The Ministry of Transport held a ceremony to commence trial operation of an electronic toll collection system (ETC) at the Km604+700 station on National Highway No1 in the central province of Quang Binh on March 13.

The move aims to assess the practicality of the technology at pilot tolls before applying it to all stations across the country’s road network.

Two more trial ETCs are scheduled to be commissioned in the central province of Nghe An and Central Highlands Dak Lak province, using new technology eliminating the need for drivers to stop their vehicles and pay cash fees as is the current practice.

During the trial period, the manual toll collection model, where a toll collector sells tickets and logs vehicles into the system by hand, will also be maintained.

Drivers will be issued an electronic tag to be attached to the inside portion of the front windshield of a vehicle with a denoted account. The tag will transmit a signal to the computer at the toll gantry as it approaches, and the toll will charge the account automatically.

The Ministry aims to install the system in 35 tolls across the National Highway No1 and sections of the Ho Chi Minh Highway in the Central Highlands, said Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong.

It assigned the TASCO Joint Stock Company and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam to implement the project.

According to Truong, the ETC will use the US Radio Frequency Identification system, the world’s latest technology. The system is simple, low-cost and has a quick identification speed. The technology will save time, curb congestion, strengthen the State's management and help avoid losses.

Pham Quang Dung, TASCO Chief Executive Officer, stated that the new technology could save up to 3.4 trillion VND (159 million USD) annually, among other benefits.-VNA