London Underground escalators getting RFID
RFID tag on every step makes maintenance more efficient
Three million people ride the London Underground every day, taking one or more of its many escalators down to into a station and then back up to the street.
These escalators must be very carefully maintained, because if one ever broke down suddenly during rush hour, people on it could be hurt – either by being jostled during the breakdown itself, or being injured by the crowd which would quickly build up behind them.
Thanks to RFID, it will soon be quicker and more efficient to keep some of these escalators in smooth working conditions: by the end of 2010, each step of 200 of them will have an RFID tag on its underside.
Without RFID, an escalator would have to be completely stopped and each step studied individually until the problem was found, a process that takes hours. With the RFID tags in place on each step, however, it takes less than an hour for a worker with a handheld device to identify the precise source of the trouble.
London Underground passengers will be safer thanks to the more efficient escalator maintenance process that RFID will make possible.