RFID based Highway Toll Collection system allows vehicles to go through toll booths without halting and the toll amount gets deducted from the rechargeable account on record. This system is designed to aid in the handling of toll functioning using technology that assists in streamlining the movement of traffic. It is being used successfully in many developed countries like USA, Chile, Mexico and Argentina.
RFID in India
RFID Based Highway Toll Collection will ensure seamless travel on National Highways (NH) throughout the country. The Indian Government has approved the report of the expert’s committee regarding Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) and a nationwide functioning of the technology on the NH is expected to start by May, 2012. This will provide a uniform inter-operable ETC arrangement for paying tolls.
The committee mulled over various technologies being used world-wide like Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), Vehicle Identification System using number plates, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Global Navigational satellite System/ Cellular Network systems (GNSS/CN). Finally, they decided up on implementing RFID system due to its beneficial features which we will learn about in this post.
Highlights of RFID
Let us go through the brief details of RFID technology in this section.
- Passive Tags: These are also known as the transponders and are used for toll collection by the system. RFID technology is free of maintenance since the passive tag used in the system does not need a battery. These tags can be easily installed by just sticking it on the windscreen of the vehicle; it also has high reliability of identification. The stickers are designed to be tamper-resistant with a long life. Moreover, it is cost-effective when compared to the other alternatives. A single tag is priced at around Rs.100 and the reader is priced at Rs.2 Lac for a single toll booth; this is highly reasonable compared to other technologies wherein the cost of on-board unit ranges from Rs.1000 to Rs.2000 and that of reader varies from Rs.2 Lac to Rs.5 Lac.
- Pre-paid System: Using these pre-paid systems, vehicle possessors can recharge the vehicle’s account by considering the RFID tag number as the account number. Whenever a vehicle passes through the ETC track of any of the toll booths, the appropriate toll amount will be deducted from the account. Accordingly, all the NH toll booths throughout the country will be outfitted with the readers to read the tags.
- Central Toll Clearing House (CTCH): CTCH has been planned to handle the financial matters regarding toll collection like toll debiting, recharging, payment to the toll booths, etc. Appropriate software will be installed at the toll booths which will be connected to CTCH through a WAN.
On the Whole
RFID Based Highway Toll Collection can substitute a human toll collector who manually does the job of toll collection. This system is expected to benefit road users and toll collectors greatly. It overcomes drawbacks like stopping the vehicle at the toll booths for a long time and traffic congestion at the booths. It also helps in decreasing the travel time and reducing the emissions due to idling.