Highway concessionaire Ekovest is collaborating with technology partner Amtel Holdings to run its pilot test of its multi-lane fast flow (MLFF) system on its highway, according to The Edge.
Ekovest has been conducting proof-of-concept (POC) testing for its MLFF system with Amtel since late 2022 as part of its initiative to reduce congestion and accidents on its highways, Ekovest managing director Tan Sri Lim Keng Cheng said.
The private proof-of-concept sees its highway, the Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE) and Amtel aim to showcase the compatibility of on-board unit (OBU) systems with future MLFF technology, which is camera-based in order to recognise vehicle number plates, Lim said. In practice, the potential integration of the two technologies is “not too dissimilar” to the electronic road pricing (ERP) system used in Singapore, Lim added.
“The private POC is currently going on smoothly and DUKE intends to share its findings with the Ministry of Works (KKR) and the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) for their deliberation with the MLFF technology provider,” Lim told The Edge.
The DUKE is the second highway to take part in POC testing for the MLFF system, Lim said; the first is the IJM-owned Sungai Besi Expressway (Besraya), according to the report.
Amtel is still working to fine-tune the effectiveness of the MLFF system, said its chief executive Chester Koid Siang Loong. “MLFF is a major game changer for Malaysia highway users. Once both Ekovest and Amtel are satisfied with the MLFF pilot results, we shall present it to KKR for their consideration,” Koid said.
Two key components are involved in the implementation of MLFF, said Koid; these are the camera-based automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system, and a battery-powered, tag-based system for toll fare deduction, Koid explained.
“I believe using a battery-powered device such as OBU, commonly known as the In-Vehicle Unit (IU) in Singapore, would guarantee better results compared to a sticker tag. As we move towards MLFF, 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 said.
Both infrared – such as SmartTag – and RFID-based systems can co-exist, and ultimately Koid urges technology companies to continue to innovate and improve their products and services, according to the report.
In March this year, the works ministry announced that five highways in Malaysia will begin running an open payment system for toll collection by this September, and this announcement was quickly followed by a statement that the government will hold a proof-of concept for MLFF before the end of October 2023 to evaluate the system.
The post Ekovest to start MLFF toll collection pilot test on DUKE appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.
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