Soon Satellite-Based Toll System To Replace FASTag In India; Details Inside

Satellite-Based Toll System

India is one of the leading developing nations which has always prioritized efficiency and effectiveness. The rapid increase of technology in every sector is a valid testimony to the fact that India is transforming. From the medical industry to the transport sector, technology has seeped down in every aspect of the nation. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari recently unveiled plans to replace the current toll collection system with a satellite-based toll system very soon. This big change will ensure commuters of efficient and effective commuting. Continue reading to know more about the new system.


Satellite-Based Toll System

Toll Plaza

The Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL) supported by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), is seeking ingenious and capable companies to submit global expressions of Interest for the development and implementation of a Global Navigation Satellite System based ETC  in India. The objective of the plan is to offer uninterrupted and easy tolling on National Highways.

According to NHAI’s plan, the FASTag system will be integrated with the GNSS-based electronic toll collection system. At first, a hybrid model will be employed in which GNSS-based ETC and RFID-based ETC will run jointly. At toll plazas, there will be separate GNSS lanes that will permit free passage for cars with GNSS-based ETC. As it gains broader acceptance, all lanes will be gradually converted to GNSS lanes.

“This will be the first time in the world that such a technology is being introduced,” stated Nitin Gadkari, the Union Transport Minister.


How Satellite-Based Toll System Work?

Well, the NHAI’s plan to go seamless in tolling is quite innovative. But how will this work? Will it be difficult to implement it? Let’s discover the function and implementation of the new ETC. Vehicles with on-board units and tracking devices installed will be billed according to the distance driven on highways. Coordinates along national highways will be recorded via digital image processing, which will further allow software algorithms to calculate toll rates appropriately.  CCTV-equipped granites will keep an eye on enforcement actions and compliance, guaranteeing smooth working.

Toll payments will be streamlined by having payments taken out of a digital wallet connected to the OBU. To evaluate the effectiveness of the GNSS-based system, the government has started trial programs on specific sections of the National Highway.


Impact Of The Transformed System

The NHAI currently collects a toll worth about Rs 40,000 crore. It is anticipated that in the following few years, this amount will rise to Rs 1.40 trillion. The implementation of the trial projects is a noteworthy advancement in the modernization of technology infrastructure. This transformed ETC system has the potential to massively increase the commuter experience on national highways and also contribute massively towards the toll revenue.


How Is This Different From FASTg Toll?

Fastag Toll Plaza

Well, the major shift in the new system is to replace Radio Frequency Identification devices with Global Navigation Satellite System. FASTag employs Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) technology. The vehicle’s windshield is covered with a sticker that has an integrated chip, and toll booth scanners recognize the FASTag and subtract to toll automatically. FASTag necessitates halting at toll booths with RFID scanners. Pre-paid recharge on the associated account is required for the FASTag payment, which means that the customers must ensure enough balance for seamless toll payments.

On the other hand, Satellite tolling uses virtual toll booth units placed on highways and interacts with satellites to track vehicles’ whereabouts and compute distances to deduct tolls. By installing virtual booths beside highways and enabling non-stop, continuous movement, this method does away with the compulsion for actual toll booths. The GNSS technology allows flexibility in payment as it may accommodate both pre-paid accounts as well as post-paid bills based on distance traveled.

How do you feel about the new ETC system? Do you think it will benefit the nation and also increase toll revenue? Let us know.

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Kamya Bisht
the authorKamya Bisht
I am a young student in search of perfection. Pursuing graduation at DU doesn't restrict me to explore different other genres, My ability to write and put my thoughts into words has improved as a result of working in several firms as a content writing intern.