Products for Collecting Tolls

Siemens offers not only high performance platforms for toll collection but also products for a diverse range of toll solutions and for different market configurations. One key constituent is the applications specially developed for toll-collection purposes.

Software Solutions

Siemens has developed a high-performance platform for toll collection. It is used to generate products for very different markets and tolling purposes. A central component of this platform is our successful application software SENSUS. Among other things, our solution supports:

  • Route-based tolling

  • Distance-based tolling

  • Zone- and area-based tolling

  • Time-based tolling

  • Event-based tolling

These modules can be integrated into the vehicle OBUs (On-Board Units) and the back office in any desired combination. Interfaces with other system components are set up in a service-oriented manner. By virtue of its flexible architecture, the platform can also be used to map infrastructure-based tolling applications.

Toll Calculation Suited to Traffic Situation / Dynafee

In many countries dedicated lanes are reserved for public transport services or for well occupied vehicles. However, since these lanes are not always used to maximum advantage, they are made available to other drivers for a toll fee. When there is a danger that these lanes will become too crowded, the fee is increased. This has the effect of reducing the numbers of toll-paying users and of releasing sufficient capacity for the privileged vehicles.

Dynafee Algorithm

This system brings out the benefits of Dynafee, an algorithm developed by ITS and successfully tested in real applications. It enables the toll fee to be calculated in accordance with the traffic situation and the traffic quality in these lanes.

It guarantees that toll-paying drivers obtain an appropriate service on the toll section in terms of reduced travel times.

On-Board-Units (OBUs)

Siemens relies on its own, tried and tested OBUs.  Sitraffic Sensus Unit is a compact device, which is used as part of the GNSS toll systems. Among its components are:

- GPS modules for position recognition
- GSM/GPRS modules for data transmission

This modular structure facilitates adjustments to fit national/customer requirements, for Galileo, Glonass or DSRC for example.

Ease of handling was a focal issue during development. This starts straightaway with the simple installation inside the vehicle. The integrated holder is affixed to the front windscreen with suction pads. Power is provided by a cigarette charger cable. The tolled road network is stored in the OBU. The software can be updated at any time during operations.  This means that the constantly changing road network can be reliably displayed, but also that addition toll zones can be added in the city.

Fat Client: Toll Calculation in Vehicle Unit

In this approach, the tolling system processes run autonomously in the OBU. This means that the calculation of the toll amount takes place in the vehicle. The fee amounts are stored in the OBU until they can be transmitted via mobile network to the control center.

The main advantages of the Fat-Client concept are:

  • Low volumes of data transfer

  • Immediate availability of toll charge information

The disadvantage is: limited flexibility.

For example, new toll rates must be transmitted at significant cost to all vehicle devices in the field. For cost reasons, the vehicle devices are usually only able to perform the originally requested functionality, which means that functionalities cannot be subsequently added.

Thin Client: Toll Calculation in the Control Center

In this alternative, toll fees are calculated in a control center. The vehicle device merely transmits the position information to the control center, where the use of a toll road is determined and the appropriate fee is calculated.

The advantages of the Thin-Client concept are:

  • Optimal flexibility

  • Operational safety.

Adjustments to the system parameters, for example an extension of the toll-road network or a fee change, can be carried out quickly and safely. If necessary, new system parameters can even be applied retroactively.The higher data volume transmitted between vehicle device and control center is offset by intelligent data compression.

Toll Module

Optimising on the basis of experience: Siemens is currently working on the development of toll modules for the mass market – and on the integration of tolling applications on GSM platforms.

The Siemens products already in use are modular, and work in sync with our SENSUS platform. We also use these products for our own tests. All these projects are targeted to the upward integration of tolling applications.

Video Technology

Siemens video technology has already been implemented successfully for city toll purposes. Examples:

  • Western Extension of London Congestion Charging: solution for a manual toll with video enforcement

  • Austria: Toll collection for single-lane solutions

The use of video technology for multi-lane, free-flow tolling applications is possible in principle; however, its performance still lags behind that of alternative tolling technologies (such as GNSS tolling and infrastructure tolling solutions).

RFID

Siemens also offers various RFID solutions. These are particularly suitable for applications in the area of automation and logistics. For tolling solutions, individual technical functionalities can be implemented cost-effectively using RFID technology.