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A New Toll Collection System

Why is it in the news?

  • The government plans to implement a highway toll collection system based on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
About Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)

·       GNSS comprises a constellation of satellites transmitting positioning and timing data to GNSS receivers.

·       GNSS receivers utilize the transmitted data to determine the location of vehicles.

·       Examples of GNSS systems include Europe’s Galileo, the USA’s GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and China’s BeiDou.


 GNSS-Based Toll System

  • The system employs automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology, utilizing cameras installed along highways. It tracks vehicle movements, accurately marking entry and exit points on tolled segments. By analysing the distance travelled, toll charges are computed accordingly.
  • This system aims to replace the uniformity of fixed tolls at booths with a more equitable approach. Drivers are charged based on the actual distance travelled, ensuring fairness, especially for those traversing shorter distances.

Difference Between FASTags and ANPR Tech

  • The current toll collection system employs FASTags, which facilitate electronic payment at toll plazas. These tags are scanned as vehicles pass through the plaza, allowing seamless transactions without the need to stop.
  • In contrast, the GNSS-based system deducts tolls based on the distance measured by ANPR technology. This eliminates the need for toll plazas altogether, as charges are calculated based on the actual distance travelled by the vehicle.


  • Without physical barriers, it becomes challenging to detect non-compliant vehicles, such as those without an On-Board Unit (OBU) or engaging in fraudulent activities to avoid toll payment.
  • Setting up gantry-mounted ANPR systems across highways is crucial for capturing violations and enforcing toll payments effectively.
  • The success of ANPR systems heavily relies on the quality of license plates. If plates do not meet the required standards for accurate recognition, it will hinder the effectiveness of enforcement efforts.
  • GNSS-based toll systems involve the collection and processing of sensitive location data from vehicles. Ensuring data privacy and security is paramount to address concerns related to surveillance and unauthorized access.

Way Forward

  • The objective of the technology is to provide users with the benefit of paying tolls only for the actual distance travelled on a highway, thus promoting fair and efficient toll collection.
  • To address privacy concerns, the government has opted to use the GAGAN satellite system instead of GPS, ensuring data security within the country.
  • Coordinates of the entire length of the country’s national highways will be logged by the government with the help of digital image processing, enhancing data accuracy and security.

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