In August 2016, the German government presented the country’s parliament (Bundestag) with a draft law to extend truck tolls on all federal trunk roads from July 1, 2018, in order to provide the finance for improved traffic infrastructure nationwide. A new system is being developed to monitor and enforce the expanded toll network.
The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) contracted Toll Collect to lay the technical groundwork for the scheme. Currently, a total of 9,320 miles (15,000km) of motorway and federal trunk roads are subject to charge. With the planned extension, the toll system will grow by around 24,850 miles (40,000km) of trunk road.
Best known for its laser and radar-based speed and red-light camera enforcement systems, Jenoptik’s Traffic Solutions division has been contracted to supply Toll Collect with up to 600 complete systems to monitor future truck toll payments on Germany’s highways. With new combined optical and tracking sensors, the company hopes the system will set new standards in toll monitoring. The value of the contract is in the mid double-digit million euro range, and Jenoptik will develop and supply Toll Collect with up to 600 toll payment monitoring pillars by mid-2018.
Toll Collect was contracted by the German government to carry out the technical preparations for the toll system, which will collect the toll fee and monitor toll payments. As Toll Collect’s development partner for the toll monitoring pillars, Jenoptik will support the continued technical development of the toll monitoring system. The statutory functions connected with monitoring the compulsory toll payments will be carried out by the Bundesamt für Güterverkehr (Federal Office for Goods Transport, or BAG) as the representative of the German government.
Jenoptik is developing a unique system through the digital combination of various sensor technologies to monitor toll payments. The new system combines modern sensor technology for measuring distances and stereo image-processing, and roadside-mounted cameras for recording and classifying trucks for toll-collection. The system will detect axle-numbers using roadside-mounted cameras for the first time. The toll monitoring systems will be installed on the sides of Germany’s federal highways, making the comprehensive installation of monitoring gantries superfluous, while limiting the impact on the environment.
The roadside-mounted cameras will take high-frequency photographs of individual sections of each passing truck, which will generate true-to-scale distortion-free profile images. The system will exactly measure the dimensions of each truck and accurately determine the number of its axles, which is required for the vehicle’s precise toll classification. Jenoptik’s system will be capable of instantly recording the amount of the toll owed by each truck, and toll infringements will be documented using high-resolution images and transmitted to Toll Collect for future prosecution.
All toll monitoring components will be integrated into a housing that is based on Jenoptik’s award-winning TraffiTower 2.0. The modular structure of the housing means that it can be quickly installed and individually adjusted and can also simplify servicing and maintenance. It will also reliably protect the measuring systems against bad weather and vandalism.