Vision Techniques

VT Ident: The Interview

As RWM approaches we’re getting closer to the official launch of VT Ident – our newest product to help prevent unauthorised access and reduce the risk of injury.

But what is Ident? How does it work, and what can it do for your vehicles? We asked our own Technical Manager, Nigel Armstrong for a bit more information.

What is VT Ident?

It’s an RFID based control system that we have developed to be an open ended platform, making it suitable for multiple industries and vehicles. We’ve targeted the system to control aspects of a vehicles operation, but it could easily be used on plant equipment and a whole host of other applications.

 

What can Ident do?

It creates a new level of security between a vehicle operator and a possibly dangerous system on a vehicle. By preventing access to, for example, the ignition, brakes or tail lift on a vehicle you’re reducing the risk of accidents, injuries and theft.

We’ve developed the system to control machine equipment mounted on a vehicle chassis, but there’s a wealth of other vehicles and operations that could benefit from introducing a requirement for the authorised operator to be in attendance while a process is being carried out.

 

What can Ident control on a vehicle?

Ident can control any electrical or hydraulic operation on a vehicle. That’s quite a wide spectrum, but being more specific, our system can control the release of the handbrake, stop the engine using the ignition system, and restrict use of any chassis mounted machineryeither hydraulically or electrically, such as waste loaders or tail lifts.

Any Ident system is completely flexible, we can change the time allowed before a tag is required, or we can add pressure pads to prevent a vehicle moving without a driver sitting on a seat – the options are endless.

 

Why did you create VT Ident?

We created VT Ident to control any dangerous components on a vehicle. Fleet operators go to great lengths to train their staff on how to use their vehicles safely, but in reality very dangerous equipment can often be unguarded, unprotected and open to unauthorised use by members of the public or untrained operatives. Ident is designed to ‘lock-down’ this equipment to people that have been trained to use it, and no-one else.

 

 How does the Ident system work?

Ident uses authorisation tags that are worn by employees working with the vehicle, which must be presented to the ‘read points’ which allow or deny access through the main control unit. This unit has control over various processes on a vehicle, for example the ignition, tail access or use of an air-assisted brake system.

 

Who is Ident designed for?

Over the past few years we’ve been working within the waste industry more than ever before, and we’ve identified a lot of persistent risks working around on-board vehicle machinery. This led us to develop VT Ident as a control system to help prevent accidents from unauthorised use. The beauty of the system is that it has been developed in-house, meaning the system framework could easily be migrated into other applications.   

 

Why did you use a tag based system?

Early versions of Ident used active tag technology, where the tag is automatically activated when presented to an emitted low frequency radio field. When an operator walked into the field the tag transmitted a code that would allow access to the system. This meant the tag need batteries, which led to the tags failing without warning after intensive use. Active tagging could also be abused by leaving tags near a reader to allow constant access. Our system needs the operator to log on with a reader to allow access, and our ‘passive system’ means each tag doesn’t need a battery either.

 

What vehicles is Ident compatible with?

Our system isn’t limited to a specific type, weight or make of vehicle, if it’s electrically or hydraulically controlled, our system is compatible with it. In reality, there are many applications beyond vehicular control for which the system could be utilised.

 

What’s the next stage for VT Ident?

I see VT Ident very much as a platform, which will evolve into a host of new products based around the concept. We’ve already started developing refined products which target access to either the driving of the vehicle, or the machinery. Ident is a very scalable piece of technology, so we’re very much open to creating tailored solutions for our customers depending on what they need.

 

For more information on vehicle control systems, RFID or other vehicle safety products contact Vision Techniques on 01254 679717 or visit us at www.vision-techniques.com