RFID on PLUS highways – how does it work? What if it fails to read? Insufficient funds to exit? What is ANPR?

RFID on PLUS highways – how does it work? What if it fails to read? Insufficient funds to exit? What is ANPR?

PLUS Malaysia (PLUS) recently announced that the main stretch of the North-South Expressway (NSE) from Juru, Penang to Skudai, Johor will support RFID (radio frequency identification) toll payments beginning from January 15, 2022.

This is part of the highway concessionaire’s plan to introduce RFID toll payments to all its highways by early 2022 and is in line with the works ministry’s plan to have an Intelligent Transport System (ITS). The widespread implementation of RFID is the stepping stone towards a single-lane free flow (SLFF) toll system, and eventually, a multi-lane free flow (MLFF) toll system.

The rollout of RFID will result in the gradual discontinuation of Touch ‘n Go card and SmartTAG toll collection, with the government aiming to end both by the end of 2023. As such, motorists will have to make the switch to RFID eventually, which has undoubtedly attracted many questions.

To try and address the potential concerns of motorists during this transition, PLUS recently held a media roundtable to provide a better insight into its RFID programme as well as further initiatives that will be implemented in the future.

How will RFID work on PLUS highways?

The RFID toll payment system isn’t new to our highways, as you’ve probably seen lanes dedicated to the system at toll plazas on highways such as the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) and Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE).

Those highways have an open toll system, which charges fixed toll rates based on the vehicle class, but the NSE has a closed toll system where motorists are charged based on the distance travelled between their check-in and exit points – RFID implementation on a closed toll system is new.

The mechanics of both toll systems are pretty straightforward. In an open toll system, when you drive through the dedicated RFID lane, a reader picks up the information on the vehicle’s RFID tag and the toll charges are deducted from your linked TnG eWallet.

RFID on PLUS highways – how does it work? What if it fails to read? Insufficient funds to exit? What is ANPR?

As for a closed toll system, the reader will log your vehicle’s entry point and upon exit at another toll plaza, the toll charges based on the distance travelled will be deducted from your TnG eWallet. This is the same method if you use a TnG card or SmartTAG, but the difference is you don’t have to tap your TnG card on a reader or ensure your SmartTAG has enough battery power in it – the RFID tag doesn’t require an external power source to operate.

With the RFID system, PLUS says up to 1,200 transactions can be processed per hour, which is 20% more compared to SmartTAG. As for availability, on the Juru-Skudai stretch, 159 RFID lanes across 73 toll plazas will be ready and operational on January 15, 2022. These will add to the 20 existing RFID lanes that are currently active across nine toll plazas on other highways operated by PLUS.

Despite the rapid rollout (delayed due to the various MCOs), TnG and SmartTAG lanes will still continue to be available at toll plazas during the RFID transition period. PLUS has said it will work with TnG and other parties to promote the adoption of RFID through various marketing campaigns and promotions to achieve the targeted 60% adoption rate by end-2022.

I heard the RFID system works with something called ANPR. What is that?

RFID on PLUS highways – how does it work? What if it fails to read? Insufficient funds to exit? What is ANPR?

While the RFID system is the primary method to validate entry and exit points to calculate toll charges, there are two other methods to deal with special scenarios. The first is an automated number plate recognition (ANPR) system, which uses a camera to snap a photo of incoming vehicles, uniquely identifying each one based on their number plate.

Such a system is already in use in some parking lots like at Sunway Pyramid, which has adopted a cashless payment system that determines the parking fee you’ll need to pay based on the logged entry and exit times.

PLUS says all its toll plaza lanes will be equipped with the ANPR system, be it those dedicated to RFID, TnG or SmartTAG as an alternative means to log a vehicle’s entry and exit points. It adds that to train the ANPR system to effectively identify number plates, several sample images are fed to the system’s deep learning “brain” to continuously improve its capabilities.

However, not all vehicles have number plates that are in good condition (i.e. damaged), clean and/or not of regulation standard (i.e. fancy plates), which may affect the ANPR system’s ability to identify number plates. Because of this, PLUS has a third fallback in the form of a dedicated validation centre where backend staff resolve any potential identification issues and ensure you are charged accordingly.

RFID on PLUS highways – how does it work? What if it fails to read? Insufficient funds to exit? What is ANPR?

What happens if I don’t have enough funds in my TnG eWallet at the exit toll plaza?

In the event your TnG eWallet balance is insufficient at your exit toll plaza, you simply need to top up through the TnG eWallet app on your phone and you’ll be on your way. If you prefer not having to deal with such a situation, consider activating the auto-reload function that can automatically reload your TnG eWallet when it hits a certain threshold.

What happens if the RFID tag fails to read at the exit toll plaza?

Should there be a situation where an RFID tag can’t be read at a toll plaza because of an issue with the overhead reader, a power failure or network outage, each toll plaza will have customer service staff equipped with portable RFID readers to read your vehicle’s RFID tag manually and the system will determine the toll fee to be charged.

RFID on PLUS highways – how does it work? What if it fails to read? Insufficient funds to exit? What is ANPR?

What happens if I enter using TnG or SmartTAG and exit using RFID, and vice versa?

In such a scenario, the photo of your vehicle taken by the ANPR system will be used to validate your entry and exit points, after which the system will determine your toll charges. This process is done seamlessly, but if there are still any issues that arise, the validation centre will be called upon to resolve them.

It should also be noted that if you were to enter the NSE using your TnG card or SmartTAG and exit using RFID, the system will not deduct from your TnG card’s balance. This is because when the ANPR system has determined the entry and exit points, and the toll charges have been deducted from the TnG eWallet, the transaction for that trip is deemed as completed, so using the TnG card at another entry point creates a new trip transaction.

Put simply, the exit point is where a lot of the work takes place to determine the toll charge, with RFID taking precedence in terms of validation, followed by your number plate and if there’s still an issue, the validation centre comes into play.

RFID on PLUS highways – how does it work? What if it fails to read? Insufficient funds to exit? What is ANPR?

Will I still be able to earn PLUSMiles using RFID to pay toll?

Yes. You simply need to link your vehicle’s RFID tag to your PLUSMiles membership account like you would with your PLUSMiles or TnG card.

Are the plans to support PayDirect for TnG or SmartTAG lanes on PLUS highways?

PLUS is actively working with TnG to offer other payment methods like PayDirect, as well as support for credit cards to enable direct payments without the need to reload, although there’s no timeline mentioned on when they will be made available. For now, it’s just manual or automatic reloads for your TnG eWallet balance.

What about other motorists who tailgate/tiong/cucuk me to avoid paying toll?

Toll evasion is nothing new, even with the existing TnG and SmartTAG toll payment options, and PLUS has said in the past that it will take legal action against those caught doing so. With the ANPR system and other surveillance systems in place, toll evaders will likely not be able to escape punishment.

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Comments

  • Bieight8 on Dec 24, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Toll plaza causes jam and waste time…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 10
    • Only if idiots don have sufficient credits in either TNG or SmartTag or EWallet accounts, din check battery still ok on SmartTag reader, or finding high & low when they forgot where they kept TNG card.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5
      • Not always. The RFID system is flawed. It doesn’t detect the tag.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Bryan on Dec 24, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    What if someone use my car? And I don’t have credit in my ewallet. The fellow also can’t reach me to top up. What a stupid and idiot plan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5
  • Jerry Ng on Dec 24, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Still doesn’t answer why the reader fails to pick up the RFID signal and causes jam. Best it says there will be a staff stationed there with a RFID will scan your barcode. LOL… So he or she will pops out of the booth with scanner on the right hand to scan your barcode? Doesn’t this sounds silly and stupid?

    So you have ANPR, but what does it do? Take nice pix of my car? Or would it allow me to cross the toll when my balance is low, and charge me later?

    This article doesn’t even scratch the surface.

    Best parapgraph:
    What happens if I don’t have enough funds in my TnG eWallet at the exit toll plaza?

    In the event your TnG eWallet balance is insufficient at your exit toll plaza, you simply need to top up through the TnG eWallet app on your phone and you’ll be on your way. If you prefer not having to deal with such a situation, consider activating the auto-reload function that can automatically reload your TnG eWallet when it hits a certain threshold

    Why the best paragraph? Cos it is stupid and telling people what they already knows. What we don’t know, how the ANPR will work together with RFID to promote a seamless flow and what are the future initiatives taken to ensure smooth flow. Rubbish #1

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2
    • Engineer on Dec 27, 2021 at 10:50 am

      Various issues could be attributed to bad reading; bad placement of sticker, improper installation, heavy tint on windscreen/headlamp, vandalism, poor sticker durability is usually the least suspect, often if the manual reader cannot read it is normally user problem.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
      • For 2 yrs i hv been using RFID with no issue arise. But with the new RFID system, i cant seem get through only at the newly set toll… Hmmm.. funny… user problem again???

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • “PLUS is actively working with TnG to offer other payment methods like PayDirect, as well as support for credit cards to enable direct payments without the need to reload, although there’s no timeline mentioned on when they will be made available.”

    Possibly one of the easiest things to do in the entire payment system, and lot’s of companies out there have done it, yet they “refuse” to give it a reasonable priority. Grab, Lazada, Shopee have been charging from cards in the background. Why does Plus have to work with TnG on this? To ask for “permission” from TnG? Plus is the party who knows how much to charge, because all the toll booths belong to it. And there are many parties out there who can charge the cards for Plus for the amount that Plus knows. What difficulty is there? Politics?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
    • Engineer on Dec 27, 2021 at 10:55 am

      Think it is simple but it’s not. RFID is owned by TNG and PLUS have to get TNG to enable their system to direct debit from CC but TNG themselves have DirectPay for that so it conflicts their own interests. It would be faster if PLUS have their own contactless system which they mooted before this but then out goes any streamlining & simplification from a single payment system.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
      • The old paper tickets belonged to Plus. TnG cards, which are newer, belong to TnG. It was hard to replace TnG then, because cards were not cheap, and a wallet infrastructure was needed and hard to duplicate. But now, stickers cost almost nothing, and cards that do not belong to TnG are everywhere, and do not cost a merchant like Plus any money to issue. Besides, there is no longer a need for a wallet infrastructure, because for small purchases like toll charges, it is absolutely all right to do post-usage charge, which does not require constant and fast networks.

        Basically, the only thing in the highway payment system that belongs to TnG now is the sticker readers. With the planned multilane free flow, those readers are likely going to be replaced. With the readers replaced, TnG will have no role to play in highway toll payments. Why prolong its life? It is not like TnG has any IP for the system. It has very little or no technical competence. The system comes from elsewhere, and there are multiple vendors producing those systems. So, TnG can be completely booted out from now. Why let is grow and be a nuisance to the users? To help users save money? I paid much more money than what I actually used because of TnG. It forfeited unused money, deducted money from idle accounts, and forced me to spend lots of money to physically visit its office to claim money back. These are much more than what I spend through its system in a year. I am a Plus customer, but I should have a choice of not being a TnG user.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
      • “It would be faster if PLUS have their own contactless system which they mooted before this but then out goes any streamlining & simplification from a single payment system”

        Streamlining for highway toll payments means Plus doing it by itself. Getting TnG involved is not streamlining. As mentioned in my post just now, you can see how simple the system is nowadays. As for a single payment system, everyone keeps his/her money in his/her own bank is a significant part of a single payment system. Anything between the bank and the merchant (Plus) is part of a standardized payment system. Creating another intermediary (TnG) that holds money actually adds an extra entity that complicates and adds costs to the payment system.

        TnG has actually had no useful role to play outside highway toll payments. And everywhere else, people are moving towards the bank+merchant concept, getting rid of wallets. Bus, train, carpark, physicalretail payments, online payments. Bank+merchant is the dominant concept. Go to any shop, most people do not use an intermediary. Look at the queues at the counters. People choose to pay using cash or card. Nothing else. And look at bus and train fare payments, operators are moving towards debit/credit card payments (because this is now easy to do, no persistent and fast networks are needed, and risks are small because people’s standard of living is higher). This is how the payment systems are evolving.

        Plus should look at the global and consumer trends.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
      • If Plus uses the bank+merchant concept as the main payment system, with the TnG intermediary-based approach as supplement, it is fine. But it should not use the supplementary approach as the only system, as this contradicts global standardization, usage, operational and cost efficiencies in payments.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Aero (Member) on Dec 24, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Ideally, the MOT should work with JPJ to ensure all newly registered cars come with RFID pre-embedded somehow. Maybe in the roadtax/LKM sticker itself ? Supposedly, JPJ had plans to do just that, but we’re still using the same crappy design today… they’ve even stopped changing the colours.

    Plus, it’s been 10, 15 years since plans for a standardized number plate were mooted… we’re still waiting. Maybe now’s the best chance, with growing RFID and ANPR adoption.

    The MOT can introduce and later mandate that RFID be embedded/installed in all new number plates manufactured (e-plate), both front and back. During registration, the owner simply pairs the RFID code from the e-plate to their TnG Wallet. In case one e-plate fails/gets damaged later, the driver has a backup. Puspakom/authorized SCs can check/replace the RFID strip every few years if necessary.

    If you’re concerned on costs, don’t worry, the RFID patch is not expensive, probably less than 10 bucks. It’s the RFID transceiver (broadcaster) that is expensive. Even for a short-range 5 meter radio, it would cost over 300 bucks. And that’s not including the waterproof HD infrared camera for the ANPR.

    If you’re concerned about privacy, realize that your smartphone and many popular apps already have 24/7 access to your personal info and whereabouts. If you think RFID and ANPR (and even 5G) is all some evil plan for a global police state, I’ve got news for you; we’re already living in one, for the past few years now..

    If you’re concerned on reliability, don’t be, because whatever inefficiencies caused by hardware or software limitations will be gradually overcome in a matter of years. However, human complacency and incompetence is eternal, which is why you’ll always see idiots reversing out of the TnG-only lane, and long lines at the left-most toll lane, even after all these years.

    Anyway, I think PLUS and other operators have a lot to gain from RFID, but there’s some ways to go before we reach seamless free-flow, like in Singapore for example. The common motorist has even more to gain… just imagine, you’ll never need to stop for another toll, ever. Reduce jam, time, fuel consumption, stress… the sooner RFID goes mainstream here, the better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
    • Engineer on Dec 27, 2021 at 11:01 am

      Aptly said. Any new technology implement is troublesome but eventually the pros will overcome most cons and people will get around those that remain. Well, most people anyways, Malaysians tend to be more stubborn and simply blame everything else.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3
  • And, with number plate recognition, Plus can actually identify the vehicles already. You know the vehicle, you know the amount, you know what card to charge for that vehicle. Do you need to work with TnG?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Tan Beng choong on Dec 24, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    My RFID cannot be read , when I crossing the toll many times. If my RFID damage

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Zainal A Kadir on Dec 24, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    I change cars driving to work as I have more than one car. Do I have to have RFID for each car?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • The RFID toll at the Sunway exit at NPE, there’s always long queue compared to the smart tag one. I don’t see it being better. I have a RFID bar code ,I always find that smart tag detection is faster. Not sure if the frequency between the two. Mine is fixed on the front light.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • Lee Fong Koi on Dec 25, 2021 at 7:28 am

    What if someone damaged my RFID sticker on the headlamp n we not knowing it reach a rfid toll lane n cannot go through, what then?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Eric Khoo on Dec 25, 2021 at 9:17 am

    RFID is JUST another method of toll collection. The road user will still need to “slow down” at the toll booth till the boom gate opens to be able to pass through. The road user may even need to “stop” or worse still “do a reverse” for whatever reasons technical & non-technical exactly like what is “commonly” seen at toll booths.
    IF ONLY the RFID system enables the road user to simply “drive through” without even slowing down…..this is what I would say is IMPROVEMENT and value to road user.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  • RFID is outdated even before implementation. Implement new tech without boom gates like Singapore. It has been proven over 30 years ago. When will PLUS ever learn?????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  • ..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • RfID Professor on Dec 25, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Confusion and complications coming up! RfID Close system not practical on Malaysian toll sites terrains which have poor internet connectivity. Both RFID and ANPR require a consistent internet connection to the cloud to check eWallet balance and your car plate number registration at certain toll. We might have cases with RFID tag registered to a different car since DIY packs are sold everywhere. Could be an honest mistake or done intentionally. Many might check-in with tngo card/smartag but exit using RFID and no doubt the ANPR might pick that up and charge you on your ewallet but your card might be blacklisted for future use…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Worried man on Dec 26, 2021 at 11:02 am

    I wonder how do i share payment of the balance using 2 different phone if im sharing a car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Andrew Wong on Dec 26, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Why smart tag cannot remain just like in Singapore so that who ever drive that car will have to food the toll charges not the owner of the vehicle if Singapore can do it I don’t see why Malaysia cannot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Lonetrekkie on Dec 26, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    How does the RFID works for commercial vehicles such as taxis, etc?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
  • P T Boey on Dec 27, 2021 at 4:55 am

    What about international tourists who hire cars to drive around in Malaysia.,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • if someone hates you, they can just peel off or damage your rfid which is located outside of your vehicle. you will have to fork out extra RM35 and waste your time handling this issue.
    also, users will no longer be able to protect their headlamps with coating, polishing, or waxing since you need to install it on a clean surface. your headlamp plastic will have UV degradation faster and won’t be clear.
    whoever introduced this rfid clearly did not think deeper. rubbish, in my opinion. waste of people’s money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Kwang Yek Mee on Feb 21, 2022 at 3:01 pm

    My vehicle WPW9978 is not working now though it was installed by your technician.Where can I go for aftersales service?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • I recently tried entering toll using RFID, but exit with Smartag (TnG card). Plus tried to charge RM64+ on my TnG when the trip normally costs RM7+. Luckily it failed when my card doesn’t have enough money. Just take note of this everyone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • AUGUSTINE LIM on Apr 07, 2022 at 11:42 am

    Just purchased the RFID tags/stickers for my cars.

    1. Can I stick it on the top left corner of the screen (on the outside) as shown in one of the pictures in this webpage?

    2. Can I maintain BOTH the RFID system AND the conventional Smart Tag where the T&G card needs to be topped up at 7-11 or petrol stations? I intend to continue with the conventional Smart Tag during peak hours and only try out the RFID at off peak hours because I noticed currently lots of cars get stuck on the Jln Duta RFID lanes almost every morning and cars using the conventional smart tags zooming through the Smart Tag Lanes. I only intend to let go of the conventional Smart Tag when PLUS has perfected the RFID detections.

    Thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • AUGUSTINE LIM on May 06, 2022 at 3:06 pm

    DO NOT INSTALL RFID TAG ON WINDSCREEN IF VEHICLE IS MPV

    I bought 2 RFID Tags for my 2 vehicles via TnG e-wallet App for:
    1. Normal Car
    2. MPV

    When I received the tags via courier, I pasted both tags on the windscreen of both vehicles, registered them and activated them.

    After 24 hours, I took the vehicles to actually drive through the RFID lane on a highway. On the car, the tag was detected – no problem.

    However on the MPV, I could enter ELITE at USJ but could not get out at Seafield! The PLUS personnel asked me to reverse and forward a few times but the RFID Tag could not be detected. I was given a list of RFID fitment centres. I chose one that is near to my house. The personnel at the RFID centre told me the MPV is tall and the RFID should not be installed on the windscreen as it won’t be detected. The guy tore off my RFID Tag and installed a new one for me on the headlamp FOC. My original RFID Tag was deleted from my TnG e-wallet and the new tag registered on my App. After 24 hours I tested on PLUS, Kesas and LDP and it worked perfectly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • What will happen if I was able to enter toll gate by reading the rfid of the behind car?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
 

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