LTA Singapore testing Automatic Number Plate Recognition and communication beacons
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore announced yesterday that it will be testing the efficacy of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera systems and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) beacons at various locations along expressways and major thoroughfares starting from now until 2019.
These tests will enable LTA to determine the performance and reliability of such technologies under various real-life environmental and traffic conditions for future traffic management systems which will leverage Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology.
This is expected to replace the existing Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system, wherein motorists are charged when they use priced roads during peak hours, based on a pay-as-you-use principle. The ERP system minimises traffic volume in heavily used roads and optimises usage of the road network by encouraging motorists to consider alternatives. However, the current gantry system, which is two decades old will become increasingly expensive and difficult to maintain.
In February 2016, LTA awarded a tender worth S$556 million to a consortium of NCS Pte Ltd and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine System Asia Pte Ltd. to develop the next-generation ERP system, using GNSS Technology.
The new system would allow for more flexibility in managing traffic congestion through distance-based road pricing, where motorists are charged according to the distance travelled on congested roads, instead of a flat fee, which would be fairer to motorists. It will also be able to overcome the constraints of physical gantries, which are costly and take up land space.
ANPR systems and DSRC beacons do not require heavy physical infrastructure and will be mounted on existing roadside infrastructure such as overhead bridges, overhead gantry signages, lamp posts, and EMAS gantries.
The use of ANPR technology will facilitate enforcement, while DSRC beacons will also be installed in some areas to enhance positioning accuracy in Singapore’s highly urbanised environment.
Testing equipment will also be mounted onto vehicles, which will be deployed at localised areas such as Tuas South from April 2018, before expanding island-wide for testing.