Just as Indians were finally getting up to speed with the FASTag electronic toll collection system, the government has set its eyes on a more advanced and sophisticated tolling system – GPS-based toll collection. What do we know so far? How will GPS-based toll collection work? The government is yet to figure out the exact specifications of this system, but the general idea is that an onboard GPS chip will determine when a vehicle enters and exits a toll road and communicate this to a service provider using cellular internet. The service provider, in turn, will automatically deduct charges from a digital wallet or bank account connected to the vehicle based on the distance traveled on the toll road. Launch expected by 2023: In December 2020, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that GPS-based tolling will replace toll plazas by 2023. In March this year, he doubled down on this commitment and said that the GPS-based tolling system will be implemented within a year. Policy expected in November 2021: In August this year, Gadkari said that a "concrete" policy for the GPS-based tolling initiative will be ready within three months. Some new vehicles come fitted with GPS trackers: Gadkari said in December last year that all new commercial vehicles come with vehicle tracking systems and the government will come up with a plan to install GPS technology in old vehicles. In March, he told the Parliament that old vehicles will be provided with GPS trackers for free. While it is mandatory…
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