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Netizens press for transparency on ERP 2.0 OBU standards amid LTA renewed defence

Despite the LTA’s renewed defence of the ERP 2.0 OBU meets global benchmarks for electronic devices, debate ensues within the online community. There are netizens pressing LTA to reveal specifics on ingress protection ratings and test details for motorcycle and car OBUs.



SINGAPORE: Netizens have expressed scepticism regarding the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) defence of the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) 2.0 on-board units (OBUs), which are claimed to meet international standards.

The online community is further scrutinizing the safety standards for the placement of the OBUs, highlighting a disconnect between the technical specifications and the practical, everyday needs and safety of users.

LTA released a statement on Tuesday (14 May), asserting that the OBUs have been thoroughly tested and comply with relevant global benchmarks for electronic devices.

They specifically refuted allegations suggesting otherwise.

During a recent Parliamentary session, Mr Louis Chua, Workers’ Party Member of Parliament for Sengkang GRC, raised concerns about whether the new OBU design meets the Automotive Electronics Council’s (AEC) EC-Q100 requirements, crucial for reliable performance in Singapore’s climate.

Although Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat did not directly address this specific standard, he assured that LTA had conducted rigorous tests to ensure the OBUs function properly in Singapore’s weather conditions.

Yesterday, the LTA clarified that the AEC-Q100 standard is not suitable for assessing devices like the OBU.

This standard primarily evaluates packaged integrated circuits used in vehicles, such as those found in in-car entertainment systems, said LTA.

Highlighting the distinction, LTA explained that the AEC-Q100 standard focuses on individual component quality and is not intended for devices comprising multiple components assembled together.

The LTA finally revealed that the relevant standards the OBU was tested against are the International Electrotechnical Commission’s IEC-60068 and IEC-60529, which Minister Chee did not disclose to MP Louis Chua in Parliament last week.

The LTA stated that these two standards are widely used to test the operational reliability of electronic or electrical devices.

To achieve IEC-60068 and IEC-60529 qualification, the OBU passed a wide range of tests including temperature and humidity, added LTA.

“When properly installed, it is safe and reliable to use in our operating environment.”

IEC 60068 encompasses a collection of methods aimed at conducting environmental tests on electronic equipment and products including extreme cold and dry heat.

The standard defines appropriate severities and specifies various environmental conditions for conducting measurements and tests.

IEC 60529, also known as the IP (Ingress Protection) Code standard, focuses on the degrees of protection provided by enclosures for electrical equipment against the ingress of foreign objects (like dust) and moisture (like water).

This standard outlines various levels of protection that enclosures can offer and assigns them specific IP ratings.

Netizens question OBU testing standards and automotive suitability

Despite LTA’s recent clarification, it’s apparent that the online community remains dissatisfied with the explanation provided, continuing to express scepticism over LTA’s decision regarding the new OBU design.

Some individuals have delved deeper into the safety standards, questioning the necessity of a “mini-computer” style device for road pricing purposes.

Criticism has been directed at the practicality and user-friendliness of the OBU design. Concerns include the accessibility of the device for certain user demographics, such as drivers with larger builds, pregnant women, and older drivers.

One netizen commented on the LTA’s Facebook page and questioned the details of the OBU testing mentioned in LTA’s statement.

He pointed out that while the statement referred to testing against IEC standards 60068 and 60529, it didn’t mention the ingress protection (IP) ratings of motorcycle and car OBUs.

IP ratings are widely used throughout the industry, which grades the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids.

The comment also asked about the tests used in the IEC 60068-2 stage and requested transparency regarding the test results from accredited agencies during IEC 60068-3.

Regarding the Automotive Electronics Council’s (AEC) standard Q100, the user emphasized its rigorous testing of individual components to prevent post-assembly failures.

He suggested that LTA’s engineers should address potential heat issues during the OBU design phase.

Expressing concern, the FB user advocated for testing OBUs against internationally recognized vehicle safety standards and suggested using automotive head units or control modules as examples to clarify LTA’s points.


Netizens challenge LTA’s statements on OBU heat concerns

While one netizen mocked that his dashcam can operate under the hot sun, questioning why the new OBU design cannot, the LTA reiterated that the OBU functions like a mini-computer, generating heat during operation.

LTA emphasized that it fundamentally differs from devices like the existing IU and vehicle dashcam.

Another FB user noted that OBUs only generate heat when operational, meaning they are active while the car is in motion.

Considering this, he questioned whether the car’s air conditioning system would mitigate any potential overheating, as it’s unlikely for drivers to operate a vehicle in extreme temperatures.

He expressed confusion about the OBU’s sensitivity to the car’s interior temperature unless it’s required to function while the vehicle is parked under direct sunlight.


Some responded to LTA’s assertion that dashcams are either passive devices or lack computing functions similar to OBUs’ processing units.

An FB user highlighted that dashcams are not passive but continuously record and process high-definition footage, along with GPS and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features, which also generate heat.

Despite this, dashcams manage to contain these functions within a small, slim unit, demonstrating resilience in Singapore’s climate conditions.


Another netizen questioned the appropriateness, suggesting that for user convenience, the design should resemble simpler devices like dashcams.

The comment also highlighted that the latest in-car dashcams, digital reverse mirrors, and navigation systems also function as GPS-enabled mini-computers.

In response, the LTA reiterated that the processing unit of the OBU is more like a mini-computer and is fundamentally different from devices like dashcams, which do not have the same computing functions.

Another comment argued that a basic GPS navigation system does not require much computing power and accused the LTA of making excuses to justify a flawed design.

“Again more excuses to justify a design flaw. And thank you for admitting that there are many components which goes back to the fundamental question why need so many components for a simple function.”

Netizen criticizes LTA’s OBU technology

Under The Straits Time Facebook comments, one netizen criticized the LTA, drawing parallels between the OBU and Tesla’s advanced display system.

The netizen questioned why the OBU couldn’t meet similar standards, expressing frustration over what they perceive as outdated technology being implemented without clear alignment between LTA’s systems and policy teams.

“Why do we need so many components? Why can’t you put all these into an integrated circuit?”

The FB user urged LTA to acknowledge any mistakes and reconsider their approach, particularly regarding the potential implementation of distance-based charging and its impact on motorists and passengers.


“Don’t fix what’s not broken”

In response to the LTA implementation of ERP 2.0, netizens criticized the decision, arguing that it was unnecessary and impractical.

Some expressed the view that the new OBU system represents a step backwards, suggesting that it’s wasteful to invest in constructing a new ERP system when the existing one is functional.


A comment suggested that LTA’s repeated promotion of the OBU on social media indicates that the product is already a failure.

“In all honesty, if something is good and makes sense. It would be widely accepted by the majority in an instant. You don’t really need to “prove” how great of a product it is. ”

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LTA need to show proof that ERP2 0 comply to international safety standards. NOT electronic testing standards. Everyone is barking up wrong tree. Has the units been cwrtified safe during a front and aide crash test? I question if the screwn will disodge and kill or injure the driver during a frontal crash. Or injure the passebger during a side impact. Also the control usint is so large. It can destroy and persons knees and render him or her limping for rest of his/her life. LTA need to show us Crash Test data installed in various car model especially cara… Read more »

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Transparency from crooks? Since when have they been transparent? Actually lets use the famous line of ‘What is the point of the question’? They F’ed up big time and are desperately trying to make the users swallow their bad pill. Remember you votes are very important to ensure transparency.

A buyer, LTA using YOUR MONEY to buy and pay for something and spec the requirement of the equipment to the supplier. So did supplier either deliver short of the spec or the buyer simply could not care less if the equipment fell below the spec and accepts it? Or worse, the buyer LTA did not even provide and demand that the spec MUST be met before the equipment is accepted? Boh chap attitude? Kelong? Or simply those working at LTA were all sleeping since BIG boss then was also kelong? So what is YOUR NEW PM going to do… Read more »

Be patient folks…their script writer is preparing one to placate and justify that $566mil misstep of sgs taxpayers’ money 😅