Plus Malaysia Berhad (PLUS) has announced that it’s deploying RFID with an Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) toll payment system on its highways. It is said to provide the first step towards a barrier-less, multi-lane free-flow (MLFF) highway experience in the future.
The RFID with ANPR system will go live at the Hutan Kampung – Sungai Dua stretch on Sunday, 31st October 2021. According to PLUS, the implementation will enable more highway customers to enjoy seamless, contactless and cashless journeys. It also marks the end of its public pilot which started in July 2020.
Here’s the list of toll plazas with RFID and ANPR:
- Hutan Kampung
- Alor Setar Utara
- Alor Setar Selatan
- Sungai Petani Utara
- Sungai Petani Selatan
- Sungai Dua
PLUS says the RFID with number plate recognition system has been enhanced to safely and seamlessly enable customers to pass through the lane without interruptions at a higher recommended lane pass-through speed (30 km/h) versus SmartTAG (20km/h).
RFID also provides highway users a cashless experience as payments are deducted directly from a Touch ‘n Go eWallet account. Users can also enable auto-reload for the eWallet in order to maintain sufficient balance at all times. An RFID tag costs RM35 and you can order a self-fitment kit online.
According to PLUS Managing Director Datuk Azman Ismail, the RFID with integrated ANPR and Toll Validation Centre (TVC) system powered by Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is a first for the Malaysian highway industry. Equipped with high-resolution cameras for both entry and exit lanes, the system will enable all RFID customers to always pass through the toll lane seamlessly. He added that the integrated ANPR and TVC system will be able to detect, analyse and resolve most common RFID customer issues automatically in the background without interrupting a customer’s journey experience at the lane.
Datuk Azman shared that RFID usage at the Hutan Kampung – Sungai Dua stretch is currently the highest among all closed toll highways and it is expected to increase up to 30% in the coming months. PLUS is also collaborating with the states of Kedah and Penang to bring RFID to their customers to provide a superior experience with RFID lanes. PLUS in partnership with the Ministry of Works, the Malaysian Highway Authority and Touch ‘n Go is looking to expand access to RFID toll payments at all of its highways from Juru to Skudai in early 2022.
Although the improved RFID system allows cars to drive through at faster speeds compared to SmartTAG lanes, it still isn’t barrier-free at the moment. The RFID with ANPR lanes are still equipped with a boom barrier so you would still need to slow down when passing through. In order to achieve an MLFF experience, number plate recognition would be important to capture the number plates of vehicles that don’t use RFID. This may be a challenge to recognise vehicles that use non-standard number plates and some can be hard to decipher by humans.