Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, Shri Nitin Gadkari stated that the country will eventually do away with toll-booth on highways and ensured that within a year, all collections will be made via GPS-based services thereby eliminating the need for a physical toll booth.
More details –
“I want to assure the House that within one year all physical toll booths in the country will be removed. It means that toll collection will happen via GPS. The money will be collected based on GPS imaging (on vehicles),” Shri Nitin Gadkari said in the Lok Sabha during the question hour.
He also stated that despite making FASTag mandatory since the midnight of February 15/16, only 93 % of all transactions, occur via FASTag and the remaining 7 % do not occur via FASTag despite doubling the toll amount for such people.
The way these GPS-based transactions are carried out is interesting to note. The government could launch an app of its own or could partner with a third-party developer. The software uses Geo-fencing to map the entire road toll network and transforms the physical tollbooth into a virtual entry and exit point. The software then uses the GPS in your device to track whether or not have you travelled through one of these virtual entry and exit points. If you have travelled through one, the app will display the charges due which you can pay via your device wherein your bank account would be linked with that application. Newer vehicles have an in-built GPS tracker which might be linked with the application and that might allow the app to display the details on your infotainment screen. The exact details are not known yet and these are merely a few examples of how the system could work.
But, with the phasing out of the toll booths entirely, the reliability factor will be compromised. Even today, if you can’t make a payment through your FASTag, you still can pay cash at the booth, but with the phasing out of those and in case of failure of the GPS system to accurately detect your movement, you would not find a booth to pay cash then. Also, motorcycles, emergency vehicles, armed forces need to be exempted from paying the toll and incorporating the same would require some effort. Also, with presumably direct access to your bank account, the probability of cybercrimes could also increase unless the system is rock solid. Hence, as aforementioned, the details are still unknown and we hope more details will be out soon, clearing up the picture.