The government will soon make it mandatory for all vehicles to have radio frequency identification (RFID) cards that will be used to make road toll payments, Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath said Wednesday.
"Within 18 months we will ensure that RFID is being installed in every vehicles. It will be like a chip that you use for mobile phone. You charge it with whatever amount you want and make the payment when required," Nath said at the annual Economic Editors' Conference here.
He said each card would cost Rs.70 initially and the price may go down to Rs.50 once the chip is used on a large scale.
"All the new vehicles will come with RFID chip installed. We have already instructed the manufacturers. It will be mandatory for all old vehicles also," he said.
Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIAD), has recommended the use of electronic toll collection technology.
Nath said the government has accepted the proposal and would ensure that it is being implemented within 18 months. "Initially it will be used for toll collection on national highways, subsequently it will be used for other purposes also, including toll collection on state highways."
Nath said the RFID technology would help bring in consistency and transparency to the toll collection process. "It is quite safe and most advanced technology. It can be used for various purposes."
RFID uses communication via electromagnetic waves to exchange data between an object, in this case a vehicles and a terminal. The technology, generally used for identification and tracking purposes, can be used on any products, animal or person.