The Nexus of Forces in Action – Use-Case 20: Safe Mobility



This concept applies to children traveling from home to school, but it is also extendable to elderly people or patients, and women traveling alone at night.

Primary Industry Sectors


Business Value

Lower the risk of road accidents, citizen protection and law enforcement.

Key Business Functions

Identification of context and individual needs (e.g., role, destination, time), support for improved mobility (e.g., intermodal, grouping, including or avoiding certain locations), promotion of safe mobility (i.e., localization, proactive alarm trigger, and propagation), integration with the local area transportation system and road infrastructure

Primary Actors


Secondary Actors

Transport planner, medical patient service provider

Machine Actors

Embedded RFID tag, intelligent home infrastructure, messaging, integration, GPS, public traffic management system, vehicle tracking system, mobile phone device tracking reporting app

Key Technologies

IoT, mobile, cloud, big data

Main Scenarios

When a child leaves home, he or she wears an article of clothing with an embedded RFID tag. The event is read and recorded by the intelligent home infrastructure, and may be forwarded to the parents as a text message, email, or similar, if required, or only if the event deviates from the scheduled or “learned” expected behavior.

Intelligent homes in the neighborhood, the bus stops, and the road infrastructure share the required information on the number of children and their destinations, enabling the optimal routes to be scheduled. Different means of transportation may be customized according to the actual needs, such as “pedibus ”, “multi-modal”, or “parent taxi”, and given priority access. Non-essential or through traffic is diverted away from the school area.

On arrival at the school, specific vehicle access is granted by sending a 2D-code, an NFC certificate, or some similar means of identification, to the driver’s smart phone. The children who were identified when entering the vehicle are checked when entering the school. The reverse procedure is operated when the children go home.

Key Data

Master Data

EPC identity, RFID tag-to-child cross-reference record, child’s parent or guardian record, registered transport provider record, geo-fencing rules and policy record, privacy consent rights, GPS location record, authorized mobile recording and monitoring device record

Current Observations Data

Date-time geographic location status, active RFID status, geo-fencing alert warning status

Historical Data

Travel location sample history

Query Data

Activity frequency per time period (hour, day, week, month), current location of child, geo-fencing violations per child, device monitoring, compliance of location and RFID usage

Action Taken Data

Child’s parent or guardian alert (text message, email, etc.), planned action to reach and relocate child.

Real Business Examples

Farmers Develop RFID System to Protect Children and Animals

A group of farming families is testing 433 MHz battery-powered wristbands and readers, to be sold this fall, in order to protect kids and pets from farm machinery and vehicles. (See Claire Swedberg’s article in RFID Journal.)

Tracking Prisoners and Probation

See Mark Piesing’s article: The Connected Prison: Swapping Lock and Key for Biometrics and RFID in Wired.

Correction Facility Tracks Visitors

The Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office is using RFID to ensure people are accounted for in the event of an evacuation. (See Bob Violino’s article in RFID Journal.)

Additional Considerations

Existing Interoperability Standards

A number of organizations have set standards for RFID, including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), ASTM International, the DASH7 Alliance (an international industry group formed in 2009 to promote standards and interoperability among extensions to ISO/IEC 18000-7 technologies), and EPCglobal.

In principle, every country can set its own rules for frequency allocation for RFID tags, and not all radio bands are available in all countries. These frequencies are known as the Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) bands. The return signal of the tag may still cause interference for other radio users.

There are ISO and ASTM standards for RFID and NFC. Groups concerned with standardization are the DASH7 Alliance and EPCglobal.

Comments on Context

There are strong ethical issues relating to tracking children and potential misuse and perception of surveillance (see the Chip Free Schools website). There are other circumstances where medical use of similar technology can prevent self-harm by monitoring patients’ location; for example, with dementia and memory loss.


  • Ethical and legal use rules
  • Area coverage of GPS, radio frequency, and NFC usage with country