Will Indian road tolls use RFID to automate charging?

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As India seeks to achieve seamless payments on the move, national toll roads have become a new frontier for digital payment disruptions.

RFID technology was not originally designed for retail, even though it is one of its biggest uses at the moment. The original business plan presented to investors in 1969 mainly explored the use of vehicles such as automatic toll collection systems and automatic gates, but did not mention retail. The National Highway Administration of India is studying RFID technology.

On the highway, the common point of supermarket security and toll plaza is to make it as seamless as possible. Currently, it is estimated that India’s nearly $21.3 billion in annual losses are due to delays in fuel toll plazas across the country and increased fuel consumption. Out of concern for this number, the Indian government is currently developing a plan to study digital technology to make the payment experience as convenient and efficient as possible.

Radio frequency identification(RFID) tags automatically track and exchange sensor information without human intervention, enabling it to perform this function. The tag- and sensor-based RFID system can calculate the number of times commuters use toll roads, allowing for prepaid or per-use fees on their accounts. However, this technology poses some challenges in the field of automatic charging, especially in markets such as India, which have never been applied on such a large scale.

For RFID, to meet the needs of millions of cars, the total cost of these cars has reached astronomical figures, and it must have the ability to be widely used across the country and across thousands of toll stations. Unfortunately, the Indian government believes that RFID tags and readers are too expensive to scale and deploy.

To find a solution, the Indian government once again sees the retail industry as a source of inspiration. Retailers have also been looking for a technology that makes the payment experience as seamless as possible, and finally they found that sound waves are the best deployment system. In order to create the seamless, efficient and convenient mobile experience they want – whether on the retail or on the road – sound waves seem to be the solution that India has been looking for.

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