Kapsch to modernize Austria’s nationwide toll collection system


Originally deployed in 2004, Austria’s national toll collection system for vehicles over 3.5 metric tons is to get a complete overhaul and modernization, using the latest state-of-the-art technologies and making the network fit for the country’s future needs.

Asfinag, Austria’s federally owned highway and expressway operator, has awarded the contract to implement and operate the GO Toll 2.0 toll collection system to Kapsch TrafficCom AG. The contract comprises modernizing roadside infrastructure at 500 locations, and bringing the corresponding back office processing center (RSE proxy) up to the latest technological standards. The contract has been signed and work is due to begin immediately. After the new system has been approved, technical operation of the system will run for 10 years, with the option of five one-year extensions. Kapsch deployed the original toll system 12 years ago and has been operating it ever since.

Kapsch expects its modernization of the 1,370 miles (2,200km) Austrian toll system will set new technological standards worldwide. Instead of the current two gantry system, future roadside toll enforcement will only require a single enforcement gantry. This gantry will carry the RFID readers and ALPR cameras, as well as an optical vehicle classification system designed for use in a national toll collection system for the first time. Using high-resolution video cameras and stereo video image-processing technologies, the vehicle’s class and number of axles can be determined in free-flowing traffic, enabling a high degree of precision in enforcing the tariffs paid by different classes of vehicle.

The central control center will be completely redesigned and will apply innovative plausibility algorithms, based on database image-processing methods. This new methodology considerably increases the efficiency of toll enforcement, leading to major reductions in the cost of enforcement operations. The new system has also been designed to be much more energy efficient, with new energy saving components used in roadside equipment, which will lead to a major reduction in the Austrian toll collection system’s energy consumption. Consequently the newly designed Kapsch toll collection technology will contribute to more ecological toll collection, in keeping with the Austrian government’s, and Asfinag’s, green credentials.

Kapsch is also keen that the implementation of the new system will provide the greatest possible domestic added value. Almost all the core components in the toll collection technology have been developed by Kapsch employees and produced in-house at the company’s production site in Vienna. Even when using subcontractors, Kapsch predominantly relies on domestic companies. For example, the steel structures used in erecting the new toll collection and control gantries are supplied by the Austrian company Forster GmbH, which is based in Waidhofen/Ybbs. Many of the other small parts suppliers and service providers are also Austrian companies.

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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).