SINGAPORE: Trials which could yield the next generation of the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system are under way along Woodlands Avenue 12.
Last year, four consortia – Kapsch TrafficCom, MHI Engine System Asia and NCS, ST Electronics (Info-Comm Systems) and IBM Singapore, and Watchdata Technologies and Beijing Watchdata System – had won the tender to develop technologies to replace the current gantry system in a timeframe of 18 months.
The four consortia had also been allocated a seed fund of S$1 million each for the project and might include a satellite-tracking system.
In response to queries, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that the System Evaluation Test (SET) had begun in May and “is a technological trial to help identify a technological solution most suited for Singapore”.
“Woodlands Avenue 12 is a suitable site to conduct on-road testing as it is a relatively straight road with high traffic volumes and a good mix of different vehicle types,” said the LTA spokesperson.
A visit to the site showed that four black-coloured cantilevers, which are about the height of lamp posts, have been erected along the road about 100m apart. A variety of surveillance cameras, reflectors and sensors were mounted on the vertical portions of the structures overhanging the road.
The LTA said that the tests, which are expected to be completed “around the end of the year”, will not cause disruption to other motorists.
“At the end of the SET, LTA will assess the performance of the various solutions to determine whether an appropriate technological solution is available and can form the basis of a next generation ERP system,” said the spokesperson.
However, he added that as the project is in “very early stages”, “the next generation ERP systems, if technically feasible, is still some years away.”
In Parliament earlier this year, Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo had said that it was too early to speculate when the next generation ERP system, or ERP 2, will be introduced, but added that the LTA would have to make sure that it can be reliably used for road pricing.