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Remember when we said that Projek Lebuhraya Usaha Sama Berhad (PLUS) was planning to introduce a gateless gantry system for electronic toll payment starting in 2018? You’re looking at what could be first pictures of the highway concessionaire actually testing the system.

We were passing through the Batu Tiga toll plaza when we noticed two PLUS-liveried Proton Sagas (with card-like devices taped to the windscreens) repeatedly driving through a closed SmartTAG gate without slowing down, while a group of people were taking notes. This could mean that PLUS was seeing how fast the system could read individual devices in succession.

Previously, it was mentioned that trials using a Mitsubishi-based system utilising microwave transmission technology have been conducted at the Batu Tiga toll as early as 2008; the sighting of this test would indicate that the trials have been resumed, or at least are still ongoing.

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Last year, PLUS said that it was targeting 100% electronic toll collection (ETC) at all its toll plazas nationwide with a gateless gantry toll collection system (like Singapore’s overhead Electronic Road Pricing gantries), where cars may simply drive through and be charged electronically without the need for slowing down.

Its CEO Muhammad Fuad Khusairi has said that it was studying several such systems running in other countries, adding that the move to a Multi-Lane Free Flow (MLFF) system using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology would reduce congestion at toll plazas.

“Under the system, a gadget or sticker will have to be installed on the windscreen of vehicles. The toll will be calculated using the Radio Frequency Identification or RFID system. There will also be a CCTV network installed on the gantries. The system will be able to tell the amount that needed to be deducted electronically from the vehicle owner’s account with us,” he told reporters.