FASTags to Keep Traffic Moving
Over the years, governments and technology companies have been battling tooth and nail in finding a solution to oil the wheels of lengthy queues in toll lanes. Price variations, balance of payments, and the delay in issuing the pass have always consumed commuters’ precious time at toll plazas. Though the government had introduced the FASTag technology back in 2014, the innovation has not reached many even after five years. The recent push from the government in making the FASTag mandatory for all four-wheelers, buses and trucks, will escalate the diffusion of the innovation even faster. As per the new ordinance, every four
wheeler vehicles, buses, and trucks will have to do payments electronically on Indian highway toll plazas, with the help of the radio-frequency identification tag from the first day of December.
What is FASTag?
By using the near-field communication technology that is present in mobile devices and payment cards, people are now availed with the option of waving the payment card to a receiver point. FASTag, the electronic toll payment system, uses the same technology which is integrated in the card payments. Here, people will be equipped with an RFID sticker in the card that is issued by banks or online payment gateways like PhonePe. Toll payments will be carried out while the vehicle is in motion, with money being deducted directly from their account which is linked to FASTag. People are advised to stick the tag near their windshield so that they don’t have to stop for the exchange of money.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has conceived the idea of FASTag in 2014, and piloted on the stretch of the Golden Quadrilateral that runs between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. The government envisions major benefits that could follow after the extensive use of FASTag that includes reducing waiting time and congestion in toll plazas, saving fuel and eliminate the acceleration and idling, slashing of harmful vehicular emissions that causes air pollutions, and push the digital revolution to further heights. Since FASTags are directly linked with the bank account, the vehicle owner does not have to bother about adding money to the prepaid wallet. The online FASTag which is based on the DIY concept lets people self-activate their FASTags through the mobile application My FASTag.