Observed every year on 11th of May, National Technology Day underlines India’s technological advancements and the spirit to develop cost-effective technologies that offer solutions for the betterment of society as a whole. As the nation and its scientific community would be celebrating the National Technology Day on Monday, May 11th, 2020, it is imperative that we talk about one of the technological innovations that have changed our lives for better – FASTag, an electronic toll collection (ETC) system in India which is operated by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
FASTag employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments on National Highways directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it. A prepaid tag, fixed on vehicles’ windscreen, allows automated deduction of toll charges, and lets any vehicle pass through a toll plaza with zero human contact. FASTag has been instrumental not only in ensuring smooth flow of vehicles on National Highways but also proved to be the safest mode of paying toll charges considering the Covid-19 outbreak. FASTag nullifies the chances of contracting Corona virus as there is no human contact between drivers and the toll booth workers unlike during cash transactions.
Movement of all essential goods and services takes place majorly through the road networks of the country. As India is gearing up for a life post the Covid19-induced lockdown phase, NHAI foresees an increase of commercial and private vehicles on national highways in the coming days. This will increase the chances of Coronavirus spread. In such a scenario, NHAI recommends that FASTags should be the preferred mode of toll payments as it is the safest mode for toll transactions on National Highways. It’s a technological boon that can help us all bring the lives and economy back on track in such turbulent times without ever compromising on our health and safety.