Thales to install multilane toll collection system on Mexico City – Puebla highway


French multinational electronics company Thales has won a contract to deploy a high-tech multilane tolling system at San Martín Texmelucan on the Mexican Federal Highway 150D linking Mexico City to Puebla, 80 miles (130km) southeast of the federal capital.

The highway is currently being upgraded, and the San Martín toll station will ultimately include 38 lanes equipped by Thales. It will become the largest toll station in the country, larger than the Tepotzotlan station that currently has 24 lanes, which was also equipped by Thales.

The company has been selected by Mexican construction company SCIEP, which is responsible for improvement work on the highway contracted by the state-owned development bank BANOBRAS. The toll collection point at San Martín will be extended from 18 to 38 lanes, and Thales will upgrade the equipment on the existing lanes and install the necessary equipment on the new lanes.

The PITZ (Peage Intelligent Transport Zero) system, which was developed locally by Thales in Mexico, automatically identifies the class of each vehicle at the toll barrier, using optical and in-ground sensors to measure the vehicle dimensions and count the number of axles. It allows integrated real-time management of cash and electronic payment collection on toll highways, and has been shown to significantly improve traffic flows on the country’s intercity toll routes. Thales has a solid track record in the delivery of toll collection systems in Mexico and to date has equipped around 40 toll stations on 10 highways for several operators, giving the company a 30% market share.

The system includes a complete video protection capability, with a CCTV camera at each booth, one for each lane, and a camera with a panoramic view of the entire toll complex. All cameras are linked to a main control center, which monitors the 38 lanes in real time. The contract also includes license plate recognition (LPR), which is a first for BANOBRAS. Thales will carry out the work in two stages: Phase 1 covers the upgrade of the first 19 lanes and will be completed by October 2017; Phase 2 for the 19 new lanes should be completed by spring 2018, depending on the progress of the other aspects of the project.

“This contract reinforces our leadership in the Mexican toll solutions market,” noted Ruben Lazo, vice president for Thales in Latin America. “The group is fully committed to develop local industry in Latin America, expanding our product portfolio and serving customers with excellence.”

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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).