Best RFID technology for transit industry


I am currently working on a project with RFID technology. Since this is the first time I’m working with RFID, I could use some guidance.

Here are some of the product requirements:
• Install near a vehicle engine bay
• I will design the reader and could design the tags
• Should be able to read tag within 1-2 meters of range, or inside 20cm, depending on the approch chosen
• Will be place near metal and liquid (battery electrolyte)
• Must sustain (preferably) temperature from -40°C to 85°C
• The antenna must not be too big (ideally under 10cm of length/width)
• The reader might not have a direct line-of-sight with the tags

From what I have seen on Digi-Key website, there seems to have three approaches regarding RFID :
• Low frequency (LF)
• High frequency (HF)
• Ultra high frequency (UHF)

We would like to know, according to your experience, which technology best fits my needs, and which one is the most available/affordable? What IC do you suggest to implement the reader?

Thank you in advance for your time, have a nice day!

Hello @fapicard, Digi-Key does not have a large selection of RFID products nor do we have experience designing RFID systems. For 1-2 meter range you would likely need UHF frequency. I would suggest you start with a module before jumping into a chip design so you can do some real world testing evaluation to see if RFID is a viable solution for your application. I am not aware of any reader modules capable of -40 to +85 C operating temperature but you could look at something like to do some initial testing/evaluation.

Hi @ScottRaeker, thanks for the answer, I’ll have a look at what you suggest.

Have a nice day!