Highway operator PLUS Malaysia announced its partnership with Microsoft Malaysia for the integration of the Azure cloud computing system into its highway toll network, for the highway operator to be able to support future technologies towards improving highway operations.

These include the incorporation of big data analytics and artificial intelligence-enhanced operations, while PLUS’ partnership with Microsoft also signifies the first step in the highway operator’s digital transformation journey towards better efficiency and lowered costs.

This partnership will see PLUS adopt Microsoft Azure cloud-based platform to handle the challenges of server capacity, flexibility and security, the highway operator said. This will help PLUS grow its on-premise resources to improve internal performance and subsequently, the customer experience, without undue worry for server capacity, it said.

Additionally, PLUS will also be using the Azure Key Vault to secure cloud-stored data with the use of cryptographic keys, and reduce data discrepancy, enhance operations and toll collection reconciliation and improve efficiency by 40% or 600 man-hours each month, as a result. Here, machine learning is being applied to CCTV monitoring in a pilot programme, and will be able to detect on-road incidents and aid in quicker response on the ground.

The primary point of interaction between the highway operator and the customer remains the PLUS mobile app, from which users will be able to view a video feed of various locations of the highways that is refreshed every 10 seconds. The work towards back-end operations aims to improve traffic predictability for the road user via more precise traffic monitoring, and PLUS is also working to improve the frequency of the visual updates from the current 10-second intervals.