The government is set to introduce new technologies including GPS-based toll collection systems in the next 6 months which will replace existing highway toll plazas in the country. The move, according to the government is aimed at reducing traffic congestion and charging motorists for the exact distance travelled on the highways. For which the ministry of road transport and highways is conducting a pilot project of automatic number plate recognition system (automatic number plate reader cameras) to enable automated toll collection without stopping the vehicles.
How will GPS-based toll collection systems work?
Under GPS-based tolling, vehicles will need to be fitted with a device that can track its movement on the highways. Once such a vehicle enters a tolled road, a highway system would track the vehicle and toll will be charged based on the distance travelled at the exit point the highway.
Under the system, a users will have to get themselves and their vehicles registered along with bank accounts that will be used to transfer toll payments. It is expected that the system may lead to a drop in toll charges as vehicles will be charged on the actual distance travelled and not fixed charges, as at toll plazas currently.
The GPS-based system is also proposed to withdraw local residential passes or other concessions available for travel on highways.
How will automatic number plate recognition system works?
The car’s number plate is read by the ANPR, which then 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 take pictures of the licence plates of passing vehicles. It will be instructed to deduct the toll amount from the car owner’s associated bank account by using the ANPR camera.
Average waiting time in toll plazas
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 has come down to 47 seconds.
Although there is considerable improvement in waiting time at certain locations, especially near cities, the densely populated towns there are still some delays at toll plazas during peak hours.