As ValetEZ launched India’s first FASTag enabled contactless parking for Malls and Pay & Park in partnership with NPCI, we sat down with Smit Kant Raturi – CEO and CTO at ValetEZ, to understand how ValetEZ envisions the role of FASTag in transforming parking in the country.
1) What is your view on the FASTag technology push by the government? How does it impact our lives?
I think it’s a great idea to bring about digital transformation in the country, especially in the mobility sector. It brings about a uniform way to identify vehicles, provide access management and enable digital payments. Like Aadhar has become a unique identification for people, FASTag can become the Aadhar for vehicles (along with the vehicle registration numbers). Any new technology has an adoption time but we can already see the impact of this on toll roads and highways, where turnaround times of toll collection have become better, there is smoother flow of traffic and more transparency in the payments / collections.
2) How has ValetEZ implemented FASTAg and what are the use cases?
3) What are the technology aspects to keep in mind while implementing FASTAg?
Some of the pointers to keep in mind while implementing FASTag technology is to understand:
- RFID tags – how they work and their pros and cons
- Protocols defined by NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India) – which are quite clear and take care of most use cases. We are also working with NPCI to provide feedback and improve the user experience, especially for parking use cases
- Since it’s an automated system, one needs to plan for redundancies
- May also need a backup system for situations where there is an internet or power failure
We have built these aspects into our system so that the end system integrator or parking lot owner / operator does not have to worry about these and it’s plug and play for them. We are also looking to move some parking locations to a fully automated setup with no human intervention and this technology will play a key role towards that.
4) How do you see this technology progressing in the next year and what are the possibilities with this?
As the adoption picks up pace, new use cases and with that new challenges will emerge. This technology will need to evolve for two wheelers since that’s a large part of the vehicles on the road in India. It also has the potential to evolve into something like Singapore’s ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) system, which brings together traffic management and digital payments across roads, highways and parkings, making life easier for the citizens of the country. It has the ability to add demand based variable pricing models solving issues like traffic congestion and pollution in the city centre at peak times, which cloud based systems like ours already allow for. Ultimately, our aspiration is to make world class technology products from India- Make in India, Make for the World.