The government plans to start a GPS-based toll system in place of FASTag to ensure seamless payment and vehicle movement on national highways.
- The move would end the role of toll plazas across the country.
GS III: Science and Technology
Dimensions of the Article:
- How will a GPS-based tolling system work?
- About FASTag
- About RFID Technology
How will a GPS-based tolling system work?
- Vehicles will be fitted with an electronic device that can track their movement.
- Highways will be geo-fenced, creating virtual boundaries. The system will use GPS or radio frequency identification technologies.
- The software will recognize when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area, and toll will be charged based on the distance travelled at the highway’s exit point.
- As the system is based on sensors, there will be no need to stop at toll plazas.
- Vehicles and users must be registered with the GPS toll system, linked to bank accounts that will be used to transfer toll payments.
- FASTag is an electronic toll collection system in India, operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
- It employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it or directly toll owner.
- As per NHAI, FASTag has unlimited validity. 7.5% cashback offers were also provided to promote the use of FASTag.
- Dedicated Lanes at some Toll plazas have been built for FASTag.
Advantages of Using FASTag
- Digital transaction makes it easier to collect toll fees.
- Congestion in Toll plazas will reduce.
- Non-stop movement at the highways will reduce Fuel consumption and even pollution.
- The Effort in Managing toll gates is reduced as the system is more automated.
- There will also be reduced paper wastage (in the form of tokens/receipts)
- This will be a unifying system as FASTags are not specific to the state or region and work all over India.
Problems with FASTag
- Technical issues and glitches are possible which makes the system susceptible to false charges or other such issues.
- All the toll booths are yet to be made FASTag compatible and this has not necessarily reduced the congestion issue yet.
- The RFID technology is not failproof and can be misused by duplication or other “hacks”.
- The FASTags sold by banks have to be recharged from the same bank, as they are not Bank Neutral (unless you buy it directly from NHAI).
About RFID Technology
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) uses radio waves to communicate between two objects: a reader and a tag. RFID communication is the same as two-way radio communication in the sense that information is transmitted or received via a radio wave at a specific frequency.
- Passive tags collect energy from a nearby RFID reader’s interrogating radio waves. Active tags have a local power source such as a battery and may operate at hundreds of meters from the RFID reader.
RFID applications apart from usage in Toll collection:
- Self-checkins at Libraries / rental services as well as retail premises.
- Livestock Management and pet identification.
- Building Security – secure access controls, documentation and passports.
- Airports – for baggage tracking and tracing/locating.
- SMART home controls – systems to manage home/business energy consumption/production.
- Seismic Sensing – such as locating gas lines and temperature sensing (geophysical).
- Environmental – Energy, Ozone & Pollution measuring equipment.
-Source: Live Mint