From February 15th, the Government of India has made it compulsory to use GPS-Based FASTags for all vehicles. FASTags are essential for electronic toll payments on all four-wheelers. The latest rumors suggest that the Government of India is also planning to make GPS mandatory on all four wheelers, including cars, for vehicle tracking.
FASTags – India Toll Booth Feature
A few days ago, in the Lok Sabha, Sh. Nitin Gadkari, the Road Transport and Highways Minister, announced that he will remove all the physical toll booths in the country within a year. He also said that the toll collection will be done through the GPS system in the vehicles.
The GPS imaging will enable the money collection from the vehicles. While official details are yet to be unveiled, the vision of a toll-free, GPS-powered future is certainly exciting. This could bring smoother commutes, improved traffic flow, and enhanced security for vehicles.
What is FASTag?
FASTag is a technology that lets you to pay tolls electronically rather than in person at toll booths. It employs a sticker with an RFID tag that is linked to both your car and your payment account. When you pass through a toll plaza, a reader scans your tag and deducts the toll money from your account.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and 23 banks run FASTag. A FASTag can be purchased online through multiple platforms or in person at toll booths and other locations. FASTag provides several advantages, including time, fuel, and money savings, reduced congestion and pollution, and improved transparency and accountability.
GPS-based FASTags in India
The Government of India has confirmed that GPS will be mandatory for all vehicles. This will eliminate the need for toll booths and manual toll collection. The toll amount will then easily deduct from the vehicles’ accounts using GPS based FASTags. These FASTags are already installed in all new four wheelers. The Government will also provide free GPS based FASTags for the old vehicles. Moreover, GPS based FASTags will enable the government to monitor and track all the cars on Indian roads in real time.
Benefits of GPS-based FASTags
Some other benefits of GPS-based FASTags are:
- They can reduce the cost of toll collection and maintenance of toll plazas.
- They can improve the accuracy and transparency of toll collection and prevent fraud and evasion.
- They can enable dynamic pricing of tolls based on traffic conditions and demand.
- They can provide useful data for traffic management and planning.
Government Promotion of GPS-based FASTags in India
According to the official reports, the government of India plans to promote the use of GPS-based FASTags by:
- Amending the Motor Vehicles Act and creating rules to facilitate GPS tolling as well as to penalize offenders.
- Installing Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMs) on all newly constructed national highways and existing 4 plus-lane national highways to provide seamless and safe traffic operation.
- Providing free GPS based FASTags for the old vehicles.
- Introducing the system in phases and conducting a pilot project for an automatic number plate recognition system.
Vehicle Tracking with GPS Trackers
The implementation of the GPS based tracking by the Indian Government is still unclear. Sources say that the tracking can use low power GPS tags that are attached to the FASTags. The sensors can scan these tags or the GPS modules in the car can access them. The first approach relies on sensors at toll points detecting nearby tags. This avoids expensive in-car modules but might require denser sensor coverage. Meanwhile, the Government of India will decide how to do this, as the GPS modules are very expensive.
Gadkari explained the reason for the GPS tracking. He said that many people are stealing tolls and evading GST. The GPS tracking will help to stop these crimes with the FASTags. The GPS based FASTags will be in all four wheelers. Additionally, the government will use them to find the offenders and punish them.
GPS Based FASTags are compulsory
Records show that more than 7% of people are not using the FASTags system. They are paying twice the toll amount. Gadkari also said that he will remove toll booths on short distances. The rule for a toll booth distance on national highways is 60km. With GPS-powered FASTags, India aims to revolutionize toll collection, tackling evasion, boosting revenue, and creating a fairer, more efficient road experience for everyone.