Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Straits Times

According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the new Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system will be upgraded with Global Positioning System (GPS) features and the government will now have the power to turn any congested road into a ERP zone.

Currently at testing stage, Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) beacons will be installed at various locations along expressways and major thoroughfares from Friday (March 26) until the actual implementation in 2019.

Like a giant prison, each DSRC beacon will also serve as an island-wide police surveillance system, monitoring all vehicles through an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system. The Singapore Police will actively monitor the cameras.

LTA said the system is cheap, compared to the ERP gantries which cost S$1.5 million each to build:

“These technologies do not require heavy physical infrastructure and will be mounted on existing roadside infrastructure such as overhead bridges, overhead gantry signages, lamp posts, as well as EMAS gantries. For a start, ANPR and DSRC equipment will be mounted along the Ayer Rajah Expressway, Marina Coastal Expressway, Central Expressway, Tampines Expressway and Nicoll Highway.”

The GPS-ERP and DSRC systems were part of a S$556 million tender awarded to government-owned National Computer System and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine System Asia. Interestingly, the GPS-ERP system is never implemented in Japan.