India to soon launch GPS-based Toll collection

Sunday, 11 February 2024 - 21:55

India's Union minister Nitin Gadkari announced that GPS-based toll collection systems will replace existing highway toll plazas in the country. Road, Transport and Highways minister announced that transition will occur as early as April this year. The government has appointed a consultant to implement a GPS-based toll collection system on national highways, the minister said on Thursday.

The Road Transport and Highways Minister also said the system will be introduced on a pilot basis in addition to FASTags. The move is aimed at reducing traffic congestion and charging motorists for the exact distance travelled on the highways.

Mr Gadkari had earlier said state-owned NHAI's toll revenue is currently ₹ 40,000 crore and it is going to soar to ₹ 1.40 lakh crore in 2-3 years.

"The government is looking at new technologies including GPS-based toll systems to replace toll plazas in the country...We will bring new technology in six months," he said.

During 2018-19, the average waiting time for vehicles at toll plaza was 8 minutes. With the introduction of FASTags during 2020-21 and 2021-22, the average waiting time of the vehicles was reduced to 47 seconds.

Since 2021, FASTags became mandatory for all vehicles to pay tolls on highways. Vehicles without FASTags are required to pay double the toll fee as a fine.

Although there is considerable improvement in waiting time at certain locations, especially near cities, in densely-populated towns, there are still some delays at toll plazas during peak hours.

How will GPS-Based Toll System work?
The GPS-based electronic toll collection system will use an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system through cameras installed on highways and deduct tolls based on the distance travelled by a vehicle. At present, FASTags uses RFID-based toll collection at plazas.

The device monitors your movements while driving, accurately marking your entry and exit points on tolled segments. By analyzing your travel distance, it identifies the toll plazas you've passed through and computes the charges accordingly. This eliminates the uniformity of fixed tolls at booths, ensuring fairness for drivers traversing shorter distances.

Furthermore, drivers on the road are relieved from concerns about handling cash, waiting for change, or checking their FASTag account balance. The toll fee is automatically deducted from your linked account using a secure electronic payment system. This process also eradicates human errors and the possibility of toll evasion.

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