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FASTag

  Jul 24, 2020

FASTag

What are FASTags?

FASTags are prepaid rechargeable tags for toll collection that allow automatic payment deduction from the FASTag, they are normally affixed on the windscreen of your vehicle. With the help of a FASTag, you will not have to stop your vehicle at toll plazas to pay the toll. As soon as the vehicle crosses the toll plaza, the toll fee will get deducted from the bank account/prepaid wallet linked to the FASTag affixed on the vehicle's windscreen. An activated FASTag works on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Moreover, these FASTags do not have any expiry date, that is, they can be used as long as they are readable at the toll plaza and are not tampered.

With this move Toll payments will be made only through FASTags under the National Electronic Toll Collection programme. The pan-India programme is intended to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic.

What is RFID?

RFID is an acronym for radio-frequency identification and refers to a technology whereby digital data encoded in RFID tags are captured by a reader via radio waves. RFID tag data can be read outside the line-of-sight.

How does a RFID system work?

A RFID system is made up of two parts: a tag/label and a reader. 

RFID tags or labels are embedded with a transmitter and a receiver. 

The RFID reader have two parts: a microchip that stores and processes information, and an antenna to receive and transmit a signal. 

The tag contains the specific serial number for one specific object.  To read the information encoded on a tag, a two-way radio transmitter-receiver called an interrogator or reader emits a signal to the tag using an antenna. The tag responds with the information written in its memory bank. The interrogator will then transmit the read results to an RFID computer program.

RFID technology at Toll booth

Why in news?

The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has announced that FASTags will become mandatory for all vehicles, private and commercial, from January 15 2020.

What are benefits of FASTag?

  1. Reduce travel time and make commuting easy.
  2. The real monetary benefit is for commercial vehicles that drive long distances or thousands of kilometers. 
  1. Delay at toll plaza costs a lot to economy, increases logistics cost, delays operations
  2. A lot fuel wastage, and environmental pollution happens because of long ques at toll plaza
  3. It will also boost Digital payments 
  4. reduce corruption at toll booth, revenue of NHAI will increase
  5. with transparent, digital methods of toll payment monetization of highways assets will be easy for government, which will bring additional revenue 
  6. Reduced use of paper
  7. Reduced toll payment hassles
  8. Analytics for better highway management

What is estimation of losses at toll plaza due to delays?

According the startup BullEye Technologies India losses up to Rs 12,000 crore every year in terms of fuel and man-hours due delay in toll collection. It estimates 35% of the Rs 12,000-crore loss is on account of wasted fuel while 54-55% is on account of wasted man-hours. Carbon emissions make up the rest of the lost value.

BullEye Technologies is launched by two IIT-Kanpur alumni.