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Georgia Southern University Professor Bob Cook is proposing that the federal government create a national truck tracking system based on radio frequency identification (RFID) devices as a way to improve trucking industry security.

"Every day, millions of commercial trucks travel the nation's highways and homeland security officials are still looking for a system to keep track of this massive volume of traffic," he says. "I'm proposing that a system linking RFID devices, truck weigh stations and law enforcement vehicles together to gather information for a proposed national truck tracking center."

Cook suggests attaching a small RFID tag 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, he says. Cook also proposes equipping 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.

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

In addition to providing homeland security data, Cook says his system would allow legitimate customers to more easily and uniformly track deliveries and that his proposal ties in closely with the Georgia Dept. of Transportation's plans for electronic highways.

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