Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Interoperable electronic tolling for Europe’s roads


Imagine driving from Sweden to Spain and never having to stop to pay a toll. That scenario could soon become a reality thanks in part to the work of PISTA, which has validated a new European standard for interoperable electronic fee collection (EFC) systems.

Through trials in seven European countries, the IST project has proven the practicality of toll road operators applying the CEN 278 interoperability standard to EFC systems, which allow drivers to pay tolls electronically through the use of tags in their vehicles that communicate with roadside antennas.

“EFC technologies are very mature, but the problem has been a lack of standardisation,” explains Rafael Fando, the PISTA project manager at Cintra in Spain. “Toll road operators in different countries have used different, incompatible technologies, meaning that an EFC user in one country cannot use their tag to pay tolls in another country.” The CEN 278 standard overcomes that problem by ensuring all EFC systems are compatible with each other. “Basically we tested what it takes to make the standard work,” Fando says.

The 12-month trials by 17 toll road operators in Sweden, Denmark, Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Portugal proved that through the incorporation of new EFC systems and the adaptation of existing ones full technological interoperability can be achieved.

That, however, is only part of the problem. “Besides technological interoperability, it is also necessary to ensure contractual interoperability so users’ banks accept charges from tolls in other countries,” notes Fando. “That is a slower process, although during the course of the project progress has been made.”

All EFC systems on Spanish toll roads are now interoperable at a national level from a contractual viewpoint, with Portugal and France also expected to implement contractual interoperability with Spain, creating a cluster of compatible EFC systems on toll roads in south-western Europe. A similar cluster is being set up in Scandinavia. “Eventually we expect all of these systems to become interoperable across Europe, with the ultimate aim being to achieve free-flowing traffic on all toll roads so users never have to stop,” the project manager says.

Interoperability will allow toll roads to handle more traffic more efficiently – EFC systems can process 1,000 vehicles per hour, as opposed to 250 per hour with manual systems – while increasing the comfort of users and reducing congestion. “With five or six million tags currently in cars across the EU, the number of potential beneficiaries from interoperability is huge,” Fando notes.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Bremen University students reach the final at robotics competition with parcel delivery robot
19.10.2016 | BIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik

nachricht Discovering electric mobility in a playful way
18.08.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>