Magazine

RFID – Manage Your Valet Lot More Efficiently

By Yedidia Blonder

RFID (radio frequency identification) is offering a new way to efficiently manage parking lots, enabling a dramatic cut in the time and costs of locating and mobilizing cars.

Parked vehicles in large lots pose significant challenges to parking facility owners, rental companies and car dealers, among others. They need to be able to keep track of the location of each vehicle in order to provide it in the shortest time-span possible. Preventing delays or dealing with them requires maintaining more staff and higher operating costs.

RFID, however, can help any manager of a parking facility reduce time spent searching for vehicles and the number of staff required to maintain the facility. Each vehicle can have a passive windshield RFID tag that becomes its identification number.

Each parking spot as well can have an RFID tag installed in the ground on the side of each parking spot or on an adjoining wall. That provides the parking spot with its own ID number.

To make the system useful, also needed are handheld RFID readers to scan the tags and an RFID system that will coordinate all the data.

Here’s how it works in practice:

On parking a vehicle, valets equipped with RFID handheld readers will simply scan its ID number, followed by the parking spot’s ID number. This automatically links the two ID numbers, so the vehicle is associated with one particular parking spot.

These data are stored on the handheld reader and then uploaded to the system. The readers – with user-friendly interfaces – and the system will be regularly synchronized, so the exact location of every vehicle will be just a click away from any of the handheld readers used in the facility.

With an RFID system, the amount of time necessary to locate a specific vehicle in a large lot – usually taking up to 30 minutes – can be easily cut in half.

A valet with a handheld reader will receive the precise location of the vehicle he is tasked with fetching. All he has to do is go and retrieve it. With RFID, car keys won’t get lost either – a passive RFID tag fastened to each key and scanned as part of the process will enable immediate and painless location.

In addition, upon completing positioning a vehicle or delivering one, the valet will receive the next assignment on the handheld reader without delay. Since each task and its timing are documented by the system, a full RFID system can also provide employers accurate statistics on the performance of each valet.

RFID is allowing parking managers to run their facilities more efficiently and to evaluate staff and system performance accurately, saving time and money.

Yedidia Blonder is Product Manager of Vizbee RFID Solutions. She can be reached through www.vizbee-rfid.com

Article Abstract from March, 2012




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