For now the Gauteng e-Tolling project is on hold while a proper review is undertaken.
While I will neither condone or condemn the system the reality is that the bill associated with the roads needs to be paid for in one way or another. so let us consider the supposed dreaded e-Tag and the digital potential that it supplies us with.
If the e-Tag was to replace the license disk in our vehicles there are a number of significant benefits that we could enjoy.
Firstly the crappy piece of paper that falls off 6 months after afixing would be a thing of the past. the e-Tag would be the license. Hand held scanners would enable or peace officers to check on the validity of the license as they actively patrol the city we live in. Road Blocks could be created with portable gantries to catch the rogue elements who defy the summons in the post. (no comment on the validity of how it is delivered to you). Your e-Toll acount could be debited with your license fee at the appropriate time of the year or even do it monthly.
With the e-tag in the car it would also be possible to locate the vehicle should it enter the gantried world of our freeways. Granted removal of the tag may be a simpler procedure than most tracking devices but it is a deterrant.
Imagine if the e-Tag was linked up to a parking system. No more leaning out of the window to get your arm wet trying to push a button to get a ticket in the rain. Just drive in and then drive out. Your e-tag account has just been debited for the parking stay.
Now to some more intelligent stuff. the e-Tag is enabling the collection of a lot of data about traffic habits of the drivers. Install some additional gantries around the city and we could have an information system that may assist drivers in getting from point A to Point B. The system would be capable of predicting that if you drive at 7am on Monday morning it is likely that you will be going to your office. Marry this up with the e-Tags indicating current congestion points and it could via sms alert you as to where the bottlenecks are.
You see the e-tag does have some use we just need to think a little differently about it.
So what is your suggestion?