Bye FASTag, hi GPS-based toll collection: Is India ready?


  • The Indian government is planning to introduce a GPS-based toll collection system across the country, replacing the current FASTag technology.
Toll plaza
The Indian government is planning to introduce a GPS-based toll collection system across the country, replacing the current FASTag technology. (AP)

Ever since Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari announced that the government is planning to deploy a Global Positioning System (GPS) based toll collection system across India, the new technology has been making headlines. With this strategy, the government is planning to remove all the toll plazas or toll collection booths and enable GPS-based toll collection. This comes after FASTag became mandatory across India just a few years ago for all four-wheeled vehicles to enable automatic deduction of toll charges through Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

Under the FASTag regime, the vehicles come with a FASTag chip-based sticker positioned on the windshield of the vehicle. When the vehicle passes through the toll gate, a scanner scans the FASTag sticker and deducts the specific amount automatically. This system has significantly reduced the waiting time at the toll plaza for vehicles compared to the era when toll charges were paid through cash or card. Eventually, this technology has resulted in reduced travelling time for the vehicles, better transparency and lower congestion at toll plazas. Now, the government is aiming to bring a more updated technology for this function, which will work as a GPS-based system.

(To buy a new FASTag, click here)

How GPS-based toll collection will work?

Just like the FASTag-based toll collection requires all vehicles to have a FASTag, the GPS-based toll collection system will make it necessary for all vehicles to have a GPS. The government plans to deploy this technology through a microcontroller with 3G and GPS connectivity. This will allow the NHAi or the regulatory agency to track the vehicle’s route through the GPS device onboard the car. It will transmit the data of how many toll roads the vehicles are taking, and how many toll gates the vehicles are passing through. Based on that, the estimated toll tax will be charged by the vehicle owner.

Also Read : How to buy and activate FASTag online: Key steps

Difference between FASTag and GPS-based toll collection

FASTag uses RFID technology for automatic deduction of toll tax bringing convenience and transparency. It is like a wallet that allows the system to deduct the toll charges automatically whenever the vehicle passes through the toll plaza. The FASTag account is directly linked to the bank account or wallet.

On the other hand, the GPS-based toll collection will differ from FASTag. It will track the vehicle throughout the journey, which brings the concern related to privacy, as the system will be able to monitor the vehicle all along. The system will be vigilant of vehicle movement and collect toll tax through GPS.

First Published Date: 18 Mar 2024, 13:08 PM IST

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