In exciting news, India is planning to implement a GPS-based toll collection system across the nation by March 2024. This statement comes from the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari. The aim is to tackle the congestion on the highways due to heavy traffic. At present, there are toll plazas which can read the FASTags on your cars. For this, you have to make a brief halt. It is still a lot better than previously when people had to wait for the plaza officials to manually charge money. However, going forward, the authorities wish to leverage technology to make the process even simpler.
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India Plans GPS-Based Toll Collection System
Nitin Gadkari has been vocal about this update for a while now. It looks like this will come to fruition finally by March 2024. As per this system, the GPS coordinates of the car will be tracked to calculate the exact distance a car travels on a road. Based on that, the appropriate amount is deducted from the account of the driver. Just like with the FASTags, the bank account of the driver has to be connected. The GPS will use data from the satellite to ascertain the exact location of cars. Note that while new cars already have a navigation system, the old cars will be charged as per the satellite-based GPS tracker involving ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras.
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In this manner, the vehicles will not have to stop at the entrance or exit of the toll road. In essence, this will lead to a smooth flow of traffic without the bottlenecks of the toll booths. That is how the Government is using technology to make a huge difference in the lives of the citizens. Two pilot projects have already been conducted in recent times. Therefore, the MoRTH feels like it is ready for a nationwide rollout of this technology by March 2024.
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I welcome this innovative method to tackle the growing issue of traffic congestion. The automobile market is growing at a rapid pace in India. Hence, it is imperative to devise solutions to ensure that the traffic doesn’t grow with it. We know that the number of cars and motorcycles is only going to increase in times to come. Therefore, infrastructure needs to develop at the same pace to prevent long queues and traffic jams on highways. This step should go a long way in enabling that. Let us wait and see how well the implementation rolls out.