Kapsch completes acquisition of eTrans Systems and launches toll collection system in Europe


Austrian intelligent transportation systems giant Kapsch TrafficCom has completed its acquisition of US company eTrans Systems, a Virginia-based provider of connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) systems, and has helped launch a European toll payment system.

The acquisition enriches Kapsch’s existing range of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connected technologies within the rapidly developing CAV landscape and will provide the foundation for a wide range of safety and mobility applications. eTrans will become part of Kapsch TrafficCom and its solutions will be integrated within the company’s global product portfolio, reinforcing its position in the emerging connected mobility market by supporting an optimized flow of transportation and information. Kapsch will combine eTrans’s technology-agnostic onboard and roadside unit (OBU and RSU) applications within its portfolio. These systems support vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) safety and mobility services.

eTrans’s cloud-based smart services also support proactive use of V2X data for transportation systems management and operations. Current eTrans deployments include V2X projects in Michigan, North Carolina and Nevada, as well as licensing agreements with customers such as Renesas and Danlaw. Kapsch and eTrans have already partnered on several projects in North America such as the Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT) corridor in North Carolina and the H407 connected vehicle pilot in Toronto, Canada.

“The knowledge of the eTrans team in embedded, mobile and IoT technologies will strongly enhance our offerings in the connected and autonomous vehicle transportation field,” said Alexander Lewald, CTO of Kapsch TrafficCom. “Connected mobility technologies are increasingly dependent on information-sharing, and our integrated solutions can contribute significantly to this industry as it continues to develop.”

In Europe, Kapsch’s partnership with Austrian petrochemicals and fuel services company OMV has launched Smart Toll, a standardized, continent-wide truck tolling solution. Different toll systems pose major challenges for internationally active transportation companies in Europe, because in many cases there are different toll boxes (transponders) and different forms of payment for each country and even for individual motorways. However, OMV’s new Smart Toll system, which is based on the European Electronic Toll Service (EETS), now enables users to make cashless payments for various toll stations, bridges and tunnels.

The toll box was developed by Kapsch and the payment of incurred tolls and tunnel fees is handled centrally by OMV. The billing service will be managed by Tolltickets, a subsidiary of Kapsch Group, and has now launched in Austria and Hungary, with additional countries, including Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium, due to follow in the near future.

Benedikt Hans, head of card services at OMV, noted, “We are offering our customers a future-oriented and individually tailored tolling solution for all of Europe. In this way, we are responding to the European Commission’s initiative for the harmonization of toll systems and providing a straightforward, transparent solution. We are looking forward to the roll-out and the successive expansion of the deployment area and would like to thank our partner, Kapsch TrafficCom, for the outstanding collaboration.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).