No more FASTags! India to get new GPS-based toll collection system on highways

The FASTag toll collection system is currently in use on Indian highways. The Indian government, on the other hand, has been working on and considering developing a new toll collection system. If implemented, the new system will significantly change highway toll collection. The new system will be a camera-aided toll collection that will work with the technology used to identify number plates on vehicles driving on Indian highways. The system is known as an Automatic Number Plate Reader (ANPR) camera.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has been working to improve vehicle movement in India. The government intends to improve road connectivity throughout the country by constructing highways and motorways that connect cities. However, long lines and long wait times at toll booths disrupt the above goal. The government believes that the ANPR system will reduce vehicle wait times at toll plazas. Hence, replacing the FASTag system will benefit immensely.

The ANPR reads the car’s license plate and debits the vehicle owner’s associated bank account for the toll payment. The system will install ANPR cameras at the entry and exit points to photograph passing vehicles’ license plates. Using the ANPR camera, it will be instructed to deduct the toll amount from the car owner’s associated bank account.

The government claims that ANPR can reduce traffic congestion on Indian roads better than FASTag. However, there are some issues with the toll-collection system. The camera will be unable to detect vehicles sold before 2019, as the company implemented a policy of OEM-fitted number plates starting in 2019.

Furthermore, multiple vehicles, such as trucks, commonly have number plates that are not visible. To complicate things the number plates of such vehicles are frequently soiled, making it difficult for ANPR cameras to identify them. Adding to the hindrances, there is no provision to penalize vehicles skipping the toll plazas.

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