FASTag – How is Technology Changing the Face of Indian Highways’ Operations?

The Government of India (GoI) is adopting technology at a fast pace for making governance reach masses. ‘Digital India’ is one such program from the government. Many departments and ministries took a cue from the ‘Digital India’ program and came up with new tech-based initiatives. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is no different in this regard.

NHAI, which is an autonomous body of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, is established for the development and maintenance of major chunk of National Highways. It is also assigned with National Highways Development Project (NHDP), which is to upgrade the existing Highway network to the world standards.

National Highways Authority of India has paved way for technology to guide its operations and maintenance for years. For the same reason, it has created a Highway operations division to look after tech-led developmental works. Some of the tech-based reforms that happened in the Highways sector are FASTag, Advance emergency traffic incident management system, RAMS.

FASTag is undoubtedly considered as one of the finest reforms in the recent times. It is changing the way commuters experience the journey on national highways. FASTags work on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Without a human intervention, the Toll will get deducted from the FASTagged vehicles. This kind of Toll collection is letting the government of India tap the traffic data pertaining to national highways and make use of it for planning future projects.

Advance emergency traffic incident management system was launched in the wake of an increase in a number of accidents on Highways. Under this system, the operations division will be provided with Ambulances, Cranes, Patrolling vehicles which are GPS-enabled. This system helps corresponding authorities to act in a faster way. Recently a Toll-free number was also launched to benefit the Highways’ commuters.

Road Asset Management System (RAMS) is one of the potential game changers in the Highways sector. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to make use of spatial data. Based on the data provided by the space agencies, the assets alongside Highways will be mapped and leveraged for efficient operation and maintenance of National Highways.


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