works minister dynamic toll pricing malaysian highways multi-lane free flow

Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE) concessionaire Ekovest has been privately testing its Multi Lane Fast Flow (MLFF) proof-of-concept (POC), The Edge reports. As you may recall, the expressway is the second location confirmed after the Sungai Besi Highway which will be implementing a POC for the contactless toll collection method later this year.

According to the publication, Ekovest has been conducting POC testing for the MLFF system with its technology partner Amtel Holdings Bhd since late 2022, as part of its initiative to reduce congestion and accidents on its highways. It is revealed that the group is still working to fine-tune the effectiveness of the system, and will be making the submission of its findings to the authorities involved when the time comes.

DUKE Highway second location MLFF POC open toll payment system
Image: GerifalteDelSabana, via Wikipedia

In a statement to The Edge, Ekovest managing director Tan Sri Lim Keng Cheng says that both the concessionaire and its partner aim to showcase the compatibility of on-board unit (OBU) systems with future MLFF technology. “The private POC is currently going on smoothly and DUKE intends to share its findings with the KKR and Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) for their deliberation with the MLFF technology provider,” he adds.

The OBU technology mentioned earlier is similar to the In-Vehicle Unit (IU) that’s used in Singapore, Amtel chief executive Chester Koid Siang Loong explains. It is said to consist of two key components: a camera-based system with number plate recognition for detection and enforcement, also known as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), and a battery-powered tag-based system for toll fare deduction. “I believe using a battery-powered device such as OBU would guarantee better results compared to a sticker tag,” he says.

Koid also assured that existing technologies such as SmartTAG and RFID would not be undermined in favour of newer approaches for the upcoming MLFF implementation. He believes all of these can still co-exist with one another in the future, with the aim of instilling and promoting healthy competition, as well as urging tech companies to continue to innovate and improve their products and services. “…The introduction of RFID or other alternative devices as an option to support MLFF is a good initiative, but we should not forget about the highway users whose existing devices still work perfectly fine and [don’t want to] be burdened with purchasing new devices or tags,” he says.

The Edge’s report adds that Amtel is also in talks with two other highway concessionaires to run the MLFF toll system pilot project. However, the identities of the involved companies were not disclosed.

(Source: The Edge)

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