passive tags are battery-free.


Click here to learn more details about the RFID tag that are used for ETC.

Or click here to learn more about the latest eco-friendly material that we developed for making this RFID label.

Go to Top