Making its global debut in San Francisco on September 17, the all-electric Audi e-tron will be the first vehicle from the German auto maker to launch with an integrated toll payment system fitted as standard equipment.
The Integrated Toll Module (ITM) is a toll transponder built into the vehicle’s rearview mirror, allowing drivers to access select toll roads in the USA and in Canada where compatible with the local toll authority. ITM is another first for Audi in vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology, enabling the car to communicate and interact with its environment.
The new Audi e-tron is a battery-electric-powered five-passenger mid-sized SUV, which is expected to be delivered to showrooms in the first part of 2019. The vehicle’s mirror-based toll payment system gives convenient access to the country’s toll roads while helping to eliminate windscreen clutter and the need to manage multiple toll accounts.
Drivers will be able to adjust module settings through the vehicle’s MMI (Man-Machine Interface), including turning the ITM on and off, as well as changing the occupant settings for HOV/HOT (High Occupancy Vehicle/Toll) lanes.
The ITM was developed for Audi by the Michigan-based Gentex Corporation, which also supplies automatic-dimming mirrors for all Audi vehicles. The ITM technology is compatible with existing tolling agencies nationwide and can be registered with a driver’s current account, new account, or a nationwide tolling account.
The technology was developed by TransCore, a leading supplier of tolling and traffic management systems, and uses its Universal Toll Module (UTM), which Gentex integrates into its electronic rearview mirrors. The interior mirror is the optimal location for a vehicle-integrated toll transponder and it eliminates the need to affix multiple toll tags to the windshield.
Since pioneering radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for the transportation industry, TransCore has delivered more than 87.8 million toll tags and 95,700 readers, and is now a key proponent and enabler for a nationally interoperable tolling system across the USA.
The company’s exclusive agreement with Gentex enables the UTM technology to power the ITM mirror, with the system being compatible with most of the USA’s toll networks, including FasTrak, EZ Tag, Sun Pass and E-ZPass.
“Our ITM enables the car owner to enjoy a hassle-free driving experience using managed lanes and toll roads across the USA, Canada and Mexico,” said Gentex’s senior vice president and CFO, Steve Downing. “But the ITM also establishes a foundation for future car-to-infrastructure transactions.”