FASTag is based on the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system, a tag sticker which is unique to every vehicle that is scanned at every toll and the payment is made from the linked prepaid or saving/current account. It is affixed to the windscreen of the vehicle and enables the customers to pay the toll payment conveniently without stopping at the toll plaza.
The system is about to be discarded, and they will introduce a new efficient system instead. The upcoming system is already a part of many European countries and Russia and has proved more efficient than the existing FASTag system in India. With the increased toll charges since April 1st 2022, the Government of India is planning to bring this new system to Indian Highways.
Current charges for every vehicle of a similar category are the same, doesn’t matter the distance travelled to the toll plaza. This taxation basis is unfavourable to many commuters, but also beneficial to some, which highlights the unfairness of the existing system. In order to end this ambiguity, the government will charge the toll on the basis of the distance travelled by the vehicle rather than the fixed distance.
To work the new system efficiently, vehicles will be installed with a satellite navigation system, which will calculate the distance travelled by the vehicle and charge the toll accordingly. In Germany, most cars work with this system and as soon as the vehicle enters the tolled road, the system will start calculating the toll till you exit the freeway and it will be charged from your linked account.
They will not abolish FASTag completely, as most of its functions will still work in the new system, the government will just change it into a better system. Also, the level of tracking will be increased as a vehicle will now be seen on multiple road sections, not just at the plaza, malls, parking lots, fuel stations, etc. The satellite navigation system will be useful in reducing crimes like car thefts and also will prove helpful in many unfortunate incidents as the authorities will reach the scene more precisely and efficiently.
Image Source – PayTM