|ELECTRONIC TOLL SYSTEM|
On December 1, 2019, the Czech Republic commissioned a new electronic toll system by the consortium of SkyToll and CzechToll. The world’s first generational replacement of a toll system took place under full operation of the original system with no transport restrictions. Thanks to the new satellite system, the government’s operating costs for toll collection will decrease by two thirds. The government’s investment in the new toll system will thus be repaid in the form of significant savings for operation and increased revenues from toll collection on newly charged 1st category roads, which extend on the total of 867 km, already in the first year of its operation.
In the Czech Republic, more than 2,400 kilometres of motorways and 1st category roads are currently subject to toll payment. The toll payment obligation applies to vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.
The consortium of Skytoll and CzechToll designed, built and commissioned a complete and fully operational electronic toll system within 14 months of signing the contract.
Our satellite toll collection technology functions on the principle of satellite navigation, thus recording the position of vehicles through a navigation device (On-Board Unit) inside the vehicle via satellites. This toll-collection technology provides maximum system flexibility in order to cope with the future growth in freight traffic and expansion of the road network.
The electronic toll system by CzechToll and SkyToll uses hybrid OBUs that integrate the following technologies:
The satellite toll system is fully prepared for interoperability not only with the countries adjacent to the Czech Republic, but also meets all the requirements of the European Electronic Toll Service based on the principle of “one contract – one OBU – several toll systems”. Thanks to the used technology, it can quickly and flexibly implement the upcoming changes and rules of the European Union in the field of pan-European transport policy.
The electronic toll system is a comprehensive information and communication technological system consisting of several information subsystems, and a number of specific applications that provide for all toll collection and enforcement operations. Vehicles subject to toll collection must be registered in the electronic system before entering the toll sections and must be fitted with a correctly installed OBU. That applies to hauliers’ vehicles even today, when the toll system is based on microwave technology. As a result, the switch to another system does not represent any major complication for hauliers – they will just simply replace the old “microwave” unit for a new one. The OBU will be rented to the hauliers against a deposit, just as before. The OBU unit includes current geographic information on the section of roads and motorways subject to the toll payment obligation and allows for their detection (so-called GEO model). While driving, it tracks the vehicle position data using the Global Navigation Satellite System and compares it with the data stored in the GEO model. As soon as the OBU algorithm records the vehicle’s journey on a toll section, it will create a record of this fact – the so-called toll event – in accordance with valid legislation. Toll events are transmitted to the central information system by means of GSM/GPRS technology, whereby the toll amount is calculated on the basis of the length and the type of section used and the relevant toll rates for that category of motor vehicle.
TOLL COLLECTION ENFORCEMENT
The toll collection enforcement is provided for by the system operator in cooperation with the Customs Administration. The microwave (DSRC) technology of the OBU allows communicating with a dedicated subsystem providing the toll collection enforcement. It also provides the enforcement of the toll payment obligation and other obligations under the Road Traffic Act, documents toll incidents and handles toll offences. The enforcement stations or patrol vehicles will create a vehicle passage record containing data from the OBU, photographs, the vehicle category and the number of axles detected by the laser system. The record is then checked in an application designated for it; the data obtained by an enforcement station is checked against the data recorded in the central system. The discovered discrepancies (the so-called toll incidents) are automatically sent to the central registry, where they are categorised and rechecked. Confirmed incidents are classified as toll offences and dealt with in accordance with valid legislation.