DOTr deploying automation, digital tech in transport sector

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The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it is going full blast in automation and digitalization by harnessing the best practices in technology to help contain the spread of Covid-19.

Starting 16 June 2020, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will launch in Metro Manila the Public Transport Online Processing System (PTOPS), which will allow services to be made accessible online.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO), meanwhile, will implement digital transactions made through the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS). Through the system, application for driver or conductor’s renewal of license, requests for revision of records, and requests for Certificate of No Apprehension can be processed online.

Cashless transactions are also being implemented in public utility vehicles (PUVs), taxis, and Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) through Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS). This is carried out through the support of various payment solutions companies, whose mobile applications have also features that allow contact tracing of passengers.

Electronic toll collection will also be made through the mandatory use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags on all PUVs using toll ways and expressways.

Railways services will undergo total digitalization that include online reservations or train ticket purchases. Passengers can also opt to use cards or use digital payment options.

The DOTr said rail networks will also expand the use of artificial intelligence on its infrastructure for massive scanning and temperature profiling, automated contact tracing, human-to-human contact detection or detection of social distancing violations, face mask detection, and frequent contact surface analysis.

The Automated Passenger Ticketing System will soon be implemented in the maritime sector as the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will automate passenger ticketing in all its passenger terminals nationwide to avoid face-to-face ticketing transactions.

The pilot testing of the system started on March this year and is targeted to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2020. There will also be an integration of all payment platforms into one system covering all PPA terminals to limit face-to-face cargo transactions.

A centralized vessel tracking and port surveillance system called the National Port Monitoring Center will be implemented to monitor vessel and port activities as part of border control and protection.

DOTr is also considering the use of Virtual Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower in the aviation sector to be provided away from the airport, instead of airport towers to ensure that passenger safety will not be compromised.

“We are gearing to a future wherein technological advancement will be highly optimized. As we gradually shift to the ‘new normal’, we have to adapt digitalization in most of the things we do so that we can move forward and achieve healing faster,” DOTr secretary Arthur Tugade said.

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