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Old 15th September 2022, 12:02   #1
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Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

The government of India plans to replace FASTags with an automatic number plate recognition system in the future. If implemented, the new system is expected to make toll plazas redundant.

Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags-fastagtollbooth1068x668.jpg

According to Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, the government is conducting pilot projects to replace toll plazas with the new automatic number plate recognition system. It doesn’t require vehicles to stop at toll plazas, as cameras read the vehicle’s number plate and the fee is deducted directly from the owner’s bank account.

With the introduction of FASTags, the average waiting time at toll plazas is said to have come down to 47 seconds. However, long queues can still be seen at certain locations during peak hours.

In order to streamline the process of toll collection further, the government is looking into two technologies. The first one is a satellite-based system that will use GPS installed in a car and the other is the number plate recognition system.

Source: ET Auto

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Old 15th September 2022, 12:44   #2
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

FastTag has spawned a whole new ecosystem of payments players that take advantage of the fast-tag mechanism, such as this : https://yourstory.com/2022/09/fastag...ts-numadic/amp : hope they can re-pivot with these changes in technologies/platforms quickly that the govt is proposing.

I was looking for more info on the constraints that the new systems need to work under ( e.g. if numbers can be grabbed only if the vehicle is below a particular speed etc, but don't find any technical information on the implementation itself.

Last edited by airguitar : 15th September 2022 at 12:47.
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Old 15th September 2022, 13:16   #3
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

I dont see the point.
FastTag very clearly eliminated the time that was taken to pay cash.

The only thing that consumes time at a toll booth as of today is the slowing down of the car and wait for the barriers to open. Hence the only thing to eliminate is the toll booth itself.

Unless and until the Number Plate Identification system does not eliminate the boom barriers, this implementation is useless. Its like a solution looking for a problem.

Also not to forget that there will be someone who will be duplicating number plates to avoid toll. With FastTag that was not a concern.

I am content with the FastTag system. I would prefer to have a efficient system in place like a faster toll booth exit system where I would not have to slow down the car at a toll booth.

The barriers need to go. Period.
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Old 15th September 2022, 13:20   #4
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

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Originally Posted by frewper View Post
I dont see the point.
FastTag very clearly eliminated the time that was taken to pay cash.
And replaced it with uncertainty [whether or not the RFID sensors will read your fast tag].

I see the tollgate-less system as a superior system, where you don't have to stop at a toll gate and be stressed whether your tag will be read or not, but I am also of the opinion that the ministry is hastily making decisions to transition from one newly established system to the next.

By the way, my google feed has been showing news articles that say "Tollgate system to be replaced!" for like last two years.

Some toll booths don't really care about toll payments. They just keep the gate open and let vehicles zoom past. Some of them will be read, and some of them won't be. For example, the toll plaza at Kollam bypass, Kerala. I've passed that toll booth a few times without my fast-tag getting charged.

Last edited by clevermax : 15th September 2022 at 13:25.
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Old 15th September 2022, 13:46   #5
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

If it's just a standard NPR system, I wonder if this will result in an increase of number plate falsifications/thefts.

Hope they are thinking of this.
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Old 15th September 2022, 14:00   #6
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

Good luck with recognizing fancy number plates. In Tamil Nadu for instance, with the prevailing Tamil pride movement, there's an ample number of vehicles with Tamil alphabets on the number plate. And I'm pretty sure other states have their own vernaculars on their number plates as well.

There's no shortage of vehicles with gold-painted/embossed numbers. You can only read those numbers if you swivel your head and catch the number plate at the right angle, depending on the ambient lighting.

Modified fonts to read as funky words (e.g., "8055" in a particular font reads as "Boss" - this is a particularly common type of number) is another problem.

Doing away with toll booths will be a superb move. But number plate recognition won't work out.
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Old 15th September 2022, 14:02   #7
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

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Originally Posted by slango97 View Post

Hope they are thinking of this.
Why would they? The responsibility will be sorely on the affected person to prove that they were wrongly charged.

IMO better implementation of fastag and the infrastructure around toll booths would be a better solution. The speed breakers, potholes, unscientific lanes, and inconsistency in the placement of readers, are all improvement areas.

The best option is to eliminate tolls themselves.
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Old 15th September 2022, 14:10   #8
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

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Originally Posted by TusharK View Post
The government of India plans to replace FASTags with an automatic number plate recognition system in the future. If implemented, the new system is expected to make toll plazas redundant.
I've been searching and researching to ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system for our apartment complex for the past few years. From what I gather so far:

1. These systems work ok during daytime when there is enough light. Even then accuracy is around 90-95% and no guarantees on local language plates and other fancy places etc.
2. During night, headlights blind the cameras. It's very difficult to identify the number plates. The accuracy goes down drastically.

And this is for four wheelers, where the number plate is located more or less in a standard location. When it comes to two wheelers and 3 wheelers the location changes. Good luck with tracking and picking up usable data from them.

May be technology exists. But sure it is not accessible and affordable. And finally it cannot alone be the only factor in providing proof to a vehicle's presence at a particular place. Another factor like GPS location information will be needed for non repudiation purposes.

If any of you know of a ANPR solution that works day and night and also with two wheelers, do share.
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Old 15th September 2022, 20:06   #9
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

Not sure why the govt. is not considering Transponders. In a lot of western countries, the number-plate recognition system works along with the passive transponders. If the Transponder is not detected, the toll charge is sent by mail to the owner using the number plate. Would be a better combination than GPS (overpass/underpass scenario).
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Old 15th September 2022, 20:37   #10
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

One more thing I don't understand is why can't they enhance the FastTag system?

RFIDs that are operational in apartments are very fast in opening the barriers because there is no payment validation etc. Valid tag = Open. FastTag takes more time because it needs to make an API call to check if the tag has enough balance or not.

If they simply set up multiple readers in the FastTag lane, by the time the vehicle reaches the last reader enough time would've elapsed in checking the balance and giving the go ahead. Is there something more to this?
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Old 15th September 2022, 20:44   #11
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

I am more concerned about the horror, the removal of FasTag entails. It took me a whole day, trying every possible trick available on the internet. At last I used a Gala super scrub.

PS: Why not switch to a nation wide Travel card system, just tap & pay for all public transport & tolls.
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Old 15th September 2022, 20:51   #12
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

I am curious about all these RFID vs GPS vs Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems.

I was in Dubai many years ago and the Salik tag was neccessary for driving on Sheikh Zayed Road. No barriers, no toll gates, everybody driving comfortably at 80kph and above.

Can the knowledgeable members educate me as to what system does Dubai use? Is it expensive? If Dubai could implement it in the last decade, can we not replicate it now in India?

Dubai was a personal experience for me but I have been informed that such systems also exist in many other places around the world.

On the Fastag front, I was pleasantly surprised on a recent trip to Mahabaleshwar when the parking lot scanned the Fastag and deducted Rs 50 as parking charges. The system works and I am reminded of the old saying: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Locusjag hit the nail on the head.

Last edited by mygodbole : 15th September 2022 at 20:55. Reason: Grammer
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Old 15th September 2022, 20:58   #13
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackwing View Post
I am more concerned about the horror, the removal of FasTag entails. It took me a whole day, trying every possible trick available on the internet. At last I used a Gala super scrub.
Any car windscreen sticker can be removed in 10 minutes using 3M Scotch Brite dipped in hand sanitizer (ethyl alcohol).
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Old 15th September 2022, 21:05   #14
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

As Mr Gadkari claims that the average waiting time at Toll Plazas has already come down to 47 seconds. What is the need to spend money to implement new technology to reduce this 47 s any further.

With due respect for the taxpayer money, will it be spent for this initiative, just to gain a few seconds on toll plazas?

Please use this hard earned taxpayers contribution to some other areas where greater benefits can be achieved (like reduce congestion in cities, or other zillion things)

Last edited by ajayc123 : 15th September 2022 at 21:07.
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Old 15th September 2022, 21:22   #15
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Re: Automatic number plate recognition system to replace FASTags

A person's bank account is extremely personal, and only he should have control on it, and control of access to the account. Only the account holder should be allowed to decide who can have access to it under normal circumstances. This linking of number plate to the bank account is being forced on us.

Then there is the question of fake plates. The system only reads plates - how can it validate if plate does not belong to the particular vehicle ?

Next - what if there is a system fault and the system does multiple deductions from one's bank account ?

While dispute redressal systems can be there, why go to that level ?
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