Is it true that we will all be using RFID at toll booths soon? You must have heard that SmartTag and Touch ‘n Go lanes will be phased out soon, right?
Well, in this article, Qoala will explain everything you need to know about RFID.
The announcement by the Ministry of Works regarding the use of RFID on all highways in the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia starting from January has caused confusion among netizens.
PLUS Managing Director Datuk Azman Ismail and Deputy Minister of Works Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup have explained that the transition to MLFF will be done gradually.
For now, Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG lanes will be maintained. You may have noticed that certain toll booths now have one or two dedicated RFID lanes.
If the number of RFID users increases, the number of RFID lanes will gradually increase. This means that the existing Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG lanes will be reduced and eventually phased out.
However, this transition is likely to take time, and it is safe to say that Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG lanes will be maintained for now.
Does Touch n Go RFID Make Road Users’ Lives Easier?
RFID uses a sticker that needs to be attached to the front light or windshield of the vehicle.
Unlike SmartTAG, it doesn’t require batteries, and you don’t have to queue to reload a physical card because it is linked to the Touch ‘n Go eWallet.
Adding value is also easier because you can do it directly on your smartphone through credit or debit cards or top up via online banking.
RFID stands for “Radio-Frequency Identification.” This technology allows digital data to be encoded in an RFID tag or “smart label” and captured by a reader through radio waves.
Did you know that RFID tags exist in various forms, including your credit and debit cards?
You must have used Paywave before, right? Paywave is one example of RFID usage in Malaysia. Just tap your card on the scanner, and the data will be read from the card.
The use of RFID on highways is for toll payment. The toll amount is automatically deducted when a vehicle with an RFID tag passes through the scanner.
The main purpose of RFID Touch ‘n Go is to provide convenience to users.
So, how does RFID make your life easier as a road user? Let’s look at 4 ways RFID simplifies things for you:
- With RFID, you don’t have to worry about SmartTAG batteries running out or opening windows to pay tolls.
- You can top up online anytime and anywhere through the Touch ‘n Go eWallet platform.
- It functions similarly to SmartTAG, BUT it is cheaper and easier to use.
- You can enjoy cashless refueling with automatic payments from the Touch ‘n Go eWallet. Activate and enjoy immediate refuelling at selected Shell stations.
Everything You Need to Know About RFID Touch ‘n Go
1. Government’s Target to Implement Multi-Lane Free Flow System (MLFF)
By the year 2026, the Malaysian government aims to implement MLFF, a system that allows toll payment without stopping.
The implementation of RFID is the first step towards achieving this goal. For now, PLUS has more than 20 RFID lanes in 9 toll plazas, and it will provide a total of 159 RFID lanes on the North-South Expressway, including the Juru to Skudai route, by January 15, 2022.
However, RFID lanes still have limitations for now. If you want to use RFID, you need to slow down when approaching those lanes.
In the near future, the Single Lane Free Flow System (SLFF) will be implemented, where the barrier for RFID lanes will be removed.
2. Implementation of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) in All Lanes
The Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system uses high-resolution cameras and artificial intelligence (AI) to capture vehicle images, including license plate numbers, and connects them to the Toll Validation Center (PVT).
For your information, the RFID and ANPR systems have been activated on the Hutan Kampung – Sungai Dua route on October 31, 2021.
Soon, it will be expanded and used in all toll plazas on the same highway.
The ANPR system will be installed in all lanes, including RFID, Touch ‘n Go, and SmartTAG lanes.
3. Enter Toll using Touch ‘n Go or SmartTAG and Exit on RFID Lanes?
As mentioned above, the ANPR system will be installed in all entry lanes, regardless of RFID, Touch ‘n Go, or SmartTAG.
So, you won’t have any problems using Touch ‘n Go or SmartTAG lanes to enter and exiting through RFID lanes.
This is because ANPR has the ability to accurately record the entry point. The correct toll rate will be charged, so you don’t have to worry about being overcharged.
Only RFID users are allowed to use all lanes with the ANPR system. The barrier will not open if you don’t have an RFID.
Make sure your balance in the Touch ‘n Go eWallet is sufficient when using RFID. This will allow you to have a smoother journey.
What happens if your balance is insufficient and you get stuck at the toll? You can immediately top up through the Touch ‘n Go eWallet app, and the balance will be displayed instantly.
4. Various Payment Methods for RFID
PLUS has stated that they are working with Touch ‘n Go to introduce more payment methods.
More payment methods, such as debit cards and credit cards, will be introduced. As you know, for now, RFID is only linked to the Touch ‘n Go eWallet.
Through the open payment system of RFID, you will be able to add value using more payment methods. However, there is no fixed date for its implementation yet. So, for now, use the Touch ‘n Go eWallet.
5. The Future of Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG
How much longer can you use Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG?
According to PLUS Managing Director Datuk Azman Ismail and Deputy Minister of Works Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup, the transition to MLFF will be done gradually.
RFID lanes will be added and gradually replace Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG lanes as more road users switch to RFID.
Malaysia aims for a 60% RFID usage by the end of 2022.
After that, the government plans to phase out Touch ‘n Go and SmartTAG by the end of 2023. This has been clarified by the Ministry of Works.
6. So, Where Can You Get RFID?
For those interested in installing RFID, you can get it online or through the Touch ‘n Go eWallet platform.
RFID tags are sold at a price of RM35.
One interesting fact about RFID tags is that they are non-transferable, so you don’t have to worry if your tag gets stolen.
Moreover, if you have multiple vehicles, you can link up to 10 RFID tags to a single TNG eWallet account for easy management and value top-up.
In conclusion, the implementation of RFID can be seen as an initiative to further facilitate toll payment for road users.
Let’s see how the acceptance of RFID progresses gradually. You might want to consider getting the RFID Touch ‘n Go tag. It seems like RFID is the future of toll payment.
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