Bugs or Artificial Intelligence ?

Microsoft recently released a security patch for its highly secured Windows Vista. Previously we talked about how secure Windows Vista really is...

Anyway, that shouldn't be an issue because Microsoft has a really big support team who operates 24 hours round the world, amazing!!!

Parkeon Parking Ticketing System ...

In Malaysia, recently I discovered something quite interesting about the automated parking ticketing machine provided by Parkeon for MBPJ (Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya). The automated machine is meant for people to pay and obtain parking coupon by slotting in money (coins to be precisely), key in the car plate number and then obtain a coupon.

How the system works in Malaysia ?

In Malaysia, especially in the so-called high class neighbourhood such as Petaling Jaya, citizen are supposed to pay for parking(vehicle) in public places with designated slots. Certain places which are considered less wealthy like Cheras doesn't required payment for parking.

So, for instance if you pay for parking in Petaling Jaya, it costs RM 0.60 per hour from 9am to 6:30pm (that would be RM 5.40 + RM0.30 = RM 5.70 for whole day working hours) and also if you would pay a maximum of RM 5.00 at one go, that would settle for whole day of payment. Remember, you have to slot in RM 5.00 at one go, it won't do value accumulation!

So this is good for citizen, government is giving discount for bulk purchase. In fact, monthly pass can be obtained for RM 100 which is valid for 1 month period, which is equivalent to RM 5.00 x 5 (days) x 4 (weeks) = RM 100.00. Savvy ? In fact, there is this new web venture called tumpang.com which also cater for buying in bulk.

Bugs or Artificial Intelligence ?

Recall that maximum payment per day is RM 5.00 at one go, you have to put the money at one go, otherwise if you put in RM 4.90, then you have to wait till the credit is expired and then put in another RM 0.60 for the rest of the hours.

There is a trick to paying RM 5.00 at one go.

There were times when the machine stop accepting coins at RM 4.80 or RM 4.70 which intrigued me because I wonder what has triggered such odd behaviour. Has it got built-in artificial intelligence where the machine will play corrupt games ? (The machine wants you to pay more ....) or it is because it is able to detect that you have outstanding summons ? Or it is simply a bug in the system ?

Then I realized that it is because if you use all 10 cents coin, then you have to put in 50 times. The machine will not accept any more coins after 25 times. Which means that you will be stuck at RM 2.50 of payment. Which means that you have to try to use as little 10 cents coin as possible. It should work with all 0.20 cents coin and work best with 0.50 cents coin.

Perhaps this is a flaw in the system or it is just a design to achieve the following objectives which the public is not awared of:

1. Encourages one to buy monthly pass.
2. Creates efficiency so that users remember not to use 10 cents coin which would result in delay of payment from other people waiting in a queue.
3. Collections of less coin in the safe box creates less maintenance requirements.
4. 10 cents coin can be easily counterfeited due to its smaller size compared to 20 and 50 cents coin.

But it creates problems:

1. People who are unaware of such thing might just give up and ended up have to pay more because the coin slot would simply become shut when more than 25 times of slotting done.
2. People think that the authority is corrupted since no prior notice given.
3. People think that the machine is faulty and hance the authority is not doing the job properly.

IT Public Services ...

Malaysia's government has recently been rolling out many online public services which aim at creating a more efficient and corresponding services to the people.

The non exhausive lists are:

1. Iskandar Development Region
3. Renewal of driving licenses
4. Tax : Inland Revenue Board e-filling system.
5. One website for governemtn info
6. Legal : e-Courts

Let's hope that someone from the authority would read this blog and make some comments.


Unknown said…
Why the coin machine only accepts 25 pcs of coin it just space constrains.. When you put in the coin, it will be placed into a "temporary space" in the machine (and it is small), if you decide to cancel, then the coin will be returned to you. When you proceed with the purchase, then the coin will be dropped into the main (and much bigger) storage.

The ParkEon is the machine supplier. The system is operated by Godell Parking Sdn. Bhd. for MBPJ and MPSJ, other municipality is operated by another company.

Another thing, the are more counterfeit 50 sens compared to 10sen. simple because it cost less per gram to manufacture. When RM1 coin was circulated, it was the most counterfeited coins, and thats why it was taken out of the circulation. When my friend went to Bank Negara to exchange his RM1 coins, he found out the 1/4 of his coins were not legal.

For those who park for more than 8 hours per day, better use the monthly pass. It is delivered to your office for free! I am one of the agent apponted by Godell.
You could email me for queries.. rosdanteh at gmail dot com
Brandon Teoh said…
Thanks for your comment.

Many people got stunned when there wasn't any notice on the machine to specify that it cannot accept more than 25 pcs of coins. So in a way, as a user, we don't understand why for instance, the payment stuck at RM 4.90. I wanted to pay RM 5.00!

The designer should have thought about the space constraint in the first place, not to create inconvenience. He or she should have thought that someone may want to put in all 10 cent coins.

This blog entry is already outdated. Now I can see that there are notices on the machine.

The monthly pass is a good thing.