Gentex Corporation, the Michigan-based manufacturer of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and automotive electronics, has expanded the coverage of its vehicle-integrated tolling system to include toll roads in Canada and Mexico.
Marketed by Gentex as ITM (Integrated Toll Module), the feature consists of a universal and interoperable toll transponder that auto makers can integrate into new vehicles. It enables motorists to drive on all of the USA’s toll roads, and now tolled highways in Canada and Mexico, without a traditional toll tag on the windshield. Motorists would also no longer need multiple toll tags for different regions of the country or have to manage multiple toll accounts. Gentex’s vehicle-integrated system simplifies and expedites local, regional, national, and now international travel. Auto makers can also combine ITM account registration, payments and functionality settings with their existing vehicle-integrated telematics services.
The technology was developed by TransCore, one of the world’s leading suppliers 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. Gentex and TransCore have an exclusive agreement since January 2016 that allows Gentex to integrate TransCore’s UTM technology into automobiles.
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 throughout the USA and internationally. Through the use of the company’s UTM or Gentex’s ITM built-in multi-protocol toll transponders, vehicle owners can now set-up a toll account with their local toll agency or the new NationalPass Service, which is the industry’s first interoperable service that provides access to all public toll roads and bridges in North America.
“We are always interested in combining new technologies with our auto-dimming mirrors due to the ideal location of our product,” said Gentex senior vice president and CFO, Steve Downing. “Our strategic partnership with TransCore allows us to develop new product offerings that help automakers seamlessly integrate toll collection into the car, just like they’ve done with navigation systems, HomeLink, satellite radio, and other technologies that debuted in the aftermarket. Today, 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. But ITM also establishes a foundation for future car-to-infrastructure transactions.”