RFID based E-toll system introduced on Pakistan Motorways

Posted on November 20, 2007
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Economy & Development
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Owais Mughal

Pakistan now joins the list of growing countries where RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) based electronic toll collection is in use. For now it has been introduced on Peshawar – Islamabad M1 and Islamabad – Lahore M2 Motorways. This technology allows the vehicles to pass through toll booths without stopping and toll amount is automatically deducted from the money account on record.
Here is how the system works. An RFID tag (transponder) is now available free-of-cost to motorists using Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar toll plazas. This tag is attached to a car’s wind shield.
News appearing to this effect in Dawn of November 7, 2007 says:

“Those who want to secure the RFID tag will be required to submit full particulars about their person, details of bank account and some other information. The NHA (National Highway Authority) staff posted at the plazas for selling of the tag will register all such details in their system.”

On toll plazas, RFID Readers with antennas have been installed. When a vehicle approaches a toll plaza, the RFID Reader Antenna communicates wirelessly with the RFID tag located in the vehicle wind shield. At highway speeds (in excess of 100 kmph), the system identifies the car and charges the correct amount of toll to the bank account on record. The system which is installed in Pakistan, a vehicle will still have to stop at a booth but no human transaction between the vehicle occupants and toll booth operator is needed. I believe it is definitely a step in positive direction. It will reduce waiting lines at toll booths and save fuel.
Following is another excerpt from the original news that appears in Dawn of November 7, 2007.

“A very interesting feature of the new system is that the required amount would be electronically deducted from the bank account of the motorist. The e-toll will also have a fast tracking system installed which will detect wrong information givers. As such, in case there is no amount in the account of the person concerned the NHA electronic system will recognize it and signal stop by flashing the red light and the bar would not be lifted.”

It appears in the news that after initial deployment at Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar toll plazas, the system will be extended to all toll plazas located on the motorways M1, M2 and M3.
The electronic toll system in Pakistan has been introduced by NHA (National Highway Authority) in collaboration with NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority).

Update: July 7, 2008:

This news update appears on July 7, 2008 in Jang. It shows 10210 vehicles have so far registered for the RFID tagged E-toll system on Pakistan Motorway Network.

1. HyPass of Pakistan
2. National Highway Authority
3. National Database and Registration Authority
4. Title photo is from Wikipedia.com

41 responses to “RFID based E-toll system introduced on Pakistan Motorways”

  1. Owais Mughal says:

    An Urdu news update of July 7, 2008 is added towards the end of the post (see above). It announces that 10210 vehicles have been so far registered with RFID tagged E-Toll System on Pakistan Motorway Network

  2. AOA TO ALL,
    Well this RFID TAG system is very good but i think it will take time to grow in pakistan. In many coutries this system is runing successfully but other cash-only booths are also run in parallel. Next I want to discuss something about NADRA. I think there are many supportors of NADRA in current government because
    almost 8 months have passed but NADRA is still runing RFID booths on experimental basis. Many times they have given demo but they fail all the time. I dont know why there is no RFID expert in NADRA. Anyways may God help them. Now as the last word, I’d like to say that this system will take anywhere between 5 to 10 years to completely grow on motorways of pakistan.
    Asim sherwany

  3. Owais Mughal says:

    Cubano, agreed with your last comment. Yes the movement of tagged items can be tracked.

    Adnan, the model you have described is doable with bluetooth, especially with the installed base of mobile phones. To market and to make sure you are lured into buying something, the messages can be personalized .e.g. once the ID of bluetooth is detected the jeans can be marketed with a personalize message like; “pyaray janab xyz, sirf aap ke liyay 700 rs” etc etc :) Just an example. but you are right, the bluetooth model is doable in market.

    For e-toll however, i would still prefer RFID b/c of its low cost.

  4. Tina says:

    The greatest research lab currently investigating how technology can be used to administer a police state is Iraq under the U.S. The Iraqis are the guinea pigs for all these tracking and control measures, including retinal scans at checkpoints, etc.

    I have no idea if the current RFID will be used as a tool of repression, but, yes, the U.S. will be bringing the dictatorships of its choice the results of all their successful research soon. Don’t think they won’t.

    The Big Game is a bigger game than even the most wild eyed conspiracy theorists can imagine.

  5. cubano says:

    @Owais Mughal
    I agree with that. The only point or opinion that I was offering was that this technology can be easily used to track the movement of cars and potentially the individuals in the cars. This can be exploited even more so in Pakistan where the authorities can’t be held accountable for their actions due to the authoritative nature of the government . Therefore I thought that it was a little scary. However, I am not sure if that really matters in a country without checks and balances and to ensure accountability of any kind. Hundreds of thousands of people go missing and no one is held accountable so I guess illicit tracking and surveillance is the least of their worries.

    RFID is just another tool that may indirectly facilitate surveillance thought more active and direct surveillance is already happening with CCTV, credit card/debit card usage, embedded devices, Internet, facial recognition, and various other technologies. It could be used to take a further step towards an Orwellian society.

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