As part of Kapsch TrafficCom’s ‘Strategy 2020’s to develop new, integrated multi-application solutions, with an increased focus on end customers, and an expansion of systems and services from the highway to the city, the Austrian company is demonstrating two new tolling systems at the ITS European Congress this week (June 6-9) in Glasgow.
The company has introduced the all-new Connected NEXT on-board unit (OBU) with Bluetooth Smart, as well as the eVignette (electronic vignette) system. With the new Connected NEXT, Kapsch links the OBU to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, which allows drivers to read and update the data stored in the OBU, as well as review and manage their toll payments.
Data from the tolling system, such as account or traffic information, as well as voice messages, are also retrievable. Paying toll fees is now a lot easier: money can be transferred via smartphone, and a user-friendly interface makes the tolling processes and payments transparent to drivers.
The unit features the same compact design and branding options of Kapsch’s existing NEXT OBU. The company hopes that the innovative features of Connected NEXT will make it a natural choice for every toll operator that wishes to increase user acceptance of their DSRC (Dedicated Short-Range Communications) charging system.
The system is fully compliant with the latest harmonized electronic toll collection specifications and standards, such as A1, CESARE/PISTA, CARDME and EN 15509. It fully supports other applications, such as Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI), parking, and city access, and also offers advanced traffic management functions to simplify the use of road networks for both drivers and authorities.
Kapsch has also introduced another convenient improvement for road users and authorities with its eVignette system, which eliminates the costs of production and distribution of a physical vignette. After an online registration of the license plate number, the vignette is valid.
As with the paper vignette, the driver can buy an eVignette for a period of time, such as a week or a year, using their mobile device or a web portal. Authorities are able to confirm its validity by reading the license plate via automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems, and checking it in the vignette database. Data privacy is ensured through pre-processing and filtering of data at the roadside, with only information from potential violators transferred to the data center for further processing. The new method offers lower costs and higher compliance to authorities, and improved convenience for road users.
Kapsch says the two new systems are best-practice examples of its goals in becoming a fully integrated Intelligent Mobility Solutions (IMS) provider. Georg Kapsch, CEO of Kapsch TrafficCom, said, “With Connected NEXT we have created the opportunity for end customers to easily receive information from the OBU, or pay tolling fees via their smartphone. The eVignette is a more simple, efficient and convenient way for time-based tolling solutions than the uneconomic paper vignette. This puts our ‘Strategy 2020’ into practice.”