SINGAPORE — The new on-board unit (OBU) to replace the current in-vehicle unit (IU) in existing Singapore-registered vehicles will be installed free of charge starting from the second half of 2021.
In a media release on Tuesday (8 September), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that the installation exercise will take about 18 months, as it begins to replace the existing Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system with one that leverages on the Global Navigation Satellite System.
It expects to make the switch to the new system in mid-2023.
“The ERP system was first introduced more than 20 years ago in 1998 and the infrastructure is reaching the end of its operational life. In the meantime, technology has advanced and offers us better solutions,” LTA said in the media release.
New OBU to incorporate new services
The new system will do away with the bulky gantries, while the OBU can incorporate other services such as real-time road traffic updates, as well as locations of nearby School Zones and Silver Zones to alert motorists to look out for more vulnerable road users.
It will be mandatory for Singapore-registered motor vehicles to have the new OBU, which will have two designs:
Motorcycles: A single-piece design tailored for mounting on a motorcycle.
All other vehicles: A three-piece design, comprising an antenna and a touchscreen display tailored for mounting to the windscreen, and a separate processing unit that can be mounted beneath the dashboard.
Road pricing framework remains the same
Meanwhile, the existing road pricing framework – cordon-based congestion pricing such as for the Central Business District and point-based congestion pricing for specific roads and expressways – will remain the same when LTA makes the switch to the next-generation ERP system.
“ERP rates will continue to be reviewed based on traffic speeds and congestion levels,” LTA said in the media release. “ERP charging locations will also be clearly indicated, just like now, but with smaller and slimmer gantries.”
The new OBU is also 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.
Data collection via ERP system
The next-generation ERP system will also collect data from users. LTA said it will use anonymised or aggregated data only for traffic management and transport planning purposes. Vehicle-specific data will be used only for payment, charges and enforcement, such as against non-payment of ERP charges.
To prevent unauthorised access and improper use of the data, LTA said that there will be robust security and strict safeguards in place, including penalties under the Public Service (Governance) Act.
LTA will 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.
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