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

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New Delhi: The Indian highways are currently working with the FASTag toll collection system. However, the Indian government has been working on and considering developing a new toll collection system. If implemented, the new system will significantly change the toll collection on highways. It will change the face of the toll plazas, as the new system will be a camera-aided toll collection that will work with the technology used to identify number plates on the vehicles plying on Indian highways. The said system is called an Automatic Number Plate Reader (ANPR) camera.

Why use ANPR?

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has been working to make the movement of vehicles easy in India. The government aims to improve road connectivity in the nation by building highways and expressways connecting cities. However, the long lines and waiting periods on toll plazas stand in the way of the aforementioned goal. The government believes the ANPR system will reduce the waiting time for vehicles on toll plazas. Hence, replacing the FASTag system will benefit immensely.

How ANPR 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.

Is ANPR better than FASTag?

The government claims that ANPR can be better than FASTag in reducing congestion on Indian roads. However, there are some problems surrounding the toll-collection system. For instance, the camera can only read company-fitted number plates and leave behind a large number of vehicles. In other words, the camera won’t be able to detect vehicles sold before 2019, as after 2019, the company came with the policy of OEM-fitted number plates.

Furthermore, multiple vehicles like trucks often have numbers plates that are not directly visible. To further exacerbate the problem, often, the number plate of such vehicles get soiled, which will make it hard for the ANPR cameras to identify. Adding to the hindrances, there is no provision to penalise vehicles skipping the toll plazas.