The Government has greenlit a system to track cars with satellites to calculate road tax, and a lot of people don’t trust it.

On Thursday, the Land Transport Authority announced that it has approved a multi-million dollar project to replace the current gantries at busy roads, which deduct money from cars driving through during peak periods.


The new S$556 million ($397 million) project will be readied for 2020. It will involve installing car units that will communicate with a satellite system to track where and how far drivers go, to determine how much they should pay for driving on busy roads. It’ll automatically deduct parking charges for kerb-side parking and at government-owned parking compounds, too – a possible indicator of how accurate the GPS tracking will be.

The tax will be “distance-based” too, so that’s likely to affect people who drive a lot, such as on-the-go salesmen or drivers for hire, like taxi and Uber drivers.

Singapore IT company NCS and Japanese firm Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Engine System) won the government tender to build the system. The other bidder, ST Electronics, had priced its project at S$1.2 billion ($857 million) – twice the price.

Payment can be done through stored value cash cards (already in use by the current gantry system), or automatic billing to bank accounts or credit cards.

People have taken to Facebook to raise questions and many are pretty mistrusting of the new system.