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
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...