SINGAPORE: Installation of the new on-board units (OBU) in vehicles will start in the second half of 2021 and take place over 18 months, replacing the current in-vehicle units.
The first unit will be free for existing Singapore-registered vehicles, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a news release on Tuesday (Sep 8).
The installation had been due to start by the end of this year, but the process has been delayed due to the impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains, said LTA.
The new units will be used when Singapore switches to the next-generation Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system - based on the Global Navigation Satellite System - in mid-2023.
It replaces the gantry system that is more than 20 years old, and was meant to charge motorists according to the distance they travel.
However, LTA said on Tuesday that ERP rates will continue to be reviewed based on traffic speeds and congestion levels.
"While the technology and system have been replaced and upgraded, the way congestion pricing is being levied today will not change," said the authority.
"ERP charging locations will also be clearly indicated, just like now, but with smaller and slimmer gantries."
NEW OBU DESIGNS
Other than providing information on ERP charging locations and rates, the OBU will provide additional information such as real-time road traffic updates, as well as locations of nearby school zones and silver zones, LTA said.
For motorcycles, the OBU is a single-piece device designed to be mounted on the vehicle.
All other vehicles will have a three-piece design installed, comprising an antenna and a touchscreen display attached to the windscreen. There is also a processing unit that can be mounted beneath the dashboard.
The OBU is designed to be compatible with existing systems, including ERP charges and parking.
“Motorists can continue to use their CEPAS cards (NETS FlashPay and EZ-Link cards) or credit or debit cards to make payment,” LTA said.
It is mandatory for Singapore-registered motor vehicles to have the new OBU after the end of the installation exercise.
“LTA will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the OBU installation timeline and will provide the motor vehicle industry and motorists with sufficient notice for a smooth transition," said the authority.
Singapore-registered motor vehicles that do not use public roads on mainland Singapore, or are subject to strict usage restrictions, will be exempted from the mandatory OBU requirement.
These include tractors, construction equipment, trailers and vehicles on Restricted Use Scheme such as airport vehicles.
SAFEGUARDING DATA PRIVACY
The next-generation ERP system will collect data from users, with “robust security and strict safeguards in place”, said LTA.
“LTA will only use anonymised or aggregated data for traffic management and transport planning purposes," it said.
“Vehicle-specific data will be used only for payment, charges and enforcement, such as against non-payment of ERP charges. Summons related to such non-payments will largely be auto-generated, like today."
On security measures, it added: “To prevent unauthorised access and improper use of the data, there will be robust security and strict safeguards in place, including penalties under the Public Service (Governance) Act.”