Multi-lane free flow tolls are just around the corner now. Green Packet (remember P1 WiMAX?) has announced that it will run the country’s first ever multi-lane free flow (MLFF) tolling system proof of concept (POC) on Malaysian highways, together with Taiwan-based FETC International Co (FETCi).

The KLSE-listed company behind the Kiple payment platform said in a statement that the MLFF POC will be installed at the Besraya Highway, specifically at KM5.5 northbound. It is scheduled for data collection for three months starting early 2022.

“The MLFF POC is a critical process to achieve a congestion-free highway state through better traffic infrastructure, as stipulated in the works ministry’s Malaysian Intelligent Transport System (ITS) blueprint. As an internationally recognised technology player with experience in addressing local digitalisation challenges, Green Packet will be providing the funding, local insights and expertise in fintech payments.

“FETCi is an RFID and free-flow tolling expert, having implemented several MLFF systems in other Asian countries and will provide the frontend equipment and expertise in MLFF implementation,” Green Packet said.

The data collected from the POC during the three-month period will be shared with relevant authorities and stakeholders, with the primary aim to prove and validate the feasibility of using MLFF. The data and insights are valuable for eventual roll out to Malaysian highways in line with the government’s roadmap for smoother traffic.

“We are thrilled to be executing Malaysia’s first-ever POC for a MLFF tolling system. This tolling gantry is very much in line with the government’s continuous efforts for better transport infrastructure, smoother traffic flow and less congestion. We look forward to make this a reality, and to continue working with the government in advancing Malaysia’s digitalisation forward,” said Shukor Karim, executive director at Green Packet.

What’s this MLFF thing and what does it do? Basically, it’s an electronic toll collection system like Japan’s ETC and Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing (ERP). Gantries are set up on highways (or urban areas for congestion charge) and fitted with ANPR (automatic number-plate recognition) and RFID (radio-frequency identification) hardware to collect toll electronically as a car passes by. This eliminates the need for toll booths, a major source of traffic jams.

Bonus features include vehicle counting, road condition monitoring and speed detection. The difference between this and the current Touch n Go RFID? You can pass through at much higher speeds – see the video above of a single lane free flow trial in Indonesia – but your car will need more hardware than just a sticker. What do you think of MLFF?