RFID tech is being tested in the Klang Valley as an option to expedite vehicles passing through toll gates
By P PREM KUMAR / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS
Motorists can pay their expressway charges using the radio frequency identification (RFID) system by the middle of next year, if tests of the electronic toll technology goes well.
RFID technology, which has been around for decades, is now being tested in the Klang Valley as a possible option to expedite vehicles movement through toll gates.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said 17 toll lanes at several expressways in the Klang Valley would be testing the gateless gantry toll system until the end of the year.
Fadillah said if the trials prove to be successful and effective, the RFID toll collection system would be commercialised to motorists from the middle of next year.
“After the testing period, the technology will be continuously improved to resolve teething issues after which it can be opened for the masses to use,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.
A similar RFID toll collection system is being used in Singapore. Malaysia has moved to a fully electronic toll collection (ETC) with the Touch ’n Go and SmartTAG lanes, which require drivers to slow down.
With the RFID system, it would allow vehicles to be installed with a chip-embedded sticker to breeze through toll plazas almost non-stop.
Fadillah said the ministry is working with the Malaysian Association of Highway Concession Cos (PSKLM) to test the RFID technology’s effectiveness and suitability.
“The testing is aimed to enable the government and the PSKLM to assess and identify the technical and operational aspects before the migration to RFID technology.”
But the minister assured that the Touch ’n Go and SmartTAG gadgets continue to be used, despite RFID technology implementation at expressways.
“It will not be stopped immediately. Touch ’n Go and SmartTAG can still be used until a deadline is announced by the government later,” he said.
For the trial period, Fadillah (picture) said the Royal Malaysia Police vehicles have been installed with the RFID stickers for testing purposes.
On the spending for the move, Fadillah said the choice of the RFID technology vendor and installation cost would be absorbed by the concession companies.
“The concession companies would pay for the system at their own cost,” he added.
The RFID implementation has been a long-term government strategy, which started as more concessionaires moved towards cashless operations since 2015.
The Malaysian Highway Authority has enforced the implementation of the ETC system at all 31 highways and 177 toll plazas in the country this year.
RFID functions like a barcode scanning. The tag is “read” by an overhead scanner through electromagnetic waves with a frequency of between 850MHz and 950MHz, and scanning can reach ranges of over 27m, with a 10 millisecond response time.
Vendors claimed the RFID tag offer superior advantages for amplitude and consistency.
The RFID system is being tested at the AKLEH (Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway), Elite Expressway, NKVE (New Klang Valley Expressway) and the DUKE (Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway).