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HomesingaporeERP 2.0: Signage to indicate ERP points; on-board unit will alert drivers...

ERP 2.0: Signage to indicate ERP points; on-board unit will alert drivers nearing location, show charges

SINGAPORE: Under the new Electronic Road Pricing system, known as ERP 2.0, there will be signage to demarcate the points where motorists will be charged, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor on Monday (Nov 6).

The new on-board unit will also send them an alert when their vehicle approaches an ERP-charging location, as well as indicate the relevant charges, said Dr Khor in response to a question by MP Lim Biow Chuan (PAP-Mountbatten) on how motorists would be aware of ERP charges with the on-board unit.

For ERP 1.0, the charge is displayed on the in-vehicle unit when the vehicle approaches the gantry. These physical gantries will be “progressively decommissioned” alongside the transition to ERP 2.0, which will implement charges through its global navigation satellite system.

Motorists who choose not to install the touchscreen display on their on-board unit, however, will receive the ERP information on their compatible mobile phone apps, added Dr Khor.

While the new on-board unit is mandatory for all motorists, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) had said the touchscreen display is optional. Motorists can choose to install only the other two components: The processing unit and the antenna. The three components are integrated into a single-piece unit for motorcycles.

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Aside from ERP, the new on-board unit is designed to work with existing systems, including Electronic Parking System car parks, added Dr Khor.

Motorists can continue to pay via valid CEPAS cards, such as EZ-Link Motoring Card, NETS Flashpay and NETS Motoring card. However, CashCards won’t work, as these are being phased out.

WHY ERP 2.0 CANNOT BE REPLACED WITH SMARTPHONE

Dr Khor on Monday also highlighted the reasons why ERP 2.0 cannot be “wholly replaced” by using a smartphone, in response to MP Yip Hon Weng’s (PAP-Yio Chu Kang) question.

The on-board unit has three key functions, she outlined. First, it identifies the vehicle’s location and communicates with the ERP system; second, it processes transactions in real-time safely and securely; and third, it notifies motorists on the ERP charge and other key traffic information.

For the first function, the precision of smartphone location data can vary across different devices and increases the risk of “erroneous charging”, added Dr Khor.

The on-board unit can “better ensure reliability and performance, and reduce significant downstream operational challenges, such as disputes regarding charging inaccuracies”.

The on-board unit has also been designed with “robust security measures” and tested extensively to ensure it can handle real-time charging transactions and data securely. Data stored in the on-board unit cannot be directly accessed by motorists or external mobile apps and are designed to be “tamper-proof” with a “high level of security and encryption”.

Moreover, the on-board unit has been designed for one-way communication. It cannot receive data or instructions from an external mobile app, even though it can broadcast data, noted Dr Khor.

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Addressing MP He Ting Ru’s (WP-Sengkang) question on data usage, Dr Khor added that LTA will only use “anonymised or aggregated data” for traffic management and transport planning purposes. Vehicle-specific data will only be used for payment, charges and enforcement, such as against non-payment of ERP charges.

LTA also adheres to government-wide standards for data security including “strict guidelines” on data sharing with other government agencies.

Meanwhile, to allow smartphones to process ERP transactions, Dr Khor said that motorists will have to start their mobile apps, key in passcodes or use biometric authentication to enable ERP charging “each and every time they travel”.

“This is inconvenient to motorists, and some may inadvertently forget to start their mobile apps for the ERP,” she noted.

Nonetheless, Dr Khor acknowledged that LTA took onboard earlier feedback from motorists who said the on-board unit was inelegant and bulky and developed a mobile interface for those who don’t wish to install the touchscreen display. These motorists can use their smartphones to access the information that would have been on the touchscreen display.

She also reiterated that LTA has no immediate plans to introduce distance-based charging. “Distance-based charging is a different approach for congestion management, and any plans to implement it must take many factors into consideration,” she said.

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