Professor pushes national truck tracking

June 13, 2005
A small device the size of a TV remote control may become a key element in homeland security if an idea proposed by Georgia Southern University computer science professor Bob Cook is accepted.

A small device the size of a TV remote control may become a key element in homeland security if an idea proposed by Georgia Southern University computer science professor Bob Cook is accepted.

Cook proposes incorporating cutting-edge radio frequency identification (RFID) devices, truck weigh stations, and law enforcement vehicles into a system to gather information for a proposed national truck tracking center.

His suggestion is to attach a small RFID unit with its own identification code to each truck and container. Every time a truck passes through a weigh station, an electronic reader would sense the RFID devices and feed the truck and container’s location into a national truck tracking computer system. Cook also proposes to equip law enforcement vehicles with RFID sensors. The sensors would then collect truck tracking information in the normal course of their patrols and transmit it back to a computer system.

The RFID devices measure a few inches in size and cost less than $15.

Cook assembled a prototype system and successfully tested it at a weigh station on Interstate 16 near Savannah GA. He worked with the Georgia Ports Authority, a trucking company, and a retail distributor.

According to Cook, anyone involved in shipping, transporting, or receiving cargo could track their delivery. Cook also says his plan ties in closely with the Georgia Department of Transportation’s plans for electronic highways.

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