What Is ERP 2.0 and Is Singapore Ready for It?

With the ERP 2.0 announced in 2016, 7 years have passed and we explore the roadmap to our very new Electronic Road Payment System – ERP 2.0

The Dawn of a New Era of Electronic Road Payment System 

The ERP 2.0 was announced to be implemented on vehicles of Singapore by 2021, but due to chip shortage in the 2020 and 2021, it was delayed to 2023. 

As Singapore positions itself to launch the revolutionary ERP 2.0 in 2023, it promises a transformative shift in the way motorists experience road pricing. 

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced that although the new system will be satellite-based, the expected distance-based charges will be deferred.

Image from Straits Times 

This change is much anticipated given the existing system, a relic from 22 years ago, is nearing its operational limits. As Straits Times reported, while the new ERP system will replace the existing gantries with “smaller and slimmer” ones, the essence of the ERP’s function remains unchanged.

However, one notable difference is the provision of a new onboard unit (OBU) with enhanced features such as real-time traffic updates, map displays, safety alerts, and zone identification.

What Challenges Does the ERP 2.0 Seek to Address?

According to Kian Woon Wong, Director of DXC Technology, the existing ERP system’s rigidity with its fixed pricing doesn’t respond adequately to real-time traffic conditions. ERP 2.0’s satellite-based system aims to rectify this by potentially introducing charges based on the distance travelled, thus offering a more dynamic pricing model.

However, the transition to ERP 2.0 is not without its challenges.From hardware to data security concerns, the system’s design must be future-proof. 

Wong emphasises the role of AI and analytics in maintaining system integrity and highlights potential integration possibilities with modern in-car systems.

Screengrab of how a car with ERP 2.0 system will look like  / Land Transport Authority 

Expert Perspectives on ERP 2.0’s Potential

A report from Channel NewsAsia  explores the intriguing idea of ERP 2.0 replacing Singapore’s Certificate of Entitlement (COE) scheme.

With soaring COE prices, there are rumblings about the need for an overhaul. ERP 2.0, with its ability to detect and charge based on vehicle location and distance, could theoretically replace the COE system. However, such a seismic shift would have repercussions.

In the article reported by Channel NewsAsia, experts, including Associate Professors from NUS and SUSS, warn of increased congestion and parking issues.

 A potential solution, dynamic pricing via virtual “gantries”, allows authorities to control traffic more responsively.

However, the practicality of shifting from COE to ERP 2.0 as the primary control mechanism remains debatable.

Balancing Innovation and Pragmatism

Though the government’s intention to revolutionise road pricing is commendable, certain voices urge caution.

For instance, in the article reported by the Straits Time, IT specialist Larry Leong gave his opinion that the OBU’s design feels outdated, suggesting that app-based platforms could be more cost-effective and modern. 

Moreover, the transition to cardless payments seems overdue in an age of digital wallets and NFC payments.

Image from The New Paper

Looking Ahead: Navigating the Future Roads of Singapore

The future landscape of Singapore’s road pricing remains a blend of anticipation and apprehension.

While ERP 2.0 signifies advancement, it faces real-world challenges such as hardware compatibility, public acceptance, and systemic integration.

Yet, as technology advances, so too must the systems that govern our daily lives. ERP 2.0’s evolution is inevitable and essential for managing the intricate dance of urban traffic in one of the world’s most bustling metropolises.

In the end, while the debate about replacing COE with ERP 2.0 will continue, what’s clear is that the government’s commitment to reducing congestion and improving urban mobility remains steadfast.

Whether through a refreshed COE system, a dynamic ERP 2.0, or other unforeseen solution, the road ahead for Singaporean motorists is sure to be innovative.

Have a story to share ? 

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If you or someone you know has a video or story to share, please do not hesitate to email us at writer@roads.sg 

Together, we can all contribute to creating safer roads for everyone. 


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Featured Images from Straits Times

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