RFID system upgraded with number plate recognition at selected tolls
While we have yet to see the TNG RFID system rolled out across all of PLUS’ highways, it seems that PLUS is looking to further improve upon the system. PLUS is implementing an Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system in addition to RFID, claiming that this will enhance toll payment processing, and that it is the “first step to a barrier-less, multi-lane free flow highway experience.”
RFID + ANPR is the future?
That was the end goal of RFID, although it seems that the RFID system alone is deemed insufficient for that. PLUS’ implementation of the ANPR system will work with a Toll Validation Center (TVC). The integrated system will be used to detect, analyze and resolve common RFID customer issues automatically. It will be interesting to see if the toll payment experience will actually end up being smoother with the implementation of the ANPR system though.
It’s quite unclear why PLUS deemed that either RFID or ANPR alone is sufficient, and decided to run both technologies at the same time. But then again, ANPR is probably going to be a challenge in Malaysia, with the non-standardized number plates, despite multiple attempts to curb the issue. However, I do think that’s what the TVC is for, since they are supposed to manually validate vehicle details that cannot be automatically processed by the ANPR system.
PLUS claims that RFID with ANPR system has enabled lane pass-through speeds of up to 30km/h. Currently, the RFID + ANPR system is implemented at nine tolls along the Hutan Kampung to Sungai Dua stretch. The reasoning behind this specific stretch was apparently due to the RFID utilization along this stretch to be the highest among all closed toll highways in Malaysia.
Hopefully the testing goes well and we will have more RFID-enabled tolls with ANPR across Malaysia. But first, more tolls with RFID lanes along with more RFID lanes per toll would be very welcome.
Pokdepinion: I wonder if PLUS has plans to phase out RFID and just use ANPR, making anyone who paid for RFID tags look like fools. Also wasn’t it part of the government’s manifesto to phase out toll payments?