The government says that the radio-frequency identification (RFID) system for toll collection will be implemented at all toll plazas nationwide soon, The Star reports.

According to works minister Baru Bian, the system will be running sometime in the next couple of years, and will not take longer than three to five years to implement. “Three to five years is too long. But give us time to ensure that it is properly implemented to benefit road users,” Baru said.

The initial plan by the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) stated that RFID system were supposed to start operating in the third quarter of last year, but Baru pointed out that toll plazas without booths could only be initiated when the RFID system is widely used throughout all highways nationwide.

The special lane for SmartTag will only be eliminated after the removal of boom gate barriers and toll booths as part of the multi-lane free flow (MLFF) roll-out, probably in the next two years. Baru added that the government will also need to develop standards and guidelines for the highway industry, particularly in the areas of building information modelling, communication protocol, big data analytics as well as strategic and tactical asset management.

“Communication protocols will ensure seamless integration for machine-to-machine communication. Big data analytics are to help with future planning, while strategic and tactical asset management is to enable optimum asset management and maintenance. In formulating theses standards, we need not reinvent the wheel. We can adopt and adapt those standards that are already available and modify them to suit our needs,” he said.