RFID Windshield Tags: Access to New RFID Applications

RFID Windshield Tags

After producing millions upon millions of RFID Windshield Tags over the past 15 years we consider ourselves experts on the subject. Below are some of the most common questions we get asked along with our answers.

What is a Windshield Tag?

A windshield tag, or an RFID windshield tag, is a specialized label that adheres to a vehicle’s windshield either on the inside or outside of the windshield and typically uses clear adhesive that works especially well with glass while allowing maximum clarity to display colorful graphics.

What is the Difference Between a Tag and a Sticker?

While in reality the term sticker and tag can be used interchangeably, tags are typically considered better quality, more durable than stickers. For more information on this topic, read this blog article.

What is the Use of an RFID Tag in a Car?

There are a number of different potential uses for an RFID tag in a car. Parking and car wash applications top the list. Parking applications use the RFID tag to allow cars access to private or corporate parking facilities. Drivers pull up to the RFID readers and the gate opens allowing the driver to pull through without any human interaction making these facilities more efficient and more secure.

Car wash applications utilize RFID windshield tags in much the same way as parking facilities. Car washes sell unlimited wash subscriptions (or loyalty programs) to drivers which are tracked by the RFID windshield tag. The number programmed to the RFID windshield tag is associated in the backend database to the specific car – tracking things like the number of washes and even associating payment information to the RFID tag.

Other potential applications for RFID Windshield Tags include rental car tracking and inventory as well as toll applications which are both similar in execution to the car wash application described above.

Where Do RFID Stickers/Tags go on a Windshield?

In an effort to be unobtrusive to the driver yet easily accessed by the RFID readers, we recommend RFID windshield tags be placed in either the upper or lower lefthand corner (driver’s side) of the windshield. Another possible location for the RFID windshield tag is behind the rearview mirror adhered to the inside of the windshield.

How Long Do RFID Tags Last?

That depends on many factors – none of which are solely dependent on the RFID inlay itself. Rather, it depends on the environment in which the tags will be used. Will the RFID windshield tag go on the inside or outside of the windshield? External windshield tags need to be constructed using materials more resistant to outdoor conditions like sunlight, rain, snow, and extreme temperature changes.

If this information is disclosed during the qualification stage, these conditions can be accounted for and are essentially a non-issue and the RFID windshield tags can last for a number of years. We always recommend to customers to thoroughly test the RFID windshield tag in their specific environment to make sure it will meet their application objectives.

What is the Cost of RFID Tags?

Just like the question above the answer to this question is it depends. It depends on the construction of the tag – polyester tags cost more than polypropylene or paper tags, but less than a hard, encased RFID windshield tag. Passive RFID tags cost less than active RFID windshield tags. Customized RFID inlays used in windshield tags cost more (but provide more value to the user) than standard RFID inlays. It is really important to match the RFID tag to the objective of the application to ensure optimal performance and that includes reviewing different RFID tags and associated costs.

How Do You Remove RFID Tags from the Windshield?

My initial response to this question is why would you want to remove it? A question we hear more often is how can we make sure a user can’t remove the RFID windshield tag from the windshield? To that end we developed several splinter products designed to discourage RFID tag removal. The first product is our RFID Windshield Tag with security slits. These strategically placed slits aid in the destruction of the RFID windshield tag thereby discouraging removal. The next evolution of this product is our Destructible RFID Windshield Tag. Made of the same material as our Destructible Barcode Labels, along with the security slits, the destructible material makes it virtually impossible to remove in one piece. Our most recent RFID Windshield Tag, DuraDestruct, provides two levels of destructibility with the first reducing read range from over 30 feet to mere inches, while the second, a paper-based inlay, causes the inlay to disintegrate upon attempt at removal.

If the information above is not what you are looking for there are ways to build in easy removal to the construction of an RFID Windshield Tag by using a removable adhesive that does not leave any residue on the windshield itself. This is most often used for temporary applications.

For more information on RFID Windshield Tags or to discuss your potential application contact us at [email protected].

Aaron Hobert - RFID Technical Specialist   

About the Author: Aaron Hobert

Aaron Hobert is our RFID Technical Specialist. Hobert joined Metalcraft in September of 1994 as a Litho Press Operator, became the Autograph Team Lead in 1998 and in April 2005 he became the RFID Sales Support Rep. He was named our RFID Technical Specialist in 2008. Aaron lives outside Charles City with his wife Diane.

Mobile Phone: 641-330-2660

Email: [email protected]

Office: 3360 9th St. SW, Mason City, IA 50401

Office Phone: 641-423-9460

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