Centre working on automated toll collection, says Union Minister Nitin Gadkari
"The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is carrying out a pilot project of automatic number plate recognition system (Automatic Number Plate Reader cameras) to enable automated toll collection without stopping vehicles," said Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Furthermore, he added, "We hope to achieve two goals with this new technology: free flow of traffic at toll booths and pay as you go."
The government is running a pilot project for an automatic number plate recognition system to reduce traffic congestion at toll plazas and charge vehicle owners for the exact distance of cars driven on tolled highways, according to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday.
At an event hosted by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), Gadkari stated that the government intends to develop India's public transportation system using electricity.
"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 vehicles," Gadkari continued. "With this new technology, we hope to achieve two goals, free flow of traffic at toll booths and pay as you go," he explained, without providing further details. The average wait time for vehicles at toll plazas in 2018-19 was 8 minutes.
With the introduction of FASTags during 2020-21 and 2021-22, the average waiting time for vehicles has now come down to 47 seconds.
Although this is a significant improvement in waiting time, there are still some delays at toll plazas during peak hours in specific locations, particularly near cities and densely populated towns.
Gadkari stated that Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS) are being installed on all newly constructed national highways and existing four-lane national highways to provide seamless and safe traffic operation.
"The ministry intends to implement the Intelligence Traffic System (ITS) on 15,000 kilometres of the national highway by 2024 to improve road safety," the road transport and highways minister added.
Last month Gadkari stated that the government is considering two options, a satellite-based toll system in which the GPS is in the car, and the toll is directly deducted from the passenger's bank account and the other option through number plates.
"We are introducing GPS instead of FASTag while using satellite-based toll collection; technology is also available on the number plate, and there is good technology available in India," he explained.
"We will select the technology," the minister said. "Though we have not made an official decision, in my opinion on the number plate technology, there will be no toll plaza, and there will be a sophisticated computerised digital system through which we can provide relief; there will be no queues, and people will benefit greatly."