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Old 21st November 2013, 09:00   #1
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Thumbs up Soon, Toll Payment via your Smartphone

Came across this initiative in Today's paper!

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Soon, commuters may have the option of paying toll and parking fee from their mobile phone accounts without stopping at toll plazas.

Users can use both mobile phones and tablets for such transactions by downloading a mobile application on Android, iOS and BlackBerry platforms.

To avail this facility called m-Toll, road users have to download the application on their mobile phones or tablets and fill in their details. The server installed at toll plazas will detect their mobile phones from a distance of at least 600 metres of the toll gate and the toll will be deducted.

Link to Full Article
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Old 21st November 2013, 11:32   #2
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He added that since this will be an alternative to RFID, a smart chip-based card that can operate across toll plazas, commuters will have the option of prioritizing the mode of paying toll. Similarly, in case there is more than one occupant in a vehicle with mobile phones with m-Toll app, all of them will get an indication to opt for payment much before the toll gates for 20 seconds.
"The person who first clicks will pay the toll. In case no one opts for payment, toll will be deducted from the oldest registered mobile phone," Chaturvedi said.
Oh goodness, this could possibly mean that places where the toll is being collected illegally will get teeth, since the payment would be automatically collected, and you can't even stop and argue with the illiterate operator at the toll gate!
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Old 21st November 2013, 11:52   #3
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Default re: Soon, Toll Payment via your Smartphone

You can always switch off your mobile phone well before the toll both and still argue


The user should definitely have an authorization control on the device, without which it is highly unsafe to use the app.

Last edited by Warwithwheels : 21st November 2013 at 11:54.
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Old 21st November 2013, 11:57   #4
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Default re: Soon, Toll Payment via your Smartphone

When we can have educated morons in a city like Bangalore unable to read clearly legible signs indicating that certain lanes in a booth are for cars equipped with RFIDs, I am sure the payment through mobile feature would give us some extremely common toll booth moments we encounter everyday too where we will see lane cutting at the last moment upon realising its a wrong gate and etc.

Lets just say that we have this system implemented at the toll booths for once. We will have 2 most important questions then:

1. Will those who opt for payment through mobile have a separate gate at the booth so that he won't have to wait in queue like others who pay by cash?

2. If the answer to the above question is negative, wouldn't that mean that this system will only make life easier to the driver for not making him reach the wallet and pay by cash and wait for the change and receipt? Essentially he will still have to wait in the queue like others do.

3. Lets say the owner of the car gets down between 2 toll booth (Expressway) while his accomplice takes the wheel and tries exiting the expressway (usually having a system where receipt needs to be shown while exiting); How will the system (Server) detect if its the same vehicle? - By scanning the registration number and matching with the payer's mobile ID or some other means?

Irrespective of all these points above, we will all be happy if a system is implemented with stringent monitoring and education to the drivers on using the right lane.

We have seen enough of lane cutting and the mayhem that follows.
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Old 21st November 2013, 12:08   #5
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Default re: Soon, Toll Payment via your Smartphone

I don't know if the authorities thought about the safety aspect involved in this system. Despite mobile phone usage while driving is not permitted, the Govt. comes up with such a system.

In case of a lone driver driving on a highway, I don't think it is all that safe to operate his mobile on the go (800 meters ahead of the toll both). It is definitely a distraction. Moreover the internet connectivity should be good and the app should work without any glitches, failing which it really tends to take more time to complete the process.

IMO the govt should first make sure that the road conditions are worthy of a toll and then proceed to make such fancy initiatives.

Last edited by Warwithwheels : 21st November 2013 at 12:12.
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Old 21st November 2013, 12:36   #6
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Default re: Soon, Toll Payment via your Smartphone

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Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post
I don't know if the authorities thought about the safety aspect involved in this system. Despite mobile phone usage while driving is not permitted, the Govt. comes up with such a system.

In case of a lone driver driving on a highway, I don't think it is all that safe to operate his mobile on the go (800 meters ahead of the toll both). It is definitely a distraction. Moreover the internet connectivity should be good and the app should work without any glitches, failing which it really tends to take more time to complete the process.

IMO the govt should first make sure that the road conditions are worthy of a toll and then proceed to make such fancy initiatives.
IMHO, I LOVE IT. Micro-payments any day over queues!

MOST highway toll plazas have those crazy suspension breaking speed breakers. No matter what, you anyways reduce your speeds to 40 or below (ideally under 20). At that speed, you stop and get in line. It just takes 10 more seconds to do 5-6 more clicks (unless the app is badly written!).
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Old 21st November 2013, 13:47   #7
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Default re: Soon, Toll Payment via your Smartphone

On a related note, I wonder why we still do not have those smartcard based touch-n-go type toll gates. On a relatively large toll-plaza with 6-7 exits like those found on the expressways, they could make a couple of exits with smartcard based systems wherein we could simply touch the card, the amount is deducted which is registered centrally on a system, the gate would open and we could proceed. The card could be purchased from the RTO, online or something similar to that.

Image for reference:
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I recall during a '99 visit to Malaysia, the tollways had this system implemented and worked beautifully. No receipts were collected IIRC. They also had those coin based machines installed in front of the gate so if you've run out of money on the card, you could drop the coin(s) and proceed.

Just a thought.
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Old 21st November 2013, 14:30   #8
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The big question is how do you link payment made against a barrier kind of thing? What do you show as proof? How would it differentiate against three people in one car or three cars side by side. I am assuming there is some GPS thing being done here to decide proximity of three phones. What about two registered users travelling in bus seated far apart? Too many questions!!!

Inevitably, even with dedicated lanes, there will be people entering and reducing the effectiveness of smooth flow.

What I would like to see are lanes with contact less card (similar to access control in companies) readers. Using a system of two barrier gates, drivers get redirected in appropriate lane. For driver swiping and with valid payment - he gets to go through lane 1 and onwards while lane 2 barrier stays down.

For non card holders trying to play smart, lane 1 barrier stays down, lane 2 barrier opens up and they merge back into the other lanes with manual pay mode.

Last edited by mmxylorider : 21st November 2013 at 14:54.
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Old 21st November 2013, 14:36   #9
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Default Re: Soon, Toll Payment via your Smartphone

How would the toll server know if I want a one-way or a two-way ticket?

If my intervention is required for specifying the type of ticket, I should stop and fiddle with the mobile app, I would rather stop at the toll gate, pay the toll and go! And then there are connectivity issues. This would be a distant dream.
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Old 21st November 2013, 14:44   #10
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Default Re: Soon, Toll Payment via your Smartphone

Very interesting and useful solution it is. Looks like its not too far away as they claim pilot in Chirtadurga - Tumkur stretch would start soon.

However, it happens only in India wave is tickling my mind how things will actually happen. Lets be optimistic anyways.
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Old 21st November 2013, 14:52   #11
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Default Re: Soon, Toll Payment via your Smartphone

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Originally Posted by mmxylorider View Post
The big question is how do you link payment made against a barrier kind of thing? What do you show as proof?
This might work. You can generate SMS once you flash your card. You can use this SMS as a proof. Cant we ??

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How would the toll server know if I want a one-way or a two-way ticket?
A touch screen option maybe to select one way or two way journey ? Or how about providing an option like , if you flash your card on the return side toll booth within 12 hours or 24 hours , you will be charged lesser . Not sure if you understood me here.
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Old 21st November 2013, 14:58   #12
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Default Re: Soon, Toll Payment via your Smartphone

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Originally Posted by girimajiananth View Post
This might work. You can generate SMS once you flash your card. You can use this SMS as a proof. Cant we ??
.
Well - you are not flashing your card, it's the app on your smartphone that's detecting where you are and charging you for it. But I see your point, send an SMS once money is deducted. I would not be surprised if that same SMS is forwarded to others for a free ride!
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Old 21st November 2013, 15:37   #13
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Originally Posted by mmxylorider View Post
Well - you are not flashing your card, it's the app on your smartphone that's detecting where you are and charging you for it. But I see your point, send an SMS once money is deducted. I would not be surprised if that same SMS is forwarded to others for a free ride!
Damm , you are right. I never gave it a thought. How about unique id for each SMS and validating it ?
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Old 21st November 2013, 15:46   #14
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Damm , you are right. I never gave it a thought. How about unique id for each SMS and validating it ?
By validation, if you mean an operator reading/scanning (which SMS will not support) some sort of confirmation code , it defeats the purpose of removing the manual intervention. A better system is to issue cards with a bar code. Scanning it and indicating to operator what is required (part/1 way/round trip) and getting a receipt will at least make it faster since there is no money exchanged.

It's cheap, no fancy technology like apps, smart cards, NFC and what not...

It seems to me that the powers to be try to use all possible technologies to achieve what is a pretty simple objective. Reminds me of the story about the factory complaining about empty soap boxes and the table fan solution. That's for another thread though.
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Old 21st November 2013, 15:56   #15
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Default Re: Soon, Toll Payment via your Smartphone

yaar, you can do hajaar things - let's leave that to those who are doing it.
a. bluetooth push like they do in malls (they do tend to send/recv some data).
b. QR code sending - you can scan the QR code at the barrier etc.

regarding round trip - it should be intelligent. if you are making the return payment within 24 hours of the first trip, you automatically get a cheaper ticket.

relax - let's not question every progressive system without adequate proof.

Instead let's nominate some of our regular travelers for the trial, or one of us passing by that side, can stop by and share some perspectives/images for the rest of us. Let's be a bit constructive, no?
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