Today, almost every household owns a vehicle. This is attributed to substantial rise in the standard of living. Hence, traffic and pollution have become a growing problem. To handle this problem traffic management system has come out with a solution called electronic road pricing (ERP). The electronic road pricing is based on the pay-to-use principle. The people using ERP roads during peak hours are charged reasonably and in return they get better driving experience. In addition to this, the ERP rule encourages people to use public transport to the maximum extend. This system has been successfully implemented in Singapore where the objective of reducing number of vehicle used by the people has been achieved.
Basically, the ERP system consists of four main components: the In-vehicle unit (IU), the Cash Card, the gantry and the central computer system. The IU is an electronic device fixed inside the vehicle that interacts with the gantry point equipment and accepts a Cash Card for payment of ERP charges. There are different types of IU, differentiated bye color, for different kinds of vehicle to allow different road pricing. The Cash Card is a stored value card for ERP payment. There is a low balance indicator in the IU such that warning will be given if the Cash Card balance is low. The Central Computer System in the control Room monitors the traffic network and equipment. Whenever the vehicle passes through a gantry, the system becomes active and deducts the right charge from cash cards. It also recognizes the license on car in the photographs and classifies the errors or violations on its own.
The fiber sensor controllers are used for establishing communication. Whenever a vehicle passes through the ERP entry. The antenna uses infrared light to detect that vehicle and the information signal is transmitted to the control centre. In control centre, the rate of charges for different kind of vehicles will be determined and the charge for using ERP road gets automatically deducted. There is one more process involved in this procedure; the vehicle passes the through the region under the line sensor that helps to confirm the transaction is completed with the help of the second antenna.
- Traffic congestion problem is solved as this rule forces people to use public transport more than their cars.
- Motorists need not purchase daily/monthly licenses.
- Since everything is automated, possibility of error is almost eliminated.
With ERP, motorists will think twice before using their own vehicle due to the cost of driving and hence, traffic congestion will be reduced.