Twitter user shao posted an interesting series of tweets relating to RSA security and ETC 2.0.
In case you didn’t notice, or don’t drive much, the wireless Japanese Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system has gotten a big upgrade to ETC 2.0 these past few years. The enhanced ITS SPOT antenna network using DSRC (Dedicated short-range communications) 5.8GHz band for ETC 2.0 duplex communication has been in place on the ground since 2011 but it wasn’t until 2015 when ETC 2.0 ready car navigation systems began delivering ETC 2.0 services to drivers. Unfortunately ETC 2.0 still only represents 25% of the user base though ETC 2.0 navigation systems are due to be ‘standard equipment’ from the 2021 car model year.
Shao pointed out that ETC 2.0 got a security update in 2018 with older less secure ETC 2.0 card readers ‘good until 2030’ unless a security threat forces a quicker update. Unfortunately it is not easy to tell the difference between newer devices with the security update and older potentially less secure devices. He also notes that Suica uses RSA which is another good reason for JR East to upgrade everything to the newer more secure FeliCa OS version based Super Suica format. With all that hardware out there that can’t be upgraded sometimes you have to pull the trigger and pull the plug on compatibility in favor of the new.
One central ETC 2.0 feature is the ability to connect with smartphones and deliver much more detailed traffic and road information but so far there are very few options out there. The only stand alone unit I could find was the Denso ETC 2.0 reader + Android App product that went off the market in 2020 with no replacement. ETC 2.0 integration for Google Maps and Apple Maps would be great to have but looks unlikely. Dedicated car navi systems are the best, and only, way to enjoy the benefits of enhanced ETC 2.0 content.