TransCore came to my attention during a ride through my neighborhood this past weekend.
First, let me say that I live in a podunk city. It’s not big and it’s not important. Nevertheless, there are traffic cameras everywhere. In fact, their placement makes it impossible to arrive in or depart from the city without being filmed. Most of the cameras are not for traffic violations, as those are posted with this sign:
Those cameras are pointed at the back of the car, where the license plate is located. The rest of the traffic cameras are directed at the front of the car, toward the face of the driver. Most of them look like this:
Although one of them looks like this:
The next major intersection after the one with this type of camera does not have anything that I can recognize as a camera. That’s where I saw the TransCore van. It was parked at the southwest corner of the intersection.
What caught my attention was that the van had a flashing blue light. That’s why I looked at the logo. The logo further caught my attention, as “core” struck me as being an Agenda 21 buzzword. I later realized I was thinking of “common core,” the government’s imposition of its “standards” (some would say “agenda”) on local schools.
In our state, the flashing blue light is only used for police vehicles and the vehicles of “salespersons, service representatives, or other employees of businesses licensed to sell or repair law enforcement equipment.”
The cameras for the local traffic violation scheme are serviced by another company whose contract isn’t up for several years. (That company is American Traffic Solutions, or ATS.) In addition, TransCore seems a bit too high tech to be servicing red light cameras.
Here is a bit of what I’ve discovered about TransCore:
TransCore’s 75-year heritage supporting the transportation industry spans the development of RFID transportation applications at Los Alamos National Labs to implementation of the nation’s first electronic toll collection system. The breadth of the company’s expertise includes traffic management systems, intelligent transportation systems (ITS), systems integration, design consulting, operations, maintenance, RFID manufacturing, and extensive Web-based logistics systems.
Wikipedia‘s definition of RFID:
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects.
Some people call them “spy chips” and they’re everywhere; for example, there’s probably one in your dog, and they’re placed in many retail products to help thwart shoplifting. It seems TransCore developed the technology used in E-ZPass and other highway toll systems.
More from TransCore’s website:
TransCore is also one of the largest global manufacturers of transportation-based RFID technology with more than 51 million RFID tags and 70,000 readers deployed worldwide in various transportation applications such as electronic toll collection, traffic management, rail, truck, container, barge and intermodal tracking and monitoring, homeland security border control, airport ground transportation, parking, and secure vehicle access control.
In other words, “they” are tracking people and goods all over the globe. The Wikipedia article on TransCore offers further information on the company’s products and designs.
So why is TransCore working at an intersection in my podunk city? There are no toll roads anywhere nearby. There are no airports or railways and that particular street is not the main thoroughfare for truck traffic; rather, the truck route is a few blocks over and is the one with the red light cameras. If anyone’s looking for a small, unimportant city, this would be it. So why is TransCore here?