The Development Of A Non-stop Automatic Toll ... - IEEE Xplore

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main emphasis being on the high-speed automatic toll-collection pilot project which ... is becoming more widespread for automatic toll-collection applications.


Philip T Blythe, TORG,University of Newcastle upon v u e , (UK)



This paper will describe the current work of the DRIVE I1 project ADEPT (&tomatic Qebiting and

Electronic Eayment for Transport) which is continuing the development of the PAMELA Automatic

Debiting transponder technology which began in the DRIVE I programme in 1989. The presentation will also descn'be the recent field trials of the PAMELA system in Automatic Debiting and in particular the automation of toll-collection. Finally the plans for the ADEPT field trials in 5 separate European countries will be described with the main emphasis being on the high-speed automatic toll-collection pilot project which will be installed on the Malagra highway near Thessaloniki in 1993. This installation will entail both mono-lane tolling and multilane tolling, as well as the provision of pertinent in-vehicle information to the drivers of heavy goods vehicles. 2.


The trend in transport policy in Europe is increasingly towards the recovery of construction and maintenance costs of new roads and car-parks by the use of tolls. This "user pays" trend and the reemergence on the political agenda of some form of variable road-use-pricing to manage traffic demand means that an automatic variable for enabling a financial transaction between equipment mounted in a vehicle and the roadside will soon be needed. Automatic debiting of this kind, without the necessity of stopping the vehicle or for any action by the driver, has long been recognised as the only efficient way of achieving this. So far, most automatic non-stop debiting systems have been developed for the conventional road-toll market. In consequence, a profusion of these systems now exist across Europe and elsewhere. However, most of these current systems of automatic revenue-collection have a limited functionality and cannot support all the requirements necessary for a Pan-European Debiting System, capable off such diverse applications as non-stop tolling, car-park information and management and (ultimately) variable road-use pricing, and also of operating in different locations across Europe with the same basic equipment. 22.

What is the 'Transponder' Concept?

The use of small, integrated, 'intelligent' communications devices which are fitted into vehicles (genera& mounted to the vehicle's front or side windscreen), which allow data-communicationswith a roadside communicationsbeacon, is becoming more widespread for automatic toll-collection applications. Such systems are used for communications dialogue between the roadside system and the in-vehicle device (and visa versa) when the vehicle is on the move, The range between the vehicle and the roadside beacon over which the communications will operate correctly is highly dependant on the type of system and communications frequency used, generally the range may be between a few meters and a few tens of meters. Depending upon the sophistication of the in-vehicle equipment and the roadside computing architecture, a number of 'classes' or generations of these roadside to vehicle communications systems may be defined: (i)

Read-onhi tag-based wstems

These systems consist of an in-vehicle tag which contains a fixed set of code. When a vehicle fitted with such a tag passes an interrogation point, the roadside beacon interrogates the tag which responds by conveying the fixed code to the roadside beacon. The fixed code may contain data relating to: 0


an account held by the tag's-owner at the roadside (for payment of tolls or parking fees); access control information; or


the identity of a vehicle and it’s load for fleet and freight monitoring purpose.

Read-only tag-based systems have found widespread use in road-transportation applications particularly in the fields of automatic non-stop road-toll collection and freight container identification. Examples of these types of systems are: K0fri (by Microdesign Norway); AMTECH (by Amtech Corporation USA); and RF/ID (Silicon Security - Australia).




Read and write tae-based Systems

These systems consist of an in-vehicle tag which contains either a k e d set of data or a small number of bytes of changeable data. When a vehicle fitted with such a tag passes an interrogation point, the roadside beacon interrogates the tag which responds by conveying the fEed or changeable code to the roadside beacon. Read and write tags also have the ability to receive data transmitted from the roadside beacon and to store this data in it’s on-board memory. Read and write tag-based systems have been used widely for the similar applications as those for read-only tag-based systems, however with offering the additional facility of the storage of pertinent data on-board the tag. For example, in the case of toll-payment or parking payment systems, a record of the most recent transactions incurred by the tag may be stored on the tag, as a user-held record. Ehmples of these types of system are: PREMID 3100 (by Saab Sweden); and TEEPASS (by Marconi - Italy).



’InteUipent’ tranmonder-based Systems

The intelligent transponder concept is the newest of the system types, which has been developed to meet the demands of high vehicle-speed automatic debiting applications and also other transport related applications. The transponder-based system relies on a two-way communications link between the roadside and the vehicle transponder. The transponder also contains a microcontroller and associated logic circuitry to allow the device a high degree of processing capability, handling of many different messages (and applications if required) and the storage of pertinent data. Furthermore, such systems have been built in a modular fashion which may allow the ‘udd-om’to the basic system, both in terms of application-specific software and hardware modules, such as key-pad, display and smartcard reader, for example. Transponder-based systems overcome the in-flexiiility of purpose-built tags, and offer the potential for integrating a number of applications into a single device. Such applications could include not just automatic tolling, but also, access control, road-pricing, fleet and freight tagging, interactive route-guidance and parking management, to name but a few. It is a transponder-based system which has been developed by the PAMELA consortium and is to be described in this paper.




3.1 Objectives of the PAMEIA Roject The objectives of the project were to specify, design, develop and demonstrate equipment to facilitate twoway data-communicationsbetween a moving vehicle and a fixed roadside station for non-stop automatic debiting applications such as road-tolling, road-use pricing and car-parking. The heart of the system is a reliable high-capacity, short-range microwave communications-link. Above all, the link must be reliable and have the ability to allow communications between roadside beacons and vehicles’ transponders at high speed (up to l6Okm/h) in both a single-lane and an unrestricted multi-lane environment. All the above requirements were taken into account when the PAMEIA transponder-based system was developed. The PAMELA “on-board”unit consists of a small sized transponder mounted in the windscreen of a vehicle, which will contain the necessary communications circuits and a dedicated microprocessor, as well as the ability to interface to other peripheral equipment in the vehicle (e.g. smart-card reader, display, keyboard, CPU, sensors). Hence, the transponder may be stand-alone or ultimately it may be interfaced to other in-vehicle equipment to support any number of other RTI (Road Traffic Informatics) applications. Tbe associated roadside equipment may be configured to be integrated with existing conventional tollcollection systems or may be ’stand-alone’ or centrally controlled for road-pricing and parking applications.

3.2 Results of the PAMEL4 Project The PAMELA project was in itself a great success and achieved all it’s objectives, i.e. the development of a high performance transponder-based system (operating at a frequency 5.8GHz);and the validation of the technology in three separate field trials which demonstrated different applications of the automatic debiting transponder, namely: 0 0 0

non-stop automatic tollallection (SAPN highway in France), Figure 1; on-street car-parking management and debiting (Lisbon,Portugal); and high-speed multi-lane communications for road-pricing and advance toll collection (Enjoping, Sweden), Figure 2.

The PAhfELA field tests demonstrated the ability of the communications link to operate under a number of different conditions, both in a built-up urban area and a motorway environment, at low and very high vehicle passage speeds and in mono-lane and multi-lane road configurations. The results of the first round of various field-trials using the 5.8GHz PAMELA system have, therefore, been extremely encouraging. Each of the experiments demonstrates the high performance and flexiiility of the PAMELA system’s modular design. It is now planned to develop the prototypes further and to extend the range of applications, as well as the scope and size of the field-trials. This will be achieved in a followup project to PAMELA called ’ADEPT‘ which has been sponsored under the new DRIVE 11-ATT research programme which started in January 1992. 4. THE ADEPT PROJECT 4.1 Objectives of the ADEPT Project

The objectives of the ADEPT project are to use the results of the DRIVE I programme in order to take further the concept of using an intelligent transponder and smart-card for a multitude of automatic debiting (ADS), electronic payment and other complementary RTI applications. Furthermore the coretechnology/ will be developed to meet the requirements of different applications and also the needs of the operators. Individual pilot-projects will be incorporated in the system’s modular design. Although the basic technology for all the field-trialswill be the same (the 5.8 GHz PAMELA microwave system integrated with the latest smart-card technology), the range of applications will be different in each case. Thus, for example, parking management, debiting and booking will be developed in Lisbon; non-stop tolling, multi-lane road-pricing and other transponder-based applications in Trondheim and West Sweden and mono-lane and multi-lane tolling and enforcement in Tkessaloniki. Also, a prototype ’add-on’ module for congestion-metering and pricing will be developed and demonstrated, probably in the City of Cambridge. This will enable the ADEPT Consortium as a whole to develop application-specific systems yet, at the same time, pursue the possibilities for integrating them all Within a single system-architecture. Finally, the equipment will be iastalled in a number European cites, for full-scale experiments evaluation and crossamparison purposes.


Field Trials of an Advanced Automatic Toll Collection System

There are five separate field trials planned for within the ADEPT project, each will demonstrate at least one automatic debiting application as well as other RTI services, the pilot sites are: Congestion metering and pricing: Integrated payment and multi-transponder services: Parking pre-booking, guidance and debiting: Multi-lane road-use pricing and integrated RTI-services: Multi-lane and mono-lane automatic toll-collection & driver info.

City of Cambridge, UK, City of Trondheim, Norway; City of Lisbon,Portugal; Test Site West Sweden; and Malagra Highway, Greece.

Of interest to this IEE Colloquium is the planned implementation of automatic toll-collection and invehicle driver information services (using the Same transponder equipment) on the Malagra highway, near Thessaloniki in Greece. The implementation of an automatic toll-collection system on the highway is 8/3

divided into two phases: (1)

A multi-lane tolling system will be installed on the site, with the roadside equipment mounted on a gantry approximately 300m upstream of the existing tollcollection plaza. Full multi-lane transactions will take place at normal highway speeds in unrestricted traffic flow. However, in the early phase of the project the full multi-lane enforcement system will not be available. Thus, the equipped vehicles will have their automatic transactions validated at a 'single lane' non-stop toll 3 5); and lane where on-line enforcement will also be performed (Ffeun~



The second phase will incorporate a multi-lane real-time enforcement as well as the debiting first) full-scale high-speed function at the upstream gantry. This will be one of the first (if not multi-lane debiting system in commercial use.

Both phases of the ADEPT experiment will also incorporate the provision of real-time information to the drivers of equipped lorries via a display and keyboard unit which will connected to the ADEFT transponder. This will be used for both the provision of traffic information and also customs-handling information prior to the lorries reaching nearby National borders. The first phase of the pilot will be installed in the late spring of 1993, with the second phase commencing about 9 months later. 5. CONCLUSIONS

The technology to be used in the ADEFT site experiments was developed and proven to operate well during the lifetime of the PAMELA project, The five coordinated experiments of the equipment within the ADEPT project will take further the modular transponder concept and demonstrate the potential for using a single communicationslink for many demanding automatic debiting applications as well as for other RTI information services. The results of this first large-scale implementation of 3rd generation ADS equipment will also be used as input to the European Standardisation bodies.

F ~ u r e s1,3,4 & 5 courtesy CSEE and fwre 2 courtesy SAAB.

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