NCHRP Synthesis 194, Electronic Toll and

NCHRP Synthesis 194, Electronic Toll and
National Cooperative Highway Research Program
NCHRP Synthesis 194
Electronic Toll and Traffic Management
(ETTM) Systems
A Synthesis of Highway Practice
Transportation Research Board
National Research Council
A. RAY CHAMBERLAIN. Executive Director. Colorado Department of Transponation
Vice Chairman
JOSEPH M. SUSSMAN. JR East Professor of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Executive Director
THOMAS B DEEN, Transportation Research Board. National Research Council
KlRK BROWN Secretary. Illinois Department of Transponation
DAVID BURWELL, President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
L.G. (GARY) BYRD, Consultant, Alexandria, Virginia
L. STANLEY CRANE, former Chairman & CEO of Consolidated Rail Corporation
RICHARD K. DAVIDSON, Chairman and CEO, Union Pacific Railroad
JAMES C. DeLONG. Director of Aviation. Stapleton International Airport, Denver
JERRY L D E POY, Vice President, Properties and Facilities, USAir
DON C KELLY, Secretary and Commissioner of Highways, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
ROBERT KOCHANOWSKI, Executive Director, Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Planning Commission
LESTER P. LAMM, President, Highway Users Federation
LILLIAN C. LIBURDI, Director, Port Department, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
ADOLF D. MAY, JR., Professor and Vice Chair, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California
WILLIAM W. MILLAR, Executive Director, Port Authority of Allegheny County (Past Chairman, 1992)
CHARLES P. O’LEARY, JR., Commissioner. New Hampshire Department of Transportation
JUDE W P PATIN. Secretary. Louisiana Deportment of Transportation and Development
NEIL PETERSON, Former Executive Director, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Commission
DARREL RENSINK, Director, Iowa Department of Transportation
DELLA M. ROY, Professor of Materials Science. Pennsylvania State University
JAMES W VAN LOBEN SELS. Director. California Department of Transportation
C. MICHAEL WALTON. Ernest H Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering and Chairman. Department of Civil Engineering. The University of Texas at Austin (Past Chairman, 1991)
FRANKLIN E. WHITE, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Commission
JULIAN WOLPERT. Henry G. Bryant Professor of Geography. Public Affairs and Urban Planning.
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
HOWARD YERUSALIM, Secretary of Transportation, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
ROBERT A. YOUNG III, President, ABF Freight Systems. Inc.
Ex Officio Members
MIKE ACOTT, President, National Asphalt Pavement Association
ROY A. ALLEN, Vice President, Research and Test Department, Association of American Railroads
THOMAS J. DONOHUE, President and CEO, American Trucking Associations. Inc.
FRANCIS B FRANCOIS, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
JACK R. GILSTRAP, Executive Vice President, American Public Transit Association
THOMAS H. HANNA, President and CEO, American Automobile Manufacturers Association
ALBERT J. HERBERGER, Administrator. Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
DAVID R. HINSON Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation
GORDON J. LINTON. Administrator, Federal Transit Administration. U.S Department of Transportation
ROSE A. McMURRA Y, Acting Administrator, Research and Special Programs Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
JOLENE M. MOLITORIS, Administrator. Federal Railroad Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation
RODNEY E. SLATER, Administrator. Federal Highway Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation
HOWARD M SMOLKIN, Acting Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, V S Department of Transportation
ARTHUR E. WILLIAMS, Chief of Engineers and Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Transportation Research Board Executive Committee Subcommittee for NCHRP
A RAY CHAMBERLAIN, Colorado Department of Transportation (Chairman)
FRANCIS B. FRANCOIS, American Association of State Highway and
Transportation Officials
WILLIAM W MILLAR, Port Authority of Allegheny County
JOSEPH M. SUSSMAN, JR East Professor of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute
of Technology
Field of Special Projects
Project Committee SP 20-5
KENNETH C. AFFERTON, New Jersey Department of Transportation
JOHN J. HENRY. Pennsylvania Transponation Institute
GLORIA J. JEFF. Michigan Department of Transportation
EARL SHIRLEY, California Dept of Transportation
JON UNDERWOOD, Texas Dept. of Transportation
THOMAS WILLETT, Federal Highway Administration
J. RICHARD YOUNG. JR., Mississippi Department of Transportation
RICHARD A. McCOMB, Federal Highway Administration (Liaison)
ROBERT E. SPICHER, Transportation Research Board (Liaison)
C. MICHAEL WALTON, University of Texas at Austin
THOMAS B. DEEN, Transportation Research Board
L. GARY BYRD, Consulting Engineer, Alexandria. Virginia
Program staff
ROBERT J REILLY, Director, Cooperative Research Progr
LOUIS M. MACGREGOR. Program Officer
FRANK R. McCULLAGH, Senior Program Officer
AMIR N. HANNA, Senior Program Officer
CRAWFORD F. JENCKS, Senior Program Officer
KENNETH S. OPIELA, Senior Program Officer
DAN A. ROSEN, Senior Program Officer
SCOTT A. SABOL, Program Officer
TRB Staff for NCHRP Project 20-5
ROBERT E. SKINNER. JR.. Director for Studies a n d Information Services SALLY D. LIFF, Manager. Synthesis Studies
Officer DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer LINDA S. MASON, Editor
STEPHEN F MAHER, Senior Program
National Cooperative Highway Research Program
Synthesis of Highway Practice 194
Electronic Toll and Traffic Management
(ETTM) Systems
Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
Topic Panel
JIMMY D. BERRY, Oklahoma Turnpike Aufkorify
CHESTER H. CHANDLER, Florida Department of Transportation
RICHARD A. CUNARD, Transportation Research Board
MAUREEN GALLAGHER, Infernafional Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association
TIMOTHY D. HAU, Tke World Bunk
PERRY M. KENT, Federal Higkway Administration
LESLIE G. KUBEL, California Deparfmenf of Transportation
GEORGE W. SCHOENE, Federal Highway Administration
HERBERT F. SOUTHGATE, Lexington, Kentucky
Research Sponsored by the American Association of State
Highway and Transportation Officials in Cooperation with the
Federal Highway Administration
Washington, D.C. 1993
Subject Areas
Pavement Design, Management,
Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective
approach to the solution of many problems facing highway administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually
or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However,
the accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of cooperative research.
In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of
the American Association of State Highway and Transportation
Officials initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research
program employing modem scientific techniques. This program is
supported on a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the Association and it receives the full cooperation
and support of the Federal Highway Administration, United States
Department of Transportation.
The Transportation Research Board of the National Research
Council was requested by the Association to administer the research program because of the Board’s recognized objectivity and
understanding of modem research practices. The Board is uniquely
suited for this purpose as: it maintains an extensive committee
structure from which authorities on any highway transportation
subject may be drawn; it possesses avenues of communications and
cooperation with federal, state, and local governmental agencies,
universities, and industry; its relationship to the National Research
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matters to bring the findings of research directly to those who are
in a position to use them.
The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified by chief administrators of the highway and transportation
departments and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific
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The needs for highway research are many, and the National
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mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or
duplicate other highway research programs.
Project 20-5 FY 1992 (Topic 24-06)
ISSN 0547-5570
ISBN 0-309-05318-8
Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 93-061550
Price $15.00
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Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with
the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval
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A vast storehouse of information exists on nearly every subject of concern to highway
administrators and engineers. Much of this information has resulted from both research
and the successful application of solutions to the problems faced by practitioners in their
daily work. Because previously there has been no systematic means for compiling such
useful information and making it available to the entire highway community, the American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials has, through the mechanism
of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, authorized the Transportation
Research Board to undertake a continuing project to search out and synthesize useful
knowledge from all available sources and to prepare documented reports on current
practices in the subject areas of concern.
This synthesis series reports on various practices, making specific recommendations
where appropriate but without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or
design manuals. Nonetheless, these documents can serve similar purposes, for each is a
compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most
successful in resolving specific problems. The extent to which these reports are useful
will be tempered by the user’s knowledge and experience in the particular problem area.
This synthesis on Electronic Toll and Traffic Management (ETTM) systems will be of
interest to officials of toll authorities, traffic engineers, design engineers, law enforcement
officials, financial personnel, developers and vendors of electronic vehicle identification
and toll collection equipment, and others responsible for the design and operation of toll
facilities. The technology, including examples of applications of several current ETTM
systems, is described in this synthesis. Because the technology is in the early stages of
implementation, there is little experience with the “TM” (traffic management) aspects of
ETTM; however, the potential for traffic management systems is discussed.
Administrators, engineers, and researchers are continually faced with highway problems
on which much information exists, either in the form of reports or in terms of undocumented experience and practice. Unfortunately, this information often is scattered and
unevaluated, and, as a consequence, in seeking solutions, full information on what has
been learned about a problem frequently is not assembled. Costly research findings may
go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and full consideration may not be
given to available practices for solving or alleviating the problem. In an effort to correct
this situation, a continuing NCHRP project, carried out by the Transportation Research
Board as the research agency, has the objective of reporting on common highway problems
and synthesizing available information. The synthesis reports from this endeavor constitute
an NCHRP publication series in which various forms of relevant information are assembled into single, concise documents pertaining to specific highway problems or sets of
closely related problems.
Various electronic toll collection (ETC) and automatic vehicle identification (AVI)
systems, their characteristics, advantages/disadvantages, payment options, and perfor-
By Staff
Research Board
mance experience are described. The computer requirements and relative costs of various
applications are also discussed. This report of the Transportation Research Board presents
information on specific system design and operational considerations, as well as on the
more sensitive issues of enforcement, privacy, and equity in providing these advanced
systems. This technology is changing rapidly, and the synthesis presents a “snapshot” of
the industry at the time of its preparation.
To develop this synthesis in a comprehensive manner and to ensure inclusion of significant knowledge, the Board analyzed available information assembled from numerous
sources, including a large number of state highway and transportation departments. A
topic panel of experts in the subject area was established to guide the researcher in
organizing and evaluating the collected data, and to review the final synthesis report.
This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records practices that were
acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation.
As the processes of advancement continue, new knowledge can be expected to be added
to that now at hand.
Purpose and Overview, 3
Role of ETTM in Transportation, 4
Characteristics of Available Technologies, 5
Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Technologies, 6
Performance Testing, 7
Accuracy and Reliability, 10
Health and Safety Factors, 10
Traffic Operations, 11
Other Operational Considerations, 14
Serviceability and Maintenance, 15
Computer System Requirements, 16
Regulation, 17
Capability of Various Management and Accounting
Options, 18
Financial Options, 20
Cost Considerations, 23
Patron Payment Options, 24
System Benefits, 27
Standards and Protocols, 29
Market Identification and Perception Surveys, 29
Enforcement, 3 1
Security, 31
Privacy, 32
Equity, 32
Other Legal Issues, 32
Traffic Flow and Special Event Management, 33
Incident Detection and Management, 33
Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO), 33
Bus or Fleet Management, 34
Traveler Information Services, 34
Electronic toll collection and traffic management (ETTM) systems are not a futuristic
dream, they are operating or are being tested today in locations across the United States
and around the world. ETTM systems equip vehicles with electronic tags (or transponders)
that communicate with roadside sensors to provide automatic vehicle identification that
allows for toll collection at the toll booth, and general vehicle monitoring and data
gathering beyond the toll plaza. The information in this synthesis may be expected to
become outdated as the electronic toll collection industry is changing rapidly. However,
this synthesis has been prepared to share general information regarding ETTM systems
to inform the evaluation and decision-making processes.
ETTM systems have the potential to reduce congestion, improve safety, energy efficiency, and air quality, and enhance economic productivity at a cost significantly less
than additional road construction. Automation of toll collection can reduce congestion at
toll plazas. ETTM systems can also assist in the rapid detection and clearing of accidents,
which can result in reduced congestion and secondary collisions. By providing real-time
traffic information to travelers, ETTM can help travelers to avoid congestion by allowing
them to delay their trips, choose alternative modes of travel, or bypass congested routes
altogether. ETTM also provides the capacity to implement demand management systems
based on road pricing.
Several major ETTM implementation issues should be carefully considered during the
evaluation and decision-making processes. Several technologies exist that differ according
to the operating frequency, the method by which the signal is modulated, and whether
the vehicle tag, or transponder, simply reflects or generates electromagnetic signals. There
are operational trade-offs with each technology, but very few field performance evaluation
data are available. ETTM system design must consider factors affecting accuracy and
reliability, such as the possibility of electrical interference, the ability to recognize vehicles
with metal oxide windshields, and the transponder installation. Several patron payment
options and agency financing/operating alternatives exist; each offers distinct advantages
and disadvantages to both user and agency.
ETTM perception surveys (for existing and potential users) have not been widely
conducted. ETTM generally has received favorable comments, but further user perception
surveys would be useful in identifying the market potential, most effective marketing
strategies, and most acceptable and desirable technology features. Also, as might be
expected, legalities of ETTM operation are also being challenged. Legal issues surrounding the operation of ETTM systems primarily focus on enforcement techniques and
related privacy concerns. Several states are in the process of passing legislation that would
permit photographic enforcement as a means of monitoring and addressing violators.
There are also a number of other legal issues that could affect ETTM deployment, such as
product liability, antitrust, procurement, and intellectual property rights.
Over the past decade, a technological revolution in transportation and information has
begun to transform individual mobility into an integrated, coordinated system by
providing more efficient travel choices. ETTM can contribute to completely modernizing
how we drive and how we make decisions during our travels. For the transportation
industry, advancements in computer and information technologies have arrived just when
they are most desperately needed.
A car passes through a toll plaza without coming to a stop. A
tag installed on the car by the driver communicates with a computer
located at the toll booth. The computer identifies the account associated with the tag and deducts the amount of the toll from the
account balance. Two months earlier, the driver went to a tag store
and prepaid a few months’ worth of tolls with a credit card. The
patron could have paid for the tag in cash to ensure privacy, but
decided that using credit was the more convenient option. At the
toll booth, the long lines of patrons waiting to pay tolls have
disappeared. The toll agency’s revenue collection process is more
efficient and more secure, and the detailed information about patron’s travel patterns has enabled the agency to try more experimental pricing policies, such as time-of-day flexible fares and
discounts for carpools.
The scenario described above is not a futuristic dream. It describes electronic toll collection (ETC) projects operating today in
the United States and around the world. In Dallas, New Orleans,
Denver, and throughout the Oklahoma Turnpike system, agencies
have implemented high-tech toll collection systems that have reduced congestion and improved the efficiency of revenue collection. Automatic vehicle identification (AVI) is the technology that
makes these systems possible. AVI works by using wireless communications between a tag (transponder) mounted on a vehicle
and a sensor located at the roadside. The vehicle can be a car,
truck, or rail car. Sensors can read the information while the vehicle
is stopped or while it is moving at high speeds. The communication
between the tag and sensor can be one-way (read-only) or twoway (read/write). AVI can be used for a variety of purposes in
addition to the collection of tolls. Transponders can be mounted
on trucks to eliminate the need to stop at state and national border
crossings, or on buses and taxis for more efficient fleet
Electronic toll collection and traffic management (ETTM) expands on AVI and ETC concepts by using communications between vehicle and roadside to provide a full range of traffic management functions. For example, vehicles passing through toll
plazas can act as probes within the traffic network. The time it
takes one vehicle to travel between the entrance and exit of the
toll road can give traffic operators information about the level of
congestion on that road. The more detailed information available
to toll authorities can also be used by traffic engineers to respond
to changing travel patterns. New pricing policies, made easier by
the computers and tags, can be used to affect travel demand.
The interrelationship among AVI, ETC, and ETTM can be explained as follows. AVI involves wireless communication between
transponder-mounted vehicles and roadside, overhead, or in-pavement sensors. ETC is the use of AVI technology for more efficient
collection of tolls, without any action required by the driver or
toll collector. ETC is considered to be the “foundation” for an
ETTM system. ETTM uses AVI technology not only for toll collection, but for more broad-based traffic management purposes.
For example, the transponder mounted on a vehicle for electronic
toll collection can be used to track vehicle location and monitor
travel time in real-time outside of the toll plaza environment. All
ETTM systems would include a component of electronic toll collection, but not all traffic management systems include a component of electronic toll collection. While it is recognized that portions of the information contained in this synthesis will soon
become outdated, the purpose of this synthesis is to outline the
issues that a toll agency should consider when implementing ETC.
Electronic toll and traffic management systems are being evaluated and implemented throughout North America and abroad. Despite this broad interest, there are no fully integrated E’ITM systems in operation at this writing. ETTM is the term used widely
by both toll industry vendors and agencies basically to give credence to the potential for electronic toll collection systems to be
integrated into more broad-based traffic management systems. This
report represents more of a synthesis of electronic toll (the “ET”
part of E’ITM) collection, and basic background on traffic management (the “TM” part of ETTM) systems. ETTM is perceived as
synonymous with ETC by the intended audience of this synthesis.
Please note that a glossary of abbreviations is included in Appendix A.
Because transportation agencies are in various stages of ETTM
implementation, a synthesis of emerging technologies and applications is of interest to many transportation providers. This report
has been prepared for the primary purpose of sharing general information regarding ETTM systems so that the evaluation and decision-making process may be more informed and productive. Information for this synthesis was derived from available literature and
surveys of operating systems, toll industry vendors, and
The synthesis discusses toll collection and traffic management
system aspects of ETTM including:
The role of ETTM in transportation,
Alternative technologies,
l System design considerations,
l Institutional and implementation issues (including privacy,
legal, and equity issues),
l Traffic management applications of E’
ITM (including commercial vehicle operations and bus/fleet management), incident
detection and management, traffic flow and special event management, and traveler information services,
l A brief summary of the major E’
ITM projects,
l Results of surveys of both vendors and toll agencies conducted for this synthesis and surveys by the International Bridge,
Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), and
Congestion on Florida Turnpike.
l Future directions for ETTM systems, report conclusions, and
an ETTM bibliography.
Many of the nation’s roads are well below acceptable levels of
service, and the mobility we all expect is being threatened. Congestion like that shown in Figure 1 continues to increase, while the
option of building more roads is becoming financially and environmentally unrealistic. There is no single answer to the set of complex transportation problems that confront us. However, ETTM
systems have the potential to reduce congestion, improve safety,
energy efficiency, and air quality, and enhance economic productivity, at a cost significantly less than additional road construction
(1). ETTM systems are not a distant vision. Many existing systems,
products, and services are being tested and will be implemented
Fully operational ETTM systems can help reduce street and
highway congestion in a number of ways. Automated toll collection can reduce nonrecurring congestion around toll plazas. Rapid
detection and clearing of incidents will reduce congestion and
the secondary collisions that frequently result. Enhanced public
transportation systems can reduce the number of single-occupant
vehicles. Real-time dynamic traffic control systems can adapt to
traffic conditions automatically. Information provided to travelers
will permit many to avoid congestion by allowing them to delay
their trips, choose alternative modes of travel, or bypass congested
routes altogether.
ETTM systems can also provide valuable information to drivers,
offering the potential for improvements in traffic safety. Advanced
traffic control systems can reduce the number of vehicle stops,
minimize the variations in vehicle speeds, improve traffic flow,
and consequently reduce the number of accidents. Reducing congestion and the number of single-occupant vehicles will increase
the energy efficiency of the transportation system. Emissions will
be reduced by smoother traffic flow and a greater usage of public
transportation and ridesharing. ETTM also provides the capability
to implement demand management systems based on road pricing
to shift or limit travel demand. Several airports in the United States
(Los Angeles International, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and Miami
International) are also using AVI technology for collecting
“impact/congestion fees.”
Finally, the importance of efficient transportation to the nation’s
economic health cannot be overstated. Because nearly all economic
activity uses transportation directly or indirectly, improving the
efficiency of our transportation system will boost economic productivity. For example, operators of many commercial and publicsector fleets will realize a variety of economic benefits, such as
more efficiently routing vehicles and eliminating the need to stop
at roadside weigh stations.
All present automatic vehicle identification (AVI) technologies
operate by (1) intercepting modulated electromagnetic radiation
from a vehicle, (2) recovering the information contained in the
signal, and (3) using a computer to identify the tag from a database.
While all AVI technologies perform these tasks, the differences
he in the ways that these tasks are accomplished. For example,
the relatively rapid evolution of AVI transponders used for E’ITM
has progressed from a Type I transponder that can only be “read”
(or reflect a unique vehicle identification when interrogated), to a
Type II transponder that can be “read” from, as well as “written” to,
in order to store and update unique variable data such as entry/exit
locations, account balance, vehicle maintenance/inspection reports,
and other information. In the near future, Type IIl transponders
will also have the capability to interact and communicate with the
driver (2).
Technologies may be divided according to the frequency of
the electromagnetic radiation, the method by which the signal is
modulated (tuned or adjusted), and whether the vehicle tag generates or simply reflects electromagnetic radiation. There are three
frequency ranges in use: (1) very low frequencies (below 2OOkHz),
which are employed in inductively coupled systems; (2) microwave frequencies (500 to 3,000 MHz); and (3) optical or nearoptical frequencies (30 GHz to 1,000 GHz), which include infrared.
the area where the tag is expected to be and the reflected signal
is processed to extract the code. This image processing is much
simpler than trying to read a license plate, since the reflected
laser signal represents a one-dimensional image, whereas the video
image of the license plate must be processed in two dimensions.
Active RF/Microwave Systems
Active radio frequency (RF) AVI systems employ microwave
frequencies to communicate to and from the vehicle. All active
RF systems have high data rates that allow multiple transmissions
(redundancy), resulting in increased reliability. These transmissions are commonly known as “handshakes” in the industry. These
systems may be divided into those in which the tag generates its
own microwave signal (active tag) and those in which the tag
simply reflects the microwave signal that it receives (passive tag).
Active tags require a power source (battery or connection to vehicle
power) while passive tags may or may not require a power source.
In an active vehicle tag system, the transmitter sends out a very
short interrogation signal, which triggers the circuitry in the tag.
The tag responds by generating a microwave signal containing the
data stored in the tag. This signal is transmitted to a receiver that
decodes the data and sends them to a computer for identification.
Inductive Loop Systems
Passive RF/Microwave Systems
The only AVI technology that employs very low frequencies is
the inductively coupled system, which uses a loop antenna embedded beneath the surface of the roadway to communicate with a
tag mounted on the underside of the vehicle. The roadway antenna
sends out an interrogation signal and the tag responds by returning
a signal containing data stored in the tag. This is normally an
active (as opposed to a passive) system since the tag normally
transmits its own signal (rather than reflecting the interrogation
signal). This is the earliest of the AVI technologies.
In a system that employs a passive vehicle tag, the transmitter
usually transmits a signal continuously. This signal is intercepted
by the tag and reflected to a receiver. The amount of reflection
varies (the reflected signal is modulated) according to the data
stored in the tag. The received signal is decoded to recover the
data, which are then sent to a computer for identification. Passive
RF communication is sometimes called the “backscatter” method.
Surface Acoustical Wave
Optical Systems
Two basic types of AVI technologies employ optical or nearoptical frequencies to identify vehicles. The first is a system that
reads license plates directly and identifies the vehicle from a database. As the vehicle passes the tollbooth, a video camera forms
an image which is digitized and processed to extract the license
plate number. Typically, the image processing can take nearly one
second so that multiple reads to improve reliability are not possible.
The second type of optical or near-optical system employs a vehicle tag that is simply a bar code. A laser scans continuously over
Surface acoustical wave (SAW) operates at much the same frequency as RF systems. The primary difference between SAW and
RF microwave systems is that the SAW transponder is nonprogrammable. Under the SAW technology, a low-power radio frequency signal from the AVI reader is captured by the transponder
antenna and energizes a lithium crystal, setting up an acoustical
wave along its surface. This acoustical wave travels along the
surface of the crystal so that etched metal taps can be used to send
back a series of time-delayed reflections of the original signal that
uniquely identifies a tag.
Inductive Loop Systems
The advantages of this type of system are:
l Proximity of loop antenna and tag provides potential for increased reliability,
l Simple
l Very low potential for electrical interference,
l Short coupling range decreases potential for interference from
adjacent lanes, and
l Advanced traffic management and traveler information systems can also use inductive loops, so the infrastructure is already in
place for more intelligent vehicle highway systems (IVHS) related
The disadvantages of an inductively coupled system are:
l Low frequency resulting in lower maximum data rate, although it is fast enough to allow multiple transmissions to increase
l Medium difficulty in duplicating tags,
l Tag usually requires power from vehicle (active tag),
l Tag installation is not as convenient as that of a windshieldmounted tag, and
l More sensitive to environmental conditions.
The disadvantages of bar code systems are:
l Tags are easier to duplicate compared to other AVI
l Susceptibility to failure caused by rain, fog, dirt, or moisture
on tag,
. Finding the returned signal through image processing results
in less reliability than systems employing transponders (microwave
systems), and
l High restrictions on the position and speed of the vehicle as
it passes the reader.
Active RF/Microwave Systems
The advantages of an active vehicle tag system are:
l Greater operating range than a passive system because the
tag is not powered by interrogating beam,
l Greater reliability than a passive system because the return
signal from the vehicle is stronger, and
l Less chance of electrical interference than a passive system
because of the stronger signals.
The disadvantages of an active vehicle tag system are:
l Greater complexity in the tag circuitry, resulting in higher
manufacturing costs,
l Greater
probability of lane-to-lane interference due to
stronger signal, and
l The tag must have a battery or be connected to vehicle power.
Optical License Plate ID
Passive RF/Microwave Systems
The advantages of this type of system are:
The advantages of a passive vehicle tag system are:
No special vehicle tag is needed,
License plates are not likely to be duplicated, and
There is no chance of interference between adjacent lanes.
The disadvantages of this type of system are:
The tag does not need to be connected to vehicle power, and
The tag is less complex than in an active system.
The disadvantages of a passive vehicle tag system are:
Lower reliability than an active system,
Greater susceptibility to electrical interference because of
lower signal levels, and
l Shorter operating range because the tag is powered by the
interrogating beam.
The processing algorithms are computation intensive,
l The relatively long time required for image processing precludes multiple reads to increase reliability,
l The system is subject to failure due to dirty or damaged
license plates, the presence of bumper stickers and similar text on
a vehicle, and reduction of visibility caused by rain and fog,
l Very low (80-90 percent) reliability because of the complexity involved in image processing, and
l Typically requires fully reflectorized license plate.
Bar Code
The advantages of this type of system are:
Greater reliability than systems reading license plates because
of the single dimension,
l Very simple vehicle tag that is just a bar code imprinted on
an adhesive strip,
l Low potential for lane-to-lane interference because of limited
range, and
l Much faster than systems that read license plates.
Surface Acoustical Wave (SAW)
The advantages of using SAW technology to store data in the
vehicle tag are:
It is virtually impossible to duplicate the vehicle tag,
The tag circuitry is much simpler, thus lower in cost, and
No power is required to operate the tag.
The disadvantages of using SAW technology to store data in the
vehicle tag are:
l A limited operating range (up to 15 ft), since it is typically
part of a passive system,
l A limited data transmission rate because microwave energy
must be converted into mechanical energy, and
l The tag cannot be programmed.
Many of the toll collection agencies that have implemented, or
are investigating, AVI/ETTM systems have conducted some type
of performance testing. Unfortunately, the findings of these evalua-
tions have not been formally documented and published, and in
many cases, the results are proprietary. Test plans that are available
indicate that these evaluations were not standardized tests and
satisfy only specific agency concerns or requirements. Table 1
summarizes the status of AVI performance evaluations.
STATUS (as of March 31,1993)
New Hampshire
Bureau of Turnpikes
Tested AT/Comm
No results were published
No reports available
Started testing Dec. 16, 1991 - 100 vehicles, 2 lanes (side-by-side)
Completed within 4 weeks
Need better control (reconciliation of reports) and more coordination with
About to commence a new round of testing of several vendors’ equipment
E-Z Pass Interagency
Penn. Turnpike
NJ Highway
Authority (Garden
State Parkway)
NJ Turnpike
Port Authority of
NY State Thruway
Triborough Bridge &
Tunnel Authority
NY Bridge
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission:
Tested Eureka and Mark IV for 6 months
Did not publish findings
Had speed problems reading transponders (less than 3 mph)
New Jersey Highway Authority (Garden State Parkway):
Testing AT&T/Mark IV and Amtech
Not releasing any information at this time
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:
Have tested Amtech (read only) for buses at JFK Airport
Testing Amtech and AT&T/Mark IV in Fall 92 for 8 weeks, these tests
extended to Feb. 1993, results are still forthcoming
Currently there are no test plans available to the public
Stated that the NY State Thruway has the most detailed test plans
Lincoln Tunnel has ETC for buses only
New York State Thruway:
Tested at Spring Valley NY which resulted in two vendors being short-listed
(Amtech and AT&T/Mark IV)
Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority:
Have developed Request for Proposals for the “Procurement of Compatible
Electronic Toll Collection Equipment for various Participating Agencies”
Test protocols (plans) are available
Illinois State Toll
Highway Authority
Tested Eureka and X-Cyte
Have tested Amtech (read only) at Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
RFP for the “Design, Installation and Testing of a Pilot AVI Toll Collection
System” is available
Performance test notes and results are available
Selected AT/Comm, 30-day prototype test commenced March 27, 1993
County Expressway
Was to have conducted a 60-day acceptance test of Mark IV in November 92
Installation originally planned for Sept. 1992 (17-18 lanes) is delayed primarily
because of system integration problems
Expect to become fully operational by April 94
Virginia DOT (Dulles
Fastoll Project)
Tested Amtech - 1991
Tested Mark IV, MFS Network Technologies - Texas Instruments - 1992
Selected MFS Network Technologies and will use the TIRIS-I equipment, but
recently chose to not award contract
Test plans or results are not available
TABLE 1 (Continued)
STATUS (as of March 31, 1993)
Castle Rock
(HELP Crescent
HELP/AVI final report is available
Caltrans (planned
private, public/private
toll roads)
Provided “Compatibility Specifications for Automatic Vehicle Identification
Published an RFP to implement electronic toll collection on Caltrans bridges
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories have developed a prototype AVI
system for Caltrans which uses microwave backscatter technology
Oklahoma Turnpike
Test and monitor their system for reliability
Texas Turnpike
Have not done any performance testing, since the Amtech system they use is
vendor owned and operated as demo project
Recently decided to keep Amtech for next few years
Harris County
(Houston) Tollway
Authority (Sam Houston
(Hardy Tollway)
Have an Amtech system (prime is Cubic)
Installation completed and operation began in late October 1992 at both
International Bridge,
Tunnel, and Turnpike
Association (IBTTA)
No information on performance testing is available
Ontario Ministry of
Had planned to do testing, but it was canceled
Planning to test read/write technology with connection to a smart card at a
later date
Florida DOT
(Turnpike Office)
Five different vendors participated in controlled field performance
evaluations (November 92 - January 93)
Only read/write technology was evaluated
Violation enforcement subsystem also was evaluated
Findings will assist in finalizing system wide performance specifications
RFP for procurement and installation to be advertised Nov. 1993
Public information report on field evaluations (non-vendor specific) available
by end of July 93
Transport Canada
Not doing any testing, but they are looking at the technology used in the
HELP project (Mark IV)
They want to have an integrated system with about 38 different applications
Office of the Deputy
Assistant Secretary of
They are investigating RF read/write technology for:
(1) Asset Location
(2) Data Transfer
Currently working on AVI svstem standard
Source: Status information obtained from telephone calls.
Electrical Interference
The possibility of a failure to properly read a vehicle tag because
of the presence of an unacceptable level of electrical interference
must be considered when implementing an AVI system. Electrical
interference can occur in an AVI system in two different ways.
The first occurs when other (non-AVI) transmitters operating on
the same or nearby frequencies are close enough to produce strong
interference. Possible sources of this type of interference are cellular telephones, police and other mobile communications, and radars. The possibility of this type of interference can be minimized
by obtaining a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license for a dedicated frequency. Obtaining an FCC license for a
dedicated frequency has two main benefits. First, a larger transmitted power level may be used, and second, a frequency will be
assigned that is different from other radio services operating in
the same area. An unlicensed system, which uses a nonunique
frequency, can only depend on redundancy of transmission to reduce interference and, according to the FCC, “must accept any
interference that may be received including interference that may
cause undesired operation.” However, obtaining a license for a
unique frequency through the FCC is an extremely difficult process
at this time.
The second type of interference in the AVI system results from
improper design or installation. This can occur if the transmitted
signal from one AVI lane of traffic is allowed to overlap into
another AVI lane and can result in multiple recordings of the same
vehicle or failure to record vehicles. The remedy for this type of
interference is careful design of the AVI system and, in particular,
proper selection and placement of all antennas. In addition, the
physical configuration of toll booths also plays a role in the presence of multiple readings, as the booth itself can act to block
signals between lanes.
Metal Oxide Windshields
Some luxury cars are being equipped with a metal oxide coating
on the windshield. This coating reduces solar radiation by 30 percent and ultraviolet radiation by 45 percent, resulting in improved
air conditioner performance and prolonged interior material life.
This metal oxide coating causes disruptions, or attenuation, in AVI
signals that must pass through the windshield. (Other types of
windshields, such as variable tint, can cause problems for AVI as
well.) At this time, it is not certain how widespread the use of
metal oxide windshields will be by the time AVI systems are
deployed. Currently, industry experts estimate less than 2 percent
of the nation’s vehicle fleet is equipped with metal oxide windshields. However, it is an important implementation issue to con-
sider. It is expected that the disruptions could be minimized if
manufacturers and agencies agree on an optional external location
for tag mounting on the vehicle in this situation.
Tag Installation
The reliability of AVI tags can be affected by the method of
installation. For guaranteed reliability, vendors prefer, and sometimes require, that tags be permanently mounted by experienced
toll agency personnel. However, for patron convenience, some tags
are installed such that they can be removed. This convenience may
cause “misreads” when tags are incorrectly placed. A severely
angled windshield will also affect performance reliability, and thus
placement of transponders is critical in this situation (higher location for mounting is generally better). An example of bar code
placement, which represents the first generation of AVI, is shown
in Figure 2.
The rapid increase in the use of electromagnetic energy in modem society has led to an increased public awareness and concern
regarding possible (or perceived) effects on human health. Use of
the word “radiation” causes fear in many people and, since radio
frequency waves and microwaves are “radiation,” their potential
use in an AVI system must be addressed from the viewpoint of
both actual and perceived hazards.
The effects of radiation can be divided into three categories:
ionization, heating effects, and biological effects. Of these, only
the latter is of importance in AVI systems. Ionization can occur
only for very high frequencies such as X rays and never occurs at
radio and microwave frequencies. Heating effects (such as in a
microwave oven) occur only for very high power densities and
are of no consequence for the power levels used in AVI systems.
The probability of harmful biological effects, the third category,
is a function of both the frequency and power density of electromagnetic radiation. The frequencies used in AVI systems extend
from very low to about 3 GHz, which is in the microwave region.
Thus, AVI systems are generally not associated with harmful biological effects. Greater biological effects are thought to be associated with higher frequencies because of the higher energies per
photon of radiation. Therefore, the higher frequencies (800 MHz
to 3 GHz) will be considered in the following analysis.
An even more important factor in determining the likelihood of
harmful biological effects is the power density associated with
radiation. This is a function of both the power level of the transmitter and the type of antenna used. Antennas concentrate the power
(similar to a lens) and the amount of concentration is specified by
a term called “antenna gain.” The type of antenna that produces
determine if they result from the reliability of the technology or
from its application. Relative comparisons among technologies can
be offered, based on information provided by vendors, visits to
various AVI sites. and general discussions with recognized industry experts (see Table 3). Six major technology issues can be
identified to be used in relative comparisons.
A relative comparison score of high, medium, or low can be
attributed to each technology regarding each issue. It is important
to note that the specific differences between high, medium, and
low are not known at this time, only that there is a relative difference. System cost comparisons (not included in the technology
comparison) can be very difficult to assess because the complexity
and coverage of installation can vary significantly from system to
system. Finally, although the issues have been identified, they have
not been weighted according to their relative importance. Table 3
provides the relative comparisons.
Traffic operations with and without AVI will differ significantly.
In particular, current conventional treatments and methods for vecollector
safety, gates, and
hicle classification, toll
signing/channelization will require reevaluation.
FIGURE 2 A bar code sticker affixed to the left rear window
is read by a laser scanner as the vehicle approaches Bay
Harbour Island just north of Miami.
the greatest concentration of power is the parabolic dish antenna.
As an extreme example, a 4-foot diameter, parabolic antenna has
a gain of approximately 20dB at 900 MHz and will be assumed
in the discussion that follows. A gain of 20dB means that the
power is concentrated by a factor of 10.
If we assume that the power output of the AVI transmitter is
5OOmW, then the maximum power density at a distance of one
meter from the antenna can be calculated from standard antenna
theory to be approximately 4Oµ,W/cm2. This is the power density
that should be compared to nationally accepted safety standards.
Table 2 summarizes several of the various standards from relevant
agencies. Unless otherwise indicated, these standards are for continuous exposure.
As can be seen from Table 2, the power densities encountered
in AVI systems are far below all accepted (or proposed) national
standards. The AVI system can be considered to be one of the
safest applications of electromagnetic energy, when one also considers that the transmitter power level will probably be less than
5OOµW/cm2, that the AVI user will be more than one meter from
the antenna, and that the exposure time will be less than one
second. To put the AVI power densities into proper perspective,
one need only consider an increasingly common modem convenience - the portable cellular telephone. The associated power
density is about 300-500µ,W/cm2 for hand-held cellular phones,
and up to 3 watts for car phones. This level of power density is
many orders of magnitude greater than any AVI system.
Evaluation of Safety and Technology Issues
Hard results from technological performance testing apparently
are not available. Where problems have occurred, it is difficult to
Dedicated vs. Mixed-Use Lanes
The issue of dedicated as opposed to mixed-use lanes for AVI
implementation depends on four basic characteristics: capacity by
lane type, the relationship of speed to capacity, levels of AVI
participation, and thresholds for toll plaza lane configurations. This
section will discuss these characteristics and how they are
Capacity by Lane Type
Existing and future toll plaza lanes can be characterized into
five basic lane types: attended, automatic, mixed AVI, dedicated
AVI (within a conventional plaza), and express AVI. Attended toll
lanes require all toll transactions to be handled by a toll collector.
Automated lanes collect tolls by providing coin machines. Mixed
AVI lanes combine AVI with toll collection that is either manual,
automatic, or both. Dedicated AVI lanes are contained within conventional toll plazas but permit AVI patrons only, as shown in
Figure 3. Express AVI lanes are physically separated from all
other type toll lanes permitting free-flow (55 miles per hour or
greater) speeds.
Capacities for attended, automatic, and mixed AVI lanes were
determined from observations and counts from existing toll facilities such as the Florida Turnpike, Tampa Crosstown Expressway,
the New Jersey Turnpike, and the Dallas North Tollway. Capacities
for automatic lanes were determined from Florida Turnpike automatic lanes, which all have gates. No other capacities were determined for lane types with gates. Average capacities are typically
reduced by 10-20 percent when gates are used on automatic lanes.
The higher capacity effect resulting from increased gate sensitivity
is not known at this time. Capacities for mixed-use AVI lanes
were obtained from observations on the Dallas North Tollway.
Mixed AVI lanes at this site include AVI on both manual and
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C95.1
International Electrotechnkal Commission
10,000 µW/cm2
National Radiological Protection Board
1,2OOµW/cm 2
Occupational Safety & Health Agency (OSHA) 1910.97
10,000 µW/cm2
Environmental Protection Agency (proposed standard)
Soviet Occupational Standard (2 hours exposure per day)
Source: Developed by University of South Florida Electrical Engineering Department from
various sources.
Inductive Loop
Bar Code
Potential for Multiple Reads
(speed vs. reliability)
Resistance to Interference
Tolerance to Environment
Health Safety
Resistance to Duplication
Legend: “High” is most favorable; “low” is least favorable.
automatic lanes (with no gates). Capacities for dedicated AVI and
express AVI lanes were estimated based on reasonable average
speeds and vehicle spacing (i.e., headways).
Figure 4 illustrates the general relationship of average capacity
for the basic types of toll plaza lanes. Depending on plaza lane
configuration, the inclusion of AVI has the potential to increase
conventional plaza lane capacity by 50- 160 percent.
Speed-Capacity Relationship
Figure 5 depicts the relationship of speed to the various toll
plaza lane types. As can be observed from this figure, speeds
(and volumes) increase as preferential treatment for AVI increases
because there is less restriction in toll processing. Average running
speed is defined as the speed maintained once a vehicle first stops
or slows down while approaching the toll lane queue through the
point of being processed at the toll plaza. Average running speed
for a manual lane is about 2.5 mph, compared to approximately
55 mph for an express AVI lane. Higher average speeds through
the use of AVI lanes translate into greater lane capacity potential.
However, with greater speeds, AVI lanes retrofitted into a conventional toll plaza will require significant additional planning, design,
and right-of-way (as in the case of express AVI lanes).
Lanes Reduced (Each DIrection)
10 %
Percent Participation In AVI
Peak-Hr,Peak-Dir Vol
-3000 vph +4000 vph “5000 vph
-6000 vph
Greater Lane Reduction Potential Occurs at Plazas with Highest Volumes/Number o f Lanes
FIGURE 3 Sign for dedicated AVI lane on the Greater New
Orleans bridge.
Plaza lane reduction potential.
Levels of AVI Participation
Average capacity, toll plaza lane types.
Average speed, toll plaza lane types.
Actual patronage levels for AVI are extremely difficult to estimate. Therefore, full use of toll lanes that are retrofitted with AVI
or are physically separated from the conventional plaza for express
AVI usage can only be assumed for an estimated level of AVI
participation, The highest current AVI participation rates being
experienced are on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana
(80 percent), Treasure Island Causeway (60 percent) and Bay Harbour Island Causeway (40 percent) both located in Florida, the
Oklahoma Turnpike (40 percent), and the Dallas North Tollway
(23 percent). These levels of AVI participation do not come without some additional cost for marketing or publicity, such as the
professionally operated, high-profile tag purchasing store in Dallas.
AVI patrons using the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway enjoy a 50
percent discount off the cash price for tolls.
It is important to distinguish the effect of varying AVI participation levels on plaza lane requirements. The Florida Department of
Transportation Traffic Engineering Office has developed the first
generation of a basic toll plaza simulation model known as DQUEUE. A basic validation of this model was performed successfully with results matching observed conditions at three toll plaza
locations in Florida. Other personal computer-based toll plaza simulation models have also been developed across the country and
are available for planning applications. D-QUEUE was used to
approximate the potential for plaza lane reduction using AVI under
various participation rates for various peak-hour volumes. Maximum desirable queues, used as the criteria for determining ideal
plaza lane configurations, were taken to be no more than 300 ft
(FDOT Turnpike planning guidelines).
Figure 6 displays the results of more than 100 D-QUEUE model
runs to determine the maximum potential for toll plaza lane reduction for peak directional volumes of 3,000-6,000 vehicles per hour.
Runs were made for conventional lanes only and for conventional
lanes with AVI to discern the maximum potential for plaza lane
reduction at similar approach volume levels. It can be observed
from this figure that, as volumes (toll plaza lanes) increase, the
potential to reduce the number of toll plaza lanes is enhanced by
a greater AVI participation rate.
Fewest Number of Toll Plaza Lanes (Both Directions)
theless can be used as planning guidelines for AVI implementation,
as shown in Table 4.
Summary of Traffic Operation Issues
1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000
Min. Lane Requirements Based on
300-ft Mas. Queue, and at Least
20 Percent AVI Participation
AVI versus conventional, toll plaza lanes.
The issue of dedicated versus mixed-use toll plaza lanes is complex and must be considered on a site-specific basis. An integral
aspect of this issue is the actual level of AVI participation and
thus the number and configuration of lanes required. The commitment to AVI in terms of patron satisfaction does not necessarily
require express AVI lanes. In particular, the position of dedicated
lanes within a conventional toll plaza must consider proximity of
mainline ramping to maintain safe and adequate weaving lengths.
Plaza locations where exit or entrance ramps are in close proximity
may create safety problems for weaving vehicles.
Thresholds for Toil Plaza Lane Configuration 6
Ideal toll plaza configurations can be determined by combining
the previous findings of capacity by lane type (see Figure 4), and
the relationship of the potential for lane reduction with various
AVI participation rates at different volumes (see Figure 6). Ideal
configurations assume the least and most practical number of toll
plaza lanes not to exceed the planning guideline queue length of
300 ft, used by Florida. The D-QUEUE toll plaza simulator model
was again used to determine the least number of lanes for both
conventional-only and conventional with AVI configurations. Figure 7, which builds from the relationship indicated in Figure 6,
indicates the results of more than 100 D-QUEUE model runs to
determine ideal configurations.
For example, at 3,000 vehicles/hr with a 20 percent AVI participation rate, a conventional-only lane plaza would require a minimum of seven lanes in both directions (five automatic and two
attended). The most practical potential for lane reduction would
require about a 25 percent AVI participation rate to reduce the
number of lanes to five lanes in each direction (one attended and
four mixed AVI). A 25 percent AVI participation rate would equal
about 750 AVI patrons in the peak hour, peak direction. Four
mixed AVI lanes would provide an additional capacity of 800
vehicles/hr (200 vehicles/lane increase in capacity between automatic and mixed AVI lanes). The results indicated in Figure 7
follow the same rationale for determining the least number of
toll plaza lanes in both directions. Figure 7 illustrates the most
reasonable and most typical combination and least number of total
lanes (conventional versus AVI) required to accommodate (i.e.,
300-ft maximum queue) various peak-hour volumes. A 25 percent
AVI participation has been assumed throughout to determine required AVI laneage.
Several key thresholds can be deduced from the examination of
Figure 7. At 2,000 vehicles/hr, the AVI and conventional lane
requirements are about the same. At 3,000 vehicles/hr, a significant
difference in lane requirements becomes apparent indicating the
initial threshold for AVI consideration (i.e., mixed-use AVI). A
similar type of lane reduction pattern exists again at 5,000 and
7,000 vehicles/hr suggesting more intensive use of AVI laneage.
These thresholds are developed under ideal conditions, but never-
Vehicle Classification (Axel Count Verification)
Vehicle classification (or axle count verification) is currently
performed as a two-part process. Typically, the first part of this
process consists of the toll collector visually classifying an oncoming vehicle to determine fare requirements based on the number
of axles (preclassification). Second, treadles that count axles are
used in the postclassification process to verify the manual vehicle
classification. Inefficiencies result because toll collectors may not
accurately determine the vehicle classification and treadles can
frequently malfunction due to the wear of mechanical contact
switches over time, particularly in high truck-volume lanes. Improved treadles and automatic vehicle classification systems have
the potential to dramatically increase the accuracy of vehicle classification. However, vehicle classification systems that count axles
only work when the vehicle is moving at relatively constant speed
(4). Electronic toll collection, or AVI, will also reduce toll collector errors and fraud on AVI transactions by providing the audit
trail for each AVI-equipped vehicle that is processed through a
toll plaza lane.
Toll Collector Safety
Any implementation of AVI within a conventional plaza or a
separated facility may, if not designed properly, present a safety
problem for toll collectors when arriving and departing from their
toll booths. As mentioned previously, with the implementation of
AVI comes an increase in average speeds of vehicles through the
toll plaza. Toll plazas that do not provide pedestrian tunnels or
overhead walkways and safe access via separate parking areas,
may not be suitable for AVI implementation because of higher
traffic speed. This feature is important at AVI-retrofitted plazas
as well as separated plazas where safe access may be required for
maintenance purposes. Increasing the number of toll gates may be
effective in mitigating dangers to toll collectors. However, careful
considerations must be made of the trade-offs gates pose in processing time.
Initial Consideration for Mixed AVI
3,000 vehicles per hour
Initial Consideration for Dedicated
5,000 vehicles per hour
Initial Consideration for Express AVI
7,000 vehicles per hour
Source: Determined by toll plaza simulation modeling. Threshold
volumes represent the highest single peak-hour of the day.
An AVI patron is quickly validated on a lane with no gate on the Dallas North Tollway.
Lanes without gates save 1 to 1 1/2 seconds in the processing
time of each transaction, thereby increasing capacity of vehicle
flow (see Figure 8). The presence of gates can create backups
when malfunctions occur or when gate arms are broken or snapped
off by vehicles passing through the plaza, which also results in
delays. However, if statutes cannot be modified to allow for photographic enforcement, then gates may be the only answer to deterring violators. Photographic enforcement, if properly legislated,
can provide an alternative means to deter violators. The costeffectiveness of this means of enforcement should also be
Advance Signing/Channelization
Procedures have been established by traffic officials regarding
traffic control (signing, pavement striping, and channelization) and
traffic regulations (speed and passing zones). These procedures
represent criteria that apply to conventional toll plaza configura-
tions and are intended to provide for the safety of the patron
and toll collector. As various configurations of AVI intensity are
implemented (mixed-use lanes to dedicated to express), more attention will be required for advance signing and channelization to
safely accommodate AVI. Site-specific speed limits and transition
requirements to diverge and merge AVI traffic have to be developed and established as vital design criteria. Current traffic operations should be revised as necessary with the implementation of
AVI. Vehicle classification procedures and toll collector safety
will be improved with the planned upgrade of toll lane equipment.
New laser scanners for vehicle classification could be worthwhile
components of an AVI system. The use of gates and revised advance signing/channelization needs further evaluation. The most
efficient, cost-effective means of AVI enforcement and vehicle
guidance should be developed.
The frequency, extent, and costs associated with the serviceability (operation) and maintenance of AVL/ETTM systems are diffi-
cult to assess at this time primarily because working AVI/ETTM
systems have not been in operation long enough to establish these
factors. In general, based on very limited data, maintenance costs
per lane associated with AVI appear to be about 10 to 20 percent
less than conventional toll lanes. Employee salary and related
costs, which constitute the majority of operational costs, would
not be associated with AVI lanes.
AVI can be added as an upgrade to a well-designed, modem
toll plaza, i.e., a toll facility with state-of-the-art microprocessorbased manual toll collection and automatic coin machines, a microprocessor-based lane controller that is programmable, a plaza computer system, and a host computer system with network capabilities. These features represent the latest designs being implemented
today at new or retrofitted toll facilities. Most importantly, additional computer support roles and systems administration will be
created with AVI implementation, requiring staff retraining and
possible organizational adjustments.
The core piece of equipment of an AVl system, in terms of toll
collection management, is the host computer. It is important to
evaluate many different systems on the merits of various features,
such as processing power, size, expandability, networking capabilities, software compatibility, and cost. It is also important to consider the merits of a single- versus multi-processor configuration.
A dual processor configuration enables maintenance, hardware
upgrades, and software upgrades to be performed on one processor
while the other is functioning. The host computer connects to
computers located at every toll plaza, which in turn are connected
to lane controller computers, forming a hierarchical configuration.
(However, the industry is starting to see the first implementations
of a decentralized, nonhierarchical system.) These smaller plaza
and lane computers are usually of the same platform (supplied
from the same vendor) as the host computer.
Another important system feature is external data storage. Disk
drives connected to all levels of computers must accommodate an
enormous amount of data. At the host location, the disks should
be able to hold three to six months’ worth of data. Transaction
files should be stored in duplicate locations (“shadow recorded”)
for protection. Data must be synchronized with the host data to
ensure recovery in case of a malfunction. Disks at this level are
typically smaller but can also range to the 1 Gb size for large
plazas (i.e., greater than 14 lanes). Data stored at this level include
transaction data files, maintenance records of the plaza, event logs,
security files, and AVI accounts list. At the lane controller, adequate storage is necessary for two or three days. This storage must
also be available to handle transaction files, maintenance data
tiles, and AVl account verification files. According to toll industry
experts, one of the greatest shortcomings in the industry today is
inadequate storage space provided in the lane controllers.
The computer system requires an extensive network to constantly update file data and pass transaction, maintenance, diagnostic, and electronic messages from one processing level to the next.
The speed of the network and the ability to access information at
all levels is essential to a toll facility. Network interfaces will
range from the local area network for attached devices or lane
controllers to wide area networks that tie together all the plazas
in a given system.
All the local devices attached to or serviced by the host computer
are interfaced through a local area network (LAN). Dispersed plazas and work stations are typically serviced by the same protocol
over a wide area network (WAN). Digital data circuits are becoming more practical and affordable for WANs (5). Fiber optic installation provides the greatest flexibility, and newer facilities should
look to the employment of their own fiber optic cable system rather
than leased circuits for wide area coverage. However, detailed
engineering design studies should be made of actual conditions
before a decision is made.
High-speed printing can be accomplished by impact or laser
printers. PC workstations, engineering workstations, and terminals
are all interfaced through the LAN. Personal computers and workstations will normally require a server or network interface unit
(NIU) for connection. Terminals and printers will require a different type of server. The number and types of terminals, PCs, and
workstations will depend on the needs of the toll authority.
With the above understanding, the addition of AVI to such
facilities is a simple and cost-effective step. The three-tier computer network (host-plaza-lane), will carry the AVI transaction
load. The transaction processing will require only minor modification to encompass the additional AVI transactions. For a fully
integrated system, the addition of AVI should simply add another
means of collecting fares from patrons. AVI can be visualized as
the replacement of existing charge accounts without the manual
transaction of magnetic stripe cards, commuter tickets, or visual
At the lane level, the only additions necessary are the AVI
reader/antenna units, reader/controller unit, cabling, software interface to the lane controller, and surveillance/enforcement cameras.
Since these items should be low-power consumption units, excess
uninterruptible power supply (UPS) should handle the new loads.
If the AVI system to be installed is a high-power AVI system,
then the system integration will be compounded by power and
shielding considerations.
The addition of AVI to an existing, well-designed, modem toll
plaza will also impact the three-tier computer network. Requirements for processor memory, on-line storage, off-line storage, volume of data transfer to and from the network (“network loading”)
will all be affected. The network loading will need to be studied
prior to installation. Higher throughput rates will be seen and this
will impact the network response times. In a manual or automatic
coin lane where a transaction can occur every 4 to 10 seconds
respectively, network messaging has ample time to transmit and
receive digitized packets of information. AVI, on the other hand,
could produce 1.5 transactions per second, and would require
higher communication speeds.
With the addition of AVl will come the account lookup and
verification of accounting information. The impact of this processing load on the lane controller, plaza computers, and host
computers will need to be assessed. The greatest impact may occur
at the lane controller level where real-time processing of the transaction may be adversely affected by a lack of central processing
unit (CPU) capacity. At the host level, the additional tasks of
accounting and billing for the AVI transactions will impact the
load of the CPU. These tasks could be handled on a backup processor while the primary processor is handling normal functions. In
the case of a processor being down, the AVl processing may affect
the response time of the host system when running AVI and normal
toll processing on the same computer. If the initial design accounts
for ample growth and excess capacity, then little to no additional
CPU costs or memory will be necessary.
The on-line and off-line memory requirements will be affected
by the addition of AVI. The AVI account data, billing data, and
transaction information will require additional memory for all three
levels of the computer system. The lane controller is the least
impacted; its storage of transaction information will remain the
same. The additional AVI transaction information will represent
a negligible percentage of the total number of transactions. In some
real-time systems, the AVI verification file is kept at the lane
controller. This allows stand-alone processing when the communications or plaza computers are down. In this type of installation,
lane controller memory must be expanded to handle the size of
the AVI account list. The plaza computer storage will be affected
in a manner similar to that of the lane controller.
The impact is greatest on the host computer’s on-line and offline memory requirement. The host computer will require AVI
account billing and long-term storage of account information for
billing purposes. This storage will require additional disk space.
The configuration for the host and plaza computers specifies dual
or shadow recording of on-line transaction data. Therefore, two
additional disks and controllers could be necessary. Disk size will
depend on the size of the facility. Disks with 1 to 2 Gbs of data
storage are becoming commonplace and affordable. Off-line storage will also need to be expanded at the host site. The air conditioning, power, universal power supply, and physical space requirements will be minimal and should be considered in the initial
design of a new system.
Computer Software
For a fully integrated solution, the communications network,
and the host and plaza configurations are supported by operating
system software. The networking software should provide task-totask communications, file management, downline system and task
loading, network command terminals, resource sharing capabilities, and network monitoring capabilities. Software that controls
the collection plazas and access ramps should provide for such
requirements as: plaza and ramp expansion; processing AVI account transactions, violations, and conventional accounts; importing and exporting databases; monitoring lane transactions; supporting terminal security; dynamic diagnostics: accepting and
transmitting data to the host computer system; providing data for
local traffic management; providing various statistical information;
and providing dynamic system performance graphic displays.
A database management program package, including all necessary report-generating tools and development software is required.
The database program and file structures should support multifunc-
tional, user-defined reports, distribution processing, and portable
module data file transfers. The computer system software should
also provide for user and system security. The internal security
system files should monitor what level of user programs, database
files, maintenance files, and plaza audit files will be accessible
(based on user ID and password).
Historically, the general price range for plaza level software has
been $150,000 for one or two plazas. However, if a larger system
(10 to 40 plazas) purchases the software, the price per plaza drops
to approximately $50,000. In addition, host software ranges from
$250,000 to $750,000 for highly customized, new application development software (6). Just as with the host hardware configuration, the total cost of the host software is priced with the plaza
under consideration.
Most AVI systems require communication with roadside stations, or would be enhanced if information were available from
these facilities. These needs are quite diverse, ranging from lowpower roadside transmitters and receivers to satellite communications. This range requires vastly different circuitry, electronic components, antennas, frequencies, bandwidth, and data capacity.
Analysis is needed to determine the communication related requirements for ETTM product areas. Designs should be selected
to minimize the number of different communication technologies,
and it may also be important to consider the same communication
To minimize RF interference, a dedicated frequency is preferable. However, RF spectrum matters usually involve extensive analysis as well as political negotiation. A number of regulatory agencies, processes, and requirements could affect the rate of ETTM
deployment. If an already dedicated portion of the RF spectrum
is needed, a long process may be needed for approval. ln September of 1992, IVHS AMERICA began discussions and negotiations
with the FCC on the issue of radio frequency spectrum allocation.
Although no spectrum has yet been dedicated to ETTM usage,
most existing systems are now operating in the 900-930 MHz
band, which is dedicated to industrial, scientific, and experimental
usage. Several frequencies in this bandwidth are currently licensed
to personal communication services (PCS) manufacturers and providers (e.g., pagers, mobile cellular phones). Interference with
these and other similar devices has already been experienced in
the testing and evaluation of ETTM systems. Assignment of a
bandwidth not currently used by AVI systems would cause additional investment in research and development before additional
uses of AVI technology could become operational.
Patron Account Information
As an AVI-equipped vehicle enters a toll plaza lane, the AVl
system detects the approaching vehicle and prepares for the transaction. When the vehicle passes over the lane treadle, the system
registers the vehicle by reading and identifying the assigned AVI
code. As the code is read, the system verifies that the patron’s
account balance is sufficient to cover the toll charge. The vehicle
is also classified for audit and tolling purposes. At this time, any
lost or stolen tags, or below-balance accounts are registered. If the
AVI code is associated with a valid account, the lane’s traffic
signal turns from red to green. If not, the light remains red, indicating either a misread, a lane violation, or a problem with the patron’s
account. This necessitates the manual payment of the toll by the
patron either in the automatic coin machine or to a collector.
Once the vehicle is cleared to leave the toll plaza, the system
automatically updates the patron database files and other associated
files. All lane transactions are detected and recorded, whether or
not the lane is in operational mode. The processing of a standard
AVI vehicle takes fractions of a second to complete.
Management and Operational Reports
The reports generated by an AVl toll system can vary depending
on the toll operator’s accounting and information requirements.
The following is a list of reports that can be compiled through
information contained in the AVI computer system data base:
cameras is a substantial safeguard. System-generated equipment
status reports and diagnostic and maintenance reports are other
safeguard features. Also characteristic of the appropriate computer
system are sign-on access procedures for all levels of personnel.
Employees can gain access only to predetermined system levels
assigned to their specific job requirements. Even toll collectors
need to sign-on for shifts using their individualized identification
codes and passwords. Most important is the ability of the system
to collect tolls through the electronic transfer of funds, which
eliminates the extra precautions and costs needed to safeguard hard
currency and related data records. In summary, two conclusions
can be made with respect to operational and accounting functions.
First, toll revenue tracking for accounting and auditing purposes
is enhanced by electronic funds transfer. Second, the AVl system
accounting hardware and software increase the accountant’s
auditing capabilities and sources of reliable system information.
Operational and Accounting Functions
An important feature of any AVI system is the ability to effectively track toll revenue, process patron account information, generate relevant management and operational reports, and safeguard
toll system assets. All of these operational and accounting functions are discussed in the following sections, as they relate directly
to AVI toll collection systems.
Tracking Toll Revenues
Individual lane, plaza, and systemwide transaction and status
l Individual lane, plaza, and systemwide accounting and audit
reports of toll revenues,
l Maintenance and diagnostics reports for system equipment,
l Traffic statistics and traffic management reports,
l Daily and monthly system accounting reports,
l Daily and monthly AVI Service Center reports,
l Daily and monthly personnel status and payroll reports, and
l Daily and monthly system audit reports.
Safeguarding of Toll Assets
Revenue collection systems are frequently targets of abuse;
therefore, measures to safeguard revenues should be instituted.
Within an ETTM system there are several key safeguard features.
One is the ability to have surveillance cameras in place to record
lane violations and possible collector violations. The computer
hardware and software networking characteristic of surveillance
The ability to track (audit) toll revenues is an important function
of any toll facility. Figures 9 through 11 give an overview of
manual, automatic, and express AVI lane collection processes from
when toll revenue is collected until it is deposited. These diagrams
were provided by the E-470 Public Highway Authority in Denver,
Fist, in the manual lane collection process diagram (Figure 9),
the physical flow of money is detailed. The flow begins when the
toll collector’s shift ends: tolls collected during the shift are
counted and the amount is recorded on a deposit sheet. The collector’s supervisor verifies the correctness of the deposit sheet and
deposits the tolls into the money room. A designated employee
other than the collector or collector’s supervisor counts the tolls
again to verify and record the deposit. At this time, the tolls are
sorted, consolidated, and sealed in preparation for the bonded carrier to retrieve. The bonded carrier transports the toll money to
the bank where it is recounted and the deposited amount verified.
In the next section of the diagram, the data processing steps are
detailed to coincide with the physical flow of money. Within data
Detail Transaction
Collector's Shift Deposit
Money Room
Bank Deposit
I”” hn I
8, “
Surveillance Cameras
Detail Transaction Record
Detail Transaction Record
Detail Transaction Record
Violation Camera
Variance Reports
Variance Reports
Variance Reports
Loop Counts
Supervisor Spol Checks
Supervisor Spot Checks
Supervisor Spot Checks
Treadle Counts
PRC Audit
PRC Audit
PRC Audit
Detail Transaction Record
E-470 Independent Audlt
E-470 Independent Audlt
E-470 Independent Audll
Supervisor Spot Checks
Outslde Independent Audit
Outside Independent Audll
Outslde Independent Audit
PRC Audit
Surveillance Tapes
Surveillance Tapes
Surveillance Tapes
E-470 Independent Audit
Violation Snapshot Images
Outside Independent Audll
FIGURE 9 Manual lane collection process.
processing, the violation cameras are used to record lane violations
while surveillance cameras are used to observe toll agency personnel. Also, the lane controller is directly linked to the host computer
via the plaza computer. This enables the flow of transaction information to and from the various databases. The lane controller is
also directly linked to the terminal screen, which allows the toll
collector to see information concerning each AVI transaction. In
addition, the treadles and vehicle detection loops give relevant
axle and vehicle counts to the lane controller.
The data processing system is an important auditing tool used
in verifying and recording each step in the toll collection process.
Therefore, the computer software and hardware used should be
flexible enough to generate data records and audit reports to meet
the specific needs of an individual toll system. Shown in the third
section of the diagram are the resulting data records that are generated after each step of the collection process. These records give the
internal and external auditors of the AVI toll system the transaction
details necessary to complete the audit reports. Points in the collection process where individualized audit reports are prepared are
noted in the fourth section.
Second, in the automatic lane collection process (Figure 10),
the only difference from a manual process money flow is that the
toll money is deposited by toll patrons into vaults contained within
the automatic coin machine (ACM). The vaults are then transported
to the money room by a bonded carrier. The bonded carrier may
be a courier service or a toll supervisor/official. Also, within the
data processing section, the coin machines are linked by computer
to the lane controller. In this collection process, the coin vault
construction and safety features become important auditing
Finally, the third collection process (Figure 11) is the AVI (ExpressTOLL) lane collection process. In the money flow section
of this process, the collection and deposit of toll revenues are
accomplished electronically. The handling of hard currency is
eliminated through the electronic transfer of funds between the
patron’s bank and the toll operator’s bank. (However, checks,
credit cards, and cash transactions are processed through a separate
AVI store or bank. AVI patrons of the E-470 highway in Denver
are required to back their AVI accounts with bank and credit
cards.) This electronic process reduces the loss of toll revenue for
AVI transactions by eliminating the need for cash drawers and
coin machines in express AVI lanes. It also eliminates the need
to count, sort, and deposit moneys collected on these lanes.
There are three major ownership arrangements to consider in
the process of negotiating the implementation of an AVI system.
These include the agency owning and operating a system, a vendor
owning and operating a system, and various lease agreements.
Each of these arrangements is characterized by numerous advantages and disadvantages. Most AVI vendors are flexible with respect to the administrative arrangement that is selected for the
ownership and operation of an AVI system. However, the ability
of a toll agency to select an ownership/finance arrangement is
controlled by the agency’s charter. In some instances, an agency
is not permitted to subcontract the responsibility of fare collection.
This would limit the ability to subcontract AVI under the vendor
operation scenario.
Agency Owns and Operates
In this ownership arrangement, the toll or traffic management
agency would purchase the entire AVI system and then operate
the system independent of the vendor. All responsibilities would
be with the implementing toll facility, with the exception of warranties and maintenance agreements. The issues to be considered
before entering into this type of ownership arrangement are listed
l The implementing toll agency maintains complete control
over the AVI system including operation, administration, toll collection, maintenance arrangements, and all other aspects of the
system. This type of control may be preferred by many toll
l The toll agency enjoys the interest earned on alI prepayments
and deposits collected as part of the AVI program.
l The agency will be held fully accountable for the successes
or failures of the AVI system because it maintains control over
all aspects of the system. If the system does not succeed, the agency
is locked in on the equipment already purchased and installed.
l Owning and operating an AVI system requires the toll facility
to incur significant capital costs over and above the conventional
toll collection system, unless the change is made when the conventional system is fully depreciated.
l Different support staff are required to maintain and monitor
the AVI system, but overall the number of staff should be smaller
when compared to a conventional system.
l Additional training of staff is required particularly as it relates
to the production and analysis of the many information and audit
reports that the computer system provides as a result of interfacing
with the AVI system.
l Overall levels of staff may change depending on the system
Vendor Owns and Operates
This arrangement involves the authority hiring an independent
contractor to administer the AVI system including the installation,
operation, administration, and maintenance. A typical vendor-ownership arrangement would preclude the toll facility from purchasing any AVI equipment or software. An arrangement could be
made where a vendor is paid a flat fee to install, administer, and
operate the system or, once the system became fully operational,
the facility could be required to pay a fee for each transaction
processed through the AVI system. This fee could then be passed
on to the patrons in the form of premium tolls, unless a volume
discount can be provided. In addition, each AVI patron could be
required to pay a monthly fee for the use of the AVI tag. This
arrangement could also tie into a lease/purchase agreement after
a time period agreed on by both parties involved.
This type of arrangement can be termed an operating or service
lease because it provides for financing, operation, and maintenance. One advantage of an operating lease is that it frequently
contains a cancellation clause allowing the lessee to cancel the
lease and return the equipment before the expiration of the basic
lease agreement. This type of agreement is already being used on
the Dallas North Tollway in Texas. However, the Texas Turnpike
Authority has agreed to purchase the Amtech system and hopes
to replace the user fees with a deposit requirement.
l The agency would no longer be directly responsible for the
financial success (or failure) of the AVI system. However, the
agency would be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the
performance of the contractor. This necessitates a much smaller
support staff for AVI within the agency.
l If for some reason the agency were not satisfied with the
AVI system, its removal would be less costly because the agency
does not own the AVI equipment. The extent to which this is
possible would depend on the-negotiated contract.
l There is some incentive to succeed if compensation to the
independent contractor is directly tied to the level of participation
in the AVI system.
l The agency can define performance objectives/standards that
must be met by the independent contractor.
l The typical independent contractor already has significant
marketing resources to draw on, which increases the potential for
maximizing patron participation.
l The ability of the agency to collect the proper fares depends
on the private company’s records of fares collected. (The agency
must use its own automatic vehicle classification system and treadle counts to verify the vendor’s records.) Such a system would
require detailed audit controls if the agency permits an independent
contractor to electronically transfer tolls collected as a result of
l Depending on the contractual arrangement, the agency may
lose the “float” on toll prepayments and tag deposits collected as
a result of the AVI system. “Float” issues are also dependent on
state constitutions, agency rules, and bond indenture language.
l Under this arrangement, the agency owns no part of the AVI
tive tasks that are believed to be appropriate for the agency while
the remaining tasks could be built into the negotiated contract.
l The agency ultimately assumes ownership of the equipment
under most lease arrangements.
l Under this arrangement, the agency may not own the equipment over the life of the lease.
This section provides a consideration of the capital, operating,
and maintenance costs associated with the construction and operation of various lane types. In particular, consideration must be
given to costs for: lane construction and right-of-way, equipment
by lane type, operating and maintenance expenses, computer hardware and software, and transponders for the different technologies.
It is important to note that, when the listed equipment is purchased
in large quantities, the unit cost will likely decline.
Lane Construction Cost and Right-of-Way
Industry standards suggest that engineering and construction
costs for the average toll lane ranges from $150,000 to $750,000,
plus the cost of the booth and equipment placed in the lane. It is
important to note that costs will vary significantly by region and
location throughout the United States. This estimate includes planning, concept design, lane construction, right-of-way, and other
associated lane construction costs.
Cost of Equipment by Lane Type
There are numerous leasing arrangements in which an agency
could become involved. A lease agreement results in sharing responsibilities between the agency and the independent contractor.
The burden of these responsibilities would be negotiated in the
lease contract. Probably the most popular type of lease agreement
gives the implementing agency the choice of purchasing the equipment at the end of the lease.
Table 5 represents line-item costs for various lane types including manual lane, automatic coin machine, AVI dedicated lane
(retrofit), mixed-use lane (AVI and manual), mixed-use lane (AVI
and automatic coin). Costs were averaged based on several toll
agency bids for AVI lane equipment procurement obtained over
the last 18 months. Tables 6 and 7 reflect recent estimates for AVI
plaza and host computer equipment. Operating and maintenance
costs by lane type (shown in Table 5) are based on Florida averages
for conventional lanes and AVI system averages in Dallas and
Oklahoma for AVI related operations and maintenance. Operating
and maintenance costs for advanced traffic management systems
vary significantly (as might be expected) depending on staff size,
system infrastructure, and other factors. For example, the Westchester County system requires about $75,000 per year, whereas
the Minneapolis system requires about $7 million per year.
SmartRoutes center in Cambridge, Massachussetts requires about
$750,000 per year for operations and maintenance. It is important
to recognize that the cost estimates provided are extremely conservative in nature to virtually eliminate any possibility of underestimating equipment costs. The equipment depicted under each configuration assumes the maximum use of various equipment
components. Some of the equipment would certainly be optional
depending on the specific location and configuration.
Transponder Cost
l There is a great deal of flexibility involved with a lease
agreement. The agency could be responsible for those administra-
The unit price to the agency of a one-way, read-only radio
frequency transponder ranges from $5 to $50 depending on the
l Information concerning the AVI users and their billing records could be the property of the independent contractor and not
the agency. Ownership of these records is not always clear at the
end of the negotiated contract.
l The agency may suffer from an identity problem. As an example, the AVI patrons on the Dallas North Tollway identify with
the private vendor and not the agency.
Lease Agreements
AVI Dedicated
Express AVI
* Based on operation at 16 hrs Manual & 8 hrs Automatic Coin
Source: Florida Office of Toll Operations (conventional lanes), Dallas North Tollway, Oklahoma Pikepass,
and related industry bid tabs (AVI lanes).
Automatic Coin Machine
Manual Toll Terminal
Loop Detectors 2 @ $200
Receipt Printer
Exit Gate
Lane Controller
Slot Reader
Patron Fare Display
Loop Detector
Automatic Vehicle Classifier
Canopy Signal Light
Toll Booth
Two Contact Treadle
Island Traffic Signal
Canopy Signal Light
T w o Contact Treadle
Source: Florida Office of Toll Operations.
Source: Florida Office of Toll Operations.
In evaluating payment systems, there are three areas to be reviewed: prepayment versus postpayment, toll structures, and actual
methods of payment (cash, check, or credit card).
technology, the vendor, and the quantity of transponders purchased. (So-called “smart cards,” and transponders with read/write
capability will cost from $35 to $65.) Alternatively, the unit price
for a bar code decal ranges from $1.00 each for large quantities
(100,000) to $2.00 each for smaller quantities (2,000 to 3,000).
Prepayment vs. Postpayment
An AVI system requires either pre- or postpayment of tolls. The
operational procedures for these two methods are quite different.
Within an AVI prepayment toll system, AVI users establish indi-
postpaid (billed). It was surprising to find that most potential AVI
customers preferred prepayment, according to patrons surveyed in
Florida. Generally speaking, one would assume that the user would
prefer postpayment and the agency would prefer prepayment. In
Oklahoma, 90 out of 180,000 users do opt for postpayment, but
AVI Reader (canopy mounted)
only provided that the payment is made in cash. The toll agency
AVI Reader/Controller
that opts for postpayment assumes the added responsibilities of
bill collection.
CCTV Violation Camera
Prepayment of AVI-generated tolls by cash may require that the
Loop Detectors 2 @ $200
patron visit an AVI center once to open an account and subsequently to replenish the account (unless this service is available
Island Traffic Signal
by mail). Prepayment by check can be accomplished either by
visiting the AVI center or by using a mail program. Prepayment
Canopy Signal Light
by electronic funds transfer requires that the patron visit an AVI
center only once to open an account (unless this service is available
by telephone). An agreement is signed that allows funds from the
AVI Transponders (each)
patron’s bank to be automatically transferred to his or her AVI
account to replenish it when a preset minimum balance is reached.
Source: Dallas North Tollway, Oklahoma Pikepass, and related Prepayment by major credit card is the same as by electronic funds
transfer, except the patron’s account is replenished by charging a
industry bid tabs. Signage, striping, and channelization costs
to accommodate dedicated AVI lanes have not been included. credit card. Since the use of electronic funds transfer and credit
cards does not require the handling of money, operational costs
are reduced and implementation and maintenance of the payment
program are simplified. Credit cards are by far the preferred
method of payment in Dallas. While this is attributable in part to
vidual accounts with a prepaid balance either by cash, check, credit
area demographics, it is also a matter of convenience, since pericard, or electronic funds transfer. Subsequently, when the AVI
odic trips to the retail store are unnecessary for credit card
user passes through a toll lane with AVI equipment, the toll amount
generated is subtracted from the user’s prepaid account balance.
Currently, most operators of existing AVI toll facilities accept
The postpayment system operates differently. It is based on a
cash or check for payment of tolls. These are the most popular
billing process whereby the AVI user is charged based on actual
toll payment options. A few existing toll facilities also accept
use of the toll system in the preceding month.
credit card or electronic funds transfer. For example, Houston AVI
In evaluating prepayment and postpayment toll systems, numerpatrons may use Discover cards for fare payment. Dallas North
ous implementation costs and issues must be considered. A preTollway offers their patrons the option of opening an anonymous
payment system will require the establishment of locations for
account where all transactions can take place without providing
opening and replenishing AVI accounts. Locations can be at varithe AVI toll facility with personal information.
ous fixed office sites or advertised mobile van sites. Accounts
opened and replenished through the mail can also be processed at
the office sites. At a fixed office site, an AVI service center could
Toll Structures
be established. Costs associated with the center would include
expenditures for construction or leasing, operations, computers,
There are three AVI toll structure options. The first option is
and maintenance. Another option is a mail program where opening
to charge premiums in addition to existing tolls. Advocates of
of accounts and distribution of tags could be accomplished through
premium tolls believe users of AVI should pay an extra charge
the mail. The mail program would still require a central processing
for these special services. The second option is to discount existing
location. A final option is mobile registration where a mobile unit
tolls. Advocates of discounted tolls believe users need to be encould be dispatched to register patrons.
couraged to use AVI by offering discounts on services. They also
When considering a postpayment plan, additional operational
contend that increased patron participation resulting from discounts
costs would need to be evaluated. The additional costs include
would fully offset any declines in revenue. Experience from the
monthly statement account mailings and collections on delinquent
Oklahoma Turnpike indicates that reduced personnel expenses
accounts receivable. The collection process is viewed by many to
more than offset the 25 percent discount for AVI. The third option
be time consuming and undesirable. The San Diego Coronado
is to keep the toll structure the same, neither offering discounts
Bridge is one of the few systems to have offered a postpayment
nor charging premiums. Advocates of this final option contend
option. During a trial period two years ago, the Coronado Bridge
that implementation problems would not exist and any governing
let patrons settle up accounts after a certain amount of debt was
legal documents would not need to be reviewed for compliance.
incurred. The trial was a success; however, the San Diego system
Comparisons of premium and discount toll structures found
was a demonstration project only and has never been implemented
them to be equivalent for ease of implementation and associated
on a full scale.
costs. An extensive marketing campaign would be needed to educate potential AVI patrons on the new toll structure, and additional
Payment Methods
signage detailing the new toll structure would need to be purchased
and installed. An accounting and billing program would be reAVI-generated tolls can be paid by cash, check, electronic funds
quired to keep track of patron toll charges and payments.
transfer, or credit card. In addition, tolls can be either prepaid or
Plaza Computers
Disk Drives (2 System Disks, 4 Data
4mm DAT Tape Drives
Network Interfaces
Fiber Optic Lane Network Routers
Terminal Server
Supervisor Workstation
(Workstation, Terminal, and Printer)
Terminals (Color with 14 inch
Printers (System, Maintenance, etc.)
Communication Cabinet
Uninterruptible Power Supply System
Plaza Software
* High-end design; total cost may not apply in all systems.
Source: Dallas North Tollway, Oklahoma Pikepass, and related industry cost proposals.
Information is not widely available for evaluating toll structures
based on experiences from other existing AVI toll systems. The
Dallas North Tollway is the only large-scale functioning AVI system charging premiums. However, careful consideration must be
given to area demographics, traffic volume, and unique system
characteristics before applying this system elsewhere. On the other
hand, the majority of other functioning AVI toll systems, large
and small, offer discounted tolls. Most systems confirmed that
discounts encourage AVI use.
It is useful to consider historical data concerning transportation
demand elasticities. For work-related commutes, demand is relatively inelastic when associated with price. An inelastic demand
indicates that a one percent change in price will result in a less
than one percent change in the quantity demanded. Therefore,
despite the positive reaction to discounted tolls in the survey research, it is expected that a minor toll discount would not significantly increase participation in the AVI system. However, a substantial discount can increase participation during off-peak hours
on heavy commuter routes. The Harris County Toll Road Authority
reduced fares by 50 percent on its Hardy Toll Road during nonpeak-hour periods only and experienced a 20 percent increase in
AVl participation during nonpeak periods. Oklahoma Turnpike
experienced a 20 percent increase in AVI participation after offering a 30 percent discount off cash toll rates. However, this action
occurred at a time when a new, higher toll structure was being
Other issues
As with all AVI systems, whatever the payment options offered,
the proper installation of the tag (decal or transponder) in the
vehicle is essential. Instructions should be given or sent to the user
when an AVI tag is purchased. In addition, an AVI system test
lane should be set up at the AVI Center that allows the patron to
test tag placement before using the tag at an actual AVI toll plaza.
Some AVI operators insist that trained personnel install the AVI
Host Computers
Disk Drives (2 System Disks, 4 Data Disks)
4mm DAT Tape Drives
Network Interfaces
Network Routers
Terminal Server
Network Workstation
(Workstation, Terminal, and Printer)
Terminals (Color with 14 inch Monitors)
High Speed Printers (System, Maintenance, etc.)
Communication Cabinet
Uninterruptible Power Supply System
Host Software (including Service Center)
Source: Dallas North Tollway, Oklahoma Pikepass, and related industry cost proposals.
tag for the user, thereby reducing the probability of misreads resulting from faulty tag placement.
Another issue to be considered is the establishment of a tollfree (800) phone number so that trained personnel could address
problems and field questions from current and potential AVI users.
Also, the agency should consider the possibility of establishing a
direct computer link between the Department of Motor Vehicles
and the AVI system. This would provide new and current residents
the option of signing up for AVI when they register their vehicles.
Numerous benefits could result from the implementation of an
AVI system. A list of these benefits along with a brief description
is provided in this section.
Throughput Efficiency
The implementation of AVI will increase toll lane capacity,
thereby reducing toll processing time and queue lengths at toll
plazas. Most importantly, AVI can substantially reduce or, in some
cases, eliminate the need for future expansion of toll plaza lanes.
Depending on the participation rate for AVI, the reserve capacity
for plaza lanes can be “banked” and additional right-of-way may
not be needed. Significant cost savings can be realized, especially
in developed urbanized areas.
Payment Alternative for Patrons
AVI allows toll patrons more flexibility and convenience in
paying tolls. Opening prepayment accounts eliminates the need
for patrons to be concerned with having cash ready for each toll
plaza passage. Prepayment also provides patrons the flexibility of
paying tolls by cash, check, credit card, or electronic funds transfer.
In addition, AVI reduces the handling of hard currency by toll
system operators. Furthermore, commercial users of AVI are given
a faster and more reliable tracking system of when and where their
vehicles use the toll system.
Increase in Patron Satisfaction and Loyalty
By offering the patrons an additional payment alternative that
makes their travel quicker and more convenient, the agency can
expect the typical customer to be much more satisfied with the
facility as a whole. In addition, once patrons experience time savings and other benefits of an AVI system, they will be much more
likely to choose the system over an alternate parallel facility.
Environmental Issues
Pollution in any form is a great concern to environmental groups,
and as gas prices rise, fuel consumption will become a major
priority among AVI/ETTM patrons. Dedicated AVI lanes may
eliminate the need for AVI-equipped vehicles to stop at toll plazas,
which can reduce noise pollution, air pollution, and fuel consumption. Fewer vehicles stopping means less gear shifting during acceleration; in the case of trucks and other heavy vehicles, this has
the potential to dramatically reduce noise pollution. According to
the Environmental Protection Agency’s modeling software, emissions decrease after a vehicle accelerates and reaches a constant
speed. Since the smooth flow of traffic is increased by implementing AVI, it would result in less fuel consumption and less pollution
per vehicle.
Security Against Loss of Funds
Most revenue funds lost by a toll collection system result from
human error or fraud. The automation of systems resulting from the
implementation of AVI increases security against error or fraud.
Processes once done manually, such as reconciliations, axle classifications, transaction report generations, and toll evasion enforcement, can be accomplished through the system’s computer and
video cameras. The ability to generate a clear audit trail of revenue
funds through an automated and networked AVI system is a major
security benefit for those revenues collected from AVI-equipped
Improved Accountability
A computerized AVI accounting system leads to the benefit of
improved accountability for AVI transactions. First, the system
eliminates errors caused by the manual processing of accounting
and operational reports. Second, the system provides improved
statistical traffic reports, since all AVI-equipped vehicles passing
through the toll system can be accounted for electronically. Also,
by computerizing many functions of a toll system, audit control
points are easier to implement and maintain.
Reduced Construction Costs
Agencies can select from three alternatives when an existing
plaza is at or near capacity:
Expand the number of lanes at the plaza,
Increase traffic throughput through the existing configuration, or
l Accept a lower level of service.
Accepting a lower level of service is an unlikely choice because
of the resulting loss of revenue and safety. Expansion of the plaza
has typically been the solution implemented most often in toll
facilities across the United States. However, expansion involves
significant capital outlays (according to recent Florida DOT Turnpike cost estimates, approximately $500,000, excluding right-ofway, plus booth and equipment costs) per lane. In addition, in
many cases expansion may be impossible where there is no rightof-way available. A third alternative is the implementation of AVI
on the existing configuration, which can significantly increase the
capacity of the existing lanes. This increase in capacity can result
in a significant reduction in necessary lane construction that may
otherwise be needed. Perhaps an even more feasible alternative is
to implement AVI in conjunction with some degree of expansion,
which the Florida Turnpike has chosen to do.
Reduced Operating Cost
The operating costs associated with a typical manual lane include the costs of maintaining the lane equipment, collector and
supervisor salaries, auditing functions, banking and cash handling,
and lighting and environmentally controlling the booth that houses
the toll collector. Similarly, the costs of operating an automatic
coin machine lane include those associated with maintaining the
lane equipment, supervisory salaries, auditing, and banking and
cash handling. For each manual lane eliminated as a result of AVI,
these particular operating costs will be significantly reduced.
The collection costs for an AVI system include those associated
with maintaining the AVI equipment, issuing tags, and servicing
accounts. In addition, the system operates 24 hours a day. These
collection costs will also be partially offset by the moneys collected
as part of the sale or lease of the tags and the interest realized on
prepayments and deposits.
Potential for Increased Revenue
By increasing capacity, toll roads may encourage users of an
existing parallel facility to convert to using toll roads. This is
particularly true in a location where an existing parallel facility is
undergoing construction. The increase in toll road patronage could
result in an increase in total revenue.
Psychological Benefits
Several other nonquantifiable benefits can also be attributed to
AVI implementation. These would include benefits to travelers
who do not use AVI and those who use AVI facilities during
nonpeak hours. Both groups would experience less overall plaza
congestion but nonusers would benefit, particularly in mixed-use
lanes. Since differences in vehicle delay cost are typically considered for the peak direction, peak-hour analysis, additional benefits
can also be expected in the nonpeak direction and in nonpeak time
periods of the day. As other adjacent roadway facilities become
congested, variable toll pricing (reducing normal toll rates) can be
used as an incentive for patrons to divert their travel to the uncongested or less congested toll facility. Finally, AVI can facilitate
the implementation of variable (congestion) pricing. The programmability of AVI systems enables the operator to change the amount
of tolls on short notice, even in real time.
The communication, software, and hardware industries, all suppliers of ETTM technology, play a crucial role in successful longterm product development and broad-based consumer acceptance.
Establishing standards too early can stifle innovation. However, the
ETTM industry cannot realistically be expected to curtail product
development while waiting for nationwide standards to be defined.
Benefits to be gained from standardization at the appropriate
time include:
Interchangeability of system components,
Elimination of unnecessary product development costs caused
by changes in product interaction,
Fostering of area-wide deployment,
Promotion of application stability, and
Establishment of a basis for liability limitation.
The standards process for ETTM systems and technologies has
already begun although no specific standards have been established. An IVHS AMERICA committee on Standards & Protocol
has been established to serve as an oversight and coordinating
agency for all standards activities in the United States relating to
ETTM. The committee does not expect to create or promulgate
standards itself, except in cases of last resort. Rather it will rely
on other established standards-generating bodies (e.g., American
National Standards Institute (ANSI), International Organization for
Standardization (ISO), International Electrotechnical Commission
(IEC), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Institute of Electrical and
Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and others) to carry out the work of
defining, publishing, and securing industry acceptance for standards. The objective of the committee will be to assure appropriate
attention to ETTM needs, promote effective communication
among interested parties, and minimize duplicated efforts (7).
IVHS AMERICA’s committee on IVHS Standards & Protocols
has the following objectives:
Determine the most appropriate group to set a given standard,
Identify all ETTM interfaces, subsystems and elements that
require standards,
l Act as a liaison in international standard efforts,
l Encourage the inclusion of standards and protocols in the
definition of future operational tests,
l Adopt or upgrade existing standards whenever required,
l Assist organizations responsible for the tests in defining, acquiring, and analyzing standards related data. and
l Coordinate standards related information between operational
tests and standards-making organizations.
As an example, the IVHS AMERICA Standards & Protocols
committee is already working with the SAE Map Database Standards committee. Several other organizations, ASTM for example,
have also established committees for the standardization of IVHS
Survey of Existing AVI Users
The management of many ETTM systems provided a profile of
the typical patron based on observations. It is important to note
that the potential market for ETTM use varies with each installation, given the socio-economic and travel characteristics of the
area. However, some general observations can be made regarding
the profile of existing ETTM users. In Dallas, most ETTM users
are in the middle- to high-income brackets and travel the facility
frequently in their commute to work. The income factor indicates
that these individuals are more likely to value their time, while
the greater use of the facility indicates that these individuals will
realize significant time savings. Also, if additional costs are required to participate in the ETTM system, those in the middle- to
high-income brackets are more likely to pay the additional cost.
Other ETTM Related Surveys
Several previous ETTM related survey findings were obtained
while gathering information for this project. In particular, three
surveys were undertaken by toll agencies that did not yet have
AVI at the time. The intent of these surveys was to identify characteristics of current users of the facility as well as to ascertain
perceptions and attitudes toward AVI. These surveys were conducted by the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Illinois
State Toll Highway Authority, and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. Further (existing and potential) user perception surveys
must be conducted to identify the most effective AVI marketing
strategies and technology features.
Virginia Department of Transportation
As part of the Dulles Fastoll project, the Virginia Department
of Transportation (VDOT) conducted a survey of existing users
of the Dulles Toll Road several years ago to determine the market
potential of AVI on that facility. The respondents interviewed were
representative of the most frequent users of the facility as they
traveled it approximately 11 times per week on average. Nearly
7.5 percent of the trips made by these respondents were trips to
and from work. The remaining trips were typically for leisure or
for other personal reasons. Very few trips were related to other
business purposes. Respondents had questions regarding the operation of the system, the degree of safety, and the consequences of
lost, stolen, or damaged tags. There was also some concern about
the possibility of the system misreading tags and charging improper accounts. Other comments indicated a preference for transponder mobility; that is, users with more than one car wanted the
ability to transfer a transponder from one car to another. The
majority of negative comments stemmed from those users who
believed they should not be paying tolls at all. Very few negative
comments were received regarding the actual Fastoll system. In
summary, the majority of comments were encouraging and supported the efforts of the Fastoll project.
Illinois State Toll Highway Authority
In early 1989, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority conducted a relatively short survey of its toll facility users to determine
their level of interest in an AVI system; 1,119 successful surveys
were completed. More than 69 percent of respondents indicated
they were either very interested (36 percent) or moderately interested (33 percent) in an AVI system on the Illinois toll roads. The
remaining 30 percent were not interested in AVI. Respondents
were also questioned regarding the amount they would be willing
to pay for the transponder necessary to participate in an AVI
system. Approximately 50 percent were willing to pay between
$20 and $35. This willingness to pay drops to 12 percent when
the cost of the transponder is between $35 and $50. Only 4 percent
are still willing to purchase a transponder if the cost were between
$50 and $65.
Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority conducted a survey of turnpike patrons in 1989 to determine their attitudes toward AVI and to
determine some basic user characteristics. A five-question survey
instrument was distributed to 15,000 vehicles on the Turner Turnpike and to 15,000 vehicles on the Rogers Turnpike. Of the 30,000
distributed questionnaires, 3,003 were returned. The survey instrument was designed to establish how often patrons traveled on the
turnpike, the purpose of the trips, and the level of interest in AVI.
Based on the survey results provided, 56 percent of the 2,688
useable responses indicated that they were interested and would
likely use AVI if it were provided at these locations.
Florida Department of Transportation (Turnpike
In mid 1990, the Florida Department of Transportation conducted a three-part survey to determine the market potential of a
future AVI system. The surveys consisted of interviews, mail-back
surveys, and two focus group meetings. Interviews were conducted
at two mainline barriers as well as six exit ramps. The mail-back
survey was handed out at the same mainline barrier and exit ramp
locations. The focus groups were conducted at a convenient location in South Florida.
The purpose of the survey was to determine patron perception
of the AVI concept and its related operational aspects, as well as
to develop a profile of the typical turnpike user. The survey focused
on a number of important issues including willingness to pay for
the convenience of AVI, method of payment, trip purpose, trip
frequency, and other demographic characteristics. The user profile
and perceived level of participation indicated a great market potential for an AVI system at the interview and mail-back survey
locations. These surveys were also supported by the observations
made during the commercial and commuter focus group meetings.
AVI lane violations are important both to the customers, because
of the delays and inconvenience that violators can create, and to
the agency, because of lost revenue. A successful AVI toll system
will need a high-speed video camera system to deter AVI lane
violators. Most states (Colorado, Florida, Illinois) where AVI systems are located have passed laws enabling AVI violators to be
legally identified and cited based on videotape evidence. On the
other hand, New Jersey has turned down legislation enabling photo
A Colorado toll authority entered into an agreement with local
law enforcement specifically for the prosecution of AVI violators
using the new E-470 toll highway. Also, the City of Pasadena,
California used a photographic system called “PHOTO-COP” that
identified speeders and sent a citation through the mail. This system was discontinued because of the cost. State laws allowing
pictures generated from remote video cameras to support prosecutions are not uniform; Illinois was the first state to win conviction
of a driver using this evidence. Photo enforcement has been used
in Europe for almost a decade. Zurich, Switzerland added a photo
enforcement component to its toll collection system in 1983.
AVI patrons incurring violations on the Dallas North Tollway
were sent numerous letters detailing their violations. It took Dallas
patrons only a short time to realize the legal evidence generated
from the Tollway’s video cameras was not supportable in the state
court system. The laws in New York are another example. New
York recently passed legislation detailing the need for an “enforcement agent” to witness the patron avoiding payment of the toll
and to issue a summons at that time. Florida has a similar situation.
The infraction must be witnessed by an officer and the citation
must be issued to the driver of the vehicle avoiding the toll and
not the registered owner of the vehicle. Toll violation enforcement
legislation passed the Florida state legislature in April 1993. This
legislation will provide for photographic imagery as evidence
against alleged toll violators.
Camera Equipment
Camera equipment is an important part of the AVI enforcement
system and specifications should be reviewed carefully. All lanes
typically include remote control, high-speed video cameras to record violations, whether the lane is open for operation or not. As
a violation occurs, the camera is activated. It records the offending
vehicle, its license plate, the lane’s traffic signal, and the violation
indicator as the vehicle travels over the lane’s exit loop. It is
believed that some cameras in operation now can provide legible
vehicle license plate pictures for speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
The specific capabilities of the video cameras and related equipment need to be flexible to meet the needs of various AVI systems.
FIGURE 12 A driver is instructed to call the tag office
because of a lost, stolen, or low-balance tag, on Dallas North
However, all video enforcement systems should record on the
video picture the date, time, and lane number of the violation.
The system-generated video picture should also be recorded on a
computer disk and retrieved when a hard copy of the picture is
required. The software that drives the operation of the video lane
cameras should trigger the cameras to record not only when nonpayment violations occur but also when a vehicle passes that is
using a reported lost or stolen tag, when the patron’s account is
below a predetermined minimum balance, when the account has
been suspended, or when the axles classified do not match the
treadle count indicated (see Figure 12).
Electronic toll collection will afford toll agency operators the
opportunity to automate the handling of cash transactions through
automatic debiting and electronic funds transfer. As AVI participation increases, more and more of the total revenue collection process will be automatically performed. Reconciliation of each transaction can be more readily isolated and checked, and audit trails
generated by system software will deter collector fraud and misre-
porting. Chapter Four has previously discussed the safeguarding
of toll assets as a result of AVI implementation.
Appropriate safeguards and guidelines on the control and use
of ETTMw information must be established to protect the privacy
of individual vehicle users. On the other hand, it is important to
note that according to surveys conducted among San Francisco
Bay Area motorists, only 7 percent of the respondents indicated a
strong concern that electronic tags could permit tracking of their
vehicle. The law of privacy regarding information that is collected
through electronic means is undergoing rapid change. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was adopted in 1986
to protect wire or electronic communications from illegal interception by unauthorized third parties. This act creates standards and
procedures for court-authorized electronic surveillance, regulates
when electronic communication firms may release information,
and provides legal protection of the privacy of stored electronic
communications from outside intruders and unauthorized government officials. Because of changes over the last 5 years, a major
revision of the ECPA is under consideration. The revision may
include privacy protection for ETTM travelers. It should be noted
that, in most places, toll road use is essentially voluntary because
toll roads usually run parallel to a free facility. In addition, participation in an electronic toll collection system is also voluntary.
Drivers who do not want to be tracked or photographed can always
use the free facility or pay in cash.
The implementation of an ETTM system creates alternative
methods for customer payment, and the possibility also may exist
for discounts or premiums for ETTM users. As stated previously,
an AVI/ETTM account may be initiated through cash, check, or
credit card down payment. In selecting a method of payment,
patrons should not have to face discrimination. For example, if
the only form of payment or account replenishment is through a
major credit card, as in Denver, some potential patrons may be
excluded from participation. Also, if AVI/ETTM patrons are required to pay an additional transaction fee or get a reduced toll
fare, further discrimination may result. The toll agency bond indenture must be reviewed carefully to assess the legal options that
can be offered to toll patrons. If it can be proven to the bond holders
that projected revenue will not be jeopardized, then payment and
transaction options can be created with their approval vote.
A number of other legal issues could greatly affect ETTM deployment. They include product liability and other tort liability,
antitrust, procurement, and intellectual property rights. Liability
doctrines and practices may significantly deter private sector designers and manufacturers from the development and introduction
of new technologies to the surface transportation system. Exposure
to risk of expensive product liability suits raises the cost to the
private sector. Vehicular accident cost, primarily borne by the
driver today, may fall on ETTM product manufacturers.
There has also been some uncertainty about the extent to which
antitrust law restricts collaborative research. Although the United
States is more concerned with industrial collusion than the Japanese or Europeans, in reality there is a wide latitude in the types
of research activities that can now be undertaken. Although there
is increased flexibility for U.S. companies to work cooperatively,
consideration of additional changes may be needed to allow firms
to compete more effectively in the ETTM industry. The difficulty
of doing business with the government is of great concern to
private sector firms. It is still widely believed that procurement
and government contracting requirements are far too complex and
time-consuming, often constraining effective and timely implementation. Another issue is how toll agencies may effectively fund
productive, creative research and development and whether current
contracting and procurement practices support or delay that goal.
Many cooperative arrangements among government, the private
sector, and universities are expected as part of the IVHS development process. These will include research consortia and operational
test joint ventures. Therefore, it is important that understandings
and agreements regarding rights to intellectual property be reached
at the beginning of each project. The policy for copyrighted material (including computer software) must also be understood. The
nonfederal party generally may copyright the material developed
under the funding agreement, as long as the federal agency reserves
a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license to reproduce,
publish, or use the copyrighted material for government purposes.
Advanced traffic management systems, such as ETTM systems
that use AVI, employ innovative technologies and integrate new
and existing traffic management and control systems in order to
be responsive to dynamic traffic conditions while servicing all
modes of transportation. Transponders, initially used for toll collection, also can allow for the collection and integration of realtime traffic data as the “tagged” vehicle travels to areas outside
of the toll collection environment. Real-time traffic data can assist
traffic management agencies to react more effectively to changes
in traffic flow with timely traffic management strategies. Areawide
surveillance and detection systems can predict when and where
congestion will occur based on real-time traffic information. Traftic flow and special-event management integrate various functions
including transportation information, demand management, freeway ramp metering, and arterial signal control. Advanced detection
technologies such as image processing, automatic vehicle location,
and the use of AVI-equipped vehicles themselves as traffic probes
are now being applied to traffic management. Projects such as
INFORM, the Smart Corridor in Los Angeles, GuideStar, and
Transcom (each briefly discussed in Chapter 7) are examples of
advanced traffic management.
Artificial intelligence capabilities and expert system techniques
are being applied to assist in rapid incident detection. related congestion anticipation, and control/response strategies. The state of
California is one of the leading advocates in this regard (8). Incident management teams, typically consisting of highway patrol,
police, fire, and emergency medical personnel, attempt to recreate
past incidents to help assess their performance and discuss alternative response techniques. If real-time traffic data are available, a
previous incident can be graphically recreated through expert system software, and incident management team members can more
effectively predict response times and evaluate the feasibility of
various traffic management techniques in minimizing the time to
restore normal traffic operations (see Figure 13).
Local familiarity with roadway traffic conditions and geometry
can be cataloged so that, with a minimum of input traffic volume
and speed data, congestion and back-up levels can be accurately
predicted given alternative schemes for lane closures and emergency response times. Basically, incidents can be managed more
effectively because they will have been responded to in advance.
CVO systems apply various ETTM technologies to improve the
safety and efficiency of commercial vehicle operations. A key
FIGURE 13 A toll and traffic monitoring system on the
Denver E-470 toll facility.
CVO productivity goal is the creation of “transparent borders,”
that is, unimpeded commercial traffic across state and international
boundaries. This will in part be achieved by automating the collection of information required by governmental agencies. Potential
benefits will be enhanced further if the information is shared by
several states. Many motor carrier safety regulations exist to reduce
safety hazards. A number of CVO initiatives will apply ETTM
technology to improve driver and vehicle compliance with those
safety regulations. Some of the safety related ETTM systems that
specifically address CVO issues include:
l Driver/Vehicle Real-Time Safety Monitoring. Monitors and
electronically records the status of critical safety factors and, as
appropriate, reports on them while the vehicle is traveling.
l Hazardous Material Information Systems. Electronic tracking
technologies are being developed to accurately track cargo contents
and react properly to emergency situations.
l Automated “Mayday” Capabilities. In emergency situations,
drivers would be able to communicate with their dispatchers or
with local police agencies using the same ETTM technologies for
communication and vehicle tracking.
l Electronic Credentials. The motor carrier will be able to electronically file for, obtain, and pay for all required licenses, registrations, and permits. A supporting database will contain information
about those transactions for access by appropriate governmental
l Electronic Mileage Recording and Trip Logs. The collection
of mileage data will require road-to-vehicle communication to
transmit location, date, and time information to an in-vehicle recording device. The fuel tax rates for each state can be recorded
electronically if AVI beacons are located at all state boundaries,
thus eliminating the need for paper records for both government
agency and motor carrier.
l Automated Credential and Weight Checking. Motor carrier
credentials and weights (through weigh-m-motion scales) can be
checked and cleared for transponder-equipped vehicles through
bypass facilities at ports of entry and weigh stations allowing
speeds of 30-40 miles per hour. However, the weigh-in-motion
(WlM) technology is continually undergoing testing and refinement to improve its accuracy and reliability (9). At this point, the
reliability and accuracy does not permit WIM to be used as an
enforcement method.
Advanced Public Transportation Systems (APTS) define the
application of ETTM technologies to the deployment and operation
of high-occupancy and shared-ride vehicles, including conventional transit buses, rail vehicles, and the entire range of paratransit
vehicles (taxis, shuttle vans, etc.). ARTS will enable transit authorities to provide a more flexible, cost-effective, user-friendly service
to their customers. Some of the ARTS features and products
l Ride-matching information that allows the flexibility to
change arrangements on short notice, even during travel,
l Traffic control measures that provide preferential treatment,
such as separate lanes and coordinated signal preemption, for highoccupancy vehicles, thus reducing delays for mass transit and
shared-ride vehicles operating in congested areas (see Figure 14),
l Convenient user fare methods that allow faster loading and
unloading, while maintaining records for marketing and planning
l Automated monitoring and enforcement of specialized lane
use, and
l Fleet-monitoring information and control techniques that integrate computer-assisted dispatching, customer information, and
passenger security (10).
Operational tests are already being designed and implemented
in several cities, including such projects as Smart Bus and Smart
Traveler (see Chapter Seven). The Smart Bus concept is patterned
after a European program that integrates regular fixed-route transit,
dial-a-ride minibus, and contract taxi services to provide for a
more efficient system that serves a larger geographic area. Realtime travel and ride-sharing information is the focus of the Smart
Traveler projects. The information is used by customers in planning travel and choosing modes, and by dispatchers in directing
services. Mobility Manager is another program similar in concept
to the Smart Traveler program. Its goals are to provide alternatives
to single-occupant auto travel, and to provide greater mobility for
special population groups (e.g., elderly or disabled) by providing
a single point of contact for arranging the details of a journey.
Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS) acquire, analyze, communicate, and present information to assist surface transportation travelers. The travel may involve a single mode of transportation, or it may link multiple modes together during various
parts of the trip. A major component of ATIS is providing realtime information to the driver of a vehicle. Real-time information
FIGURE 14 A bus equipped with an AVI tag passes through a
dedicated transit lane on the Lincoln Tunnel approaching
could include locations of accidents, weather and road conditions,
optimal routes, recommended speeds, and lane restrictions. ATIS
equipment in a vehicle can also be used to provide safety warning
information on potentially dangerous road or environmental
According to IVHS AMERICA, specific ATIS products and
features include:
l Navigation systems with electronic vehicle or traveler position determination, which provide maps, traffic information, route
guidance, road sign information, and other travel information,
l Data communication providing information from traffic management centers to in-vehicle, home, hand-held, and kiosk transceivers, and
l Automated vehicle identification for vehicle tracking, toll
debiting, or commercial vehicle credential processing and
In ATIS systems, it is important that the traveler not be confused
by an overload of information. It is particularly important that a
driver not be distracted. The types and amounts of information
to be provided either to a driver in a vehicle or to a
and the methods of presenting information must be evaluated
traveler in the home via a personal computer. Information
carefully to ensure that highway safety and traveler efficiency
such as electronic route maps, tourist guides, and serve
are enhanced and not degraded by information systems.
directories can be self-contained within the vehicle.
Advances in electronic technology have encouraged develop-
Vehicle status and warning indications can also be provided
ment of a variety of communication systems and media that
through self-contained, in-vehicle sensors.
make it easier to provide information. They allow information
According to research by IVHS AMERICA and the Center for
Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), there are currently 22
electronic toll collection (ETC) facilities or systems operating or
under development in the United States. Tables 8 and 8A list
operating and planned ETC projects by location. (Tables 8-14
show the status as of April 1993, with some exceptions.)
Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS)
Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS) integrate innovative technologies to respond to dynamic traffic conditions in
real-time. ATMS will efficiently manage multiple roadway functions such as: freeway ramp metering, arterial signal control, predicting traffic congestion, and providing alternate route selections
to vehicles over a wide area. ATMS will collect, analyze, and
disseminate information in real-time to provide readily available
information to vehicles enroute to their destinations. Table 9 lists
a small sample of ATMS projects with a brief description and
status of as March 31, 1993.
Advanced Traveler Information Systems (ATIS)
ATIS technology uses on-board navigation systems to assist
travelers in reaching their destinations. Equipment in vehicles,
sidewalk kiosks, and portable receivers will provide traffic
information on conditions, routes, and schedules. ATIS can link
travelers via single or multiple modes of travel. ATIS provides
up-to-date information to travelers in real-time, thereby allowing
travelers to reach their destination in a most timely manner. Table
10 lists ATIS programs.
Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO)
CVO are intended to efficiently move fleets of vehicles through
vehicle-to-dispatcher communication, which leads to increased
productivity through real-time path routing, scheduling, and vehicle-load matching. CVO applications will recognize regulatory
restrictions such as weight limits, and hazardous waste shipments.
CVO technologies will enhance fleet productivity and improve
free-flowing traffic for all vehicles. Commercial vehicle operations
have the strongest link of any of the IVHS function areas to electronic toll collection, since fleet tracking is accomplished by AVI
transponders placed on heavy vehicles. Table 11 lists CVO
Advanced Public Transportation Systems (APTS)
Advanced public transportation systems (ARTS) combine various applications of ATMS, ATIS, and advance vehicle controls
systems (AVCS) to help high-occupancy vehicles reach their destinations in the most efficient way. APTS use multiple technologies
(i.e., ATMS, ATIS, AVCS, and CVO) for transit and rideshare
operations. Travelers can by-pass high congestion areas via traffic
management of facilities and through the use of HOV lanes. Table
12 lists ARTS programs.
European and Japanese IVHS Test Projects
Both the Europeans and the Japanese have invested significant
funding and research into ETI’M systems for their countries. Table
13 lists the operational tests that are currently underway in Europe,
and Table 14 lists those in Japan.
Project Name
Dallas North Tollway - TX
The system is 17 miles in length with 62 toll
stations equipped with coin counting and AVI
equipment, encompassing all of the toll collection
stations and plazas.
Technology: Radio Frequency (RF) - Amtech
Greater New Orleans (GNO) Bridge and Lake
Pontchartrain Causeway - LA
The GNO bridge consists of two parallel bridge
spans of four and six lanes each. The six-lane east
bank span is a 12-lane AVI-equipped toll facility.
Technology: Radio Frequency (RF) - Amtech
San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge - CA
In late 1988, a six month AVI test was conducted
to determine the feasibility of implementing an
AVI system at each of the other nine toll bridges
in the state. The project began with 1,000
volunteer users, but this demonstration has now
Technology: Radio Frequency (RF) - X-Cyte
Grosse Ile Bridge - MI
The system has two, two-lane, two-way bridges
that provide the only access to the primarily
residential island. The northern most point of the
two bridges is an AVI equipped facility.
Technology: Surface Acoustical Wave (SAW) - XCyte
Pinellas Bayway - FL
The system is a series of causeways and bridges
that connects the lower Gulf Beaches of Pinellas
County, with three toll collection points on the
15.2-mile facility. AVI users comprise 30 percent
of the total Bayway users.
Technology: Bar Code - LazerData
Treasure Island Causeway - FL
The system consists of a single toll plaza with two
east lanes and two west lanes, all of which are
equipped for AVI use. Approximately 16,000 AVI
passes are purchased annually for use on this
Technology: Bar Code - Leased from Automatic
Toll System
Sanibel Causeway & Cape Coral Bridge - FL
Sanibel Causeway comprises two manned booths
and one unattended lane. Toll are collected in
one direction only, as motorist are travelling to
Sanibel Island.
The Cape Coral Bridge toll plaza consists of four
manned booths and six unattended lanes. Tolls
are collected both directions.
Technology: Bar Code - Automatic Toll Systems
& LazerData
TABLE 8 (Continued)
Project Name
Broad Causeway - FL
The Broad Causeway connects the Bay Harbor
Island to mainland Florida, about 10 miles north
of Miami. Bar code readers can identify a car
traveling at 6 to 7 miles per hour.
Technology: Bar Code - Cubic Toll Systems
Delaware River Port Authority - PA
The Delaware River Port Authority owns and
operates four toll bridges in the greater
Philadelphia area. AVI patronage on all four
bridges is 30 percent of total traffic.
Technology: Bar Code - LazerData
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
The Lincoln Tunnel AVI lane, used by buses only,
was established to expedite bus movement
entering Manhattan on weekday mornings.
Approximately 3,000 buses are equipped with
transponders travelling 1.5 miles on a dedicated
contraflow lane for buses only.
Technology: Radio Frequency (RF) - Amtech
Nassau County Bridge Authority - NY
The system consists of an 11-lane toll plaza with
two lanes in each direction that have been
retrofitted with AVI equipment.
Technology: Bar Code - LazerData & Automatic
Toll Systems
Maryland Transportation Authority
The Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (1.6
miles) is an eight-lane toll bridge with two lanes
in each direction that are designated for AVI
Technology: Bar Code System
ExpressToll E-470 Public Highway Authority - CO
E-470 is a 5.5 mile four-lane highway just outside
of the metropolitan Denver area. The facility is
equipped with manual, automatic, and AVI toll
equipment. This is the only facility that was
designed with AVI in mind. The facility has two
lanes in each direction exclusively for AVI
operating at 55-60 mph.
Technology: X-Cyte
PIKEPASS - Oklahoma Turnpike Authority
The Oklahoma Turnpike system comprises six
rural interstate routes totaling 478 miles with 37.9
million transactions per year. Amtech has been
selected to handle the installation of an AVI
Technology: Radio Frequency (RF) - Amtech
Source: Compiled from previous Center for Urban Transportation Research reports and telephone interviews
of agencies.
Project Name
Dulles Fastoll - VA, D.C.
The System is a 13-mile east-west toll facility,
currently handling over 125,000 vehicles per day.
VaDOT has selected MFS Network Technologies
as their vendor.
Technology: Radio Frequency (RF) - TIRIS-I
E-Z Pass Interagency Group - NY, NJ, PA
The Interagency Group is seven toll agencies in
the region that have decided to test, procure, and
use a unified AVI system. The group is now
testing Mark IV/AT&T and Amtech.
Illinois State Toll Highway Authority - 11
The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority has
tested several technologies. The Authority issued
an RFP for the “Design, Installation and Testing
of a Pilot AVI Toll Collection System.” At/Comm
has been selected.
Orlando/Orange County Expressway Authority
The OOCEA will conduct a 60-day acceptance test
of Mark IV/SAIC. Original installation was
planned for September, 1992 but was delayed.
Technology: Radio Frequency (RF) - Mark
Rlckenbacker Causeway - FL
The Dade County Public Works Department is
planning to mstall AVI on bridges connecting
Virginia Key, Key Biscayne, and Miami Beach to
the mainland. The Department has sent out a
preliminary bid for vendors; responses are due
April 1993.
Technology: read-only with capability to expand to
Sam Houston Tollway and Hardy Road Tollway
The agency that manages this pair of tollways has
selected Cubic as their prime vendor. Operation
began October 1992.
Technology: Radio Frequency (RF) - Amtech
Caltrans Bridges - CA
California Department of Transportation has sent
out a bid for AVI on seven of its bridges;
responses are due April 1993.
Technology: modulated backscatter Radio
Frequency (RF)
Georgia 400 - Georgia State Department of
6.4-mile extension of 6-lane State Road 400, just
north of Atlanta, will have one toll plaza with 9
lanes in each direction. Seven lanes in each
direction will be mixed AVI, and two lanes in each
direction will be dedicated AVI. Anticipated
opening date is July, 1993.
Technology: Read-only, radio frequency (Amtech)
Sun Pass - FL
Florida Department of Transportation conducted
field performance evaluations of six vendors from
November 1992 to January 1993. These findings
were incorporated into specifications for an RFP
which would be issued in the third quarter of
California Private Toll Roads
Four proposed private toll roads (one east of San
Francisco, one south of San Diego, and two
southeast of Los Angeles). Franchise teams are
seeking the necessary environmental clearances.
Most ambitious private road building program in
the U.S.
Source: Compiled from previous Center for Urban Transportation Research reports
and telephone interviews of agencies.
Project Name
Connecticut Freeway ATMS
Will evaluate the use of roadside mounted radar
detectors in combination with CCTV for Incident
detection and verification
Status: Plans, specifications, and estimates are
being finalized.
GuideStar - MN
Gathering and distribution of traffic information
for the use of traffic managers and motorists
Status: A number of IVHS projects are under
design and implementation.
Traffic Information Center controls three freeways
with adjacent cross and selected parallel arterial
streets to facilitate traffic flow.
Status: INFORM is operational
Integrated Corridor Management - NJ, PA
Traffic information system key routes, and a study
of overall traffic and incident management needs.
Status: concept definition stage
Surveillance and traffic control system designed to
divert motorists from congested or emergency areas
to alternative routes.
Status: The first phase is in final design, with the
advertisement for receipt of bids to construct
anticipated in June, 1993.
Maryland Arterials & Baltimore/Washington
A proposed comprehensive feasibility study for the
Baltimore/Washington corridor.
Status: concept definition stage
Satellite Communications Feasibility Study I95/I-476 - PA
The first phase will assess the feasibility of using
satellite communications with freeway surveillance
on I-95 and I-476.
Status: Based on study findings, design and
installation will follow.
SMART Corridor - CA
Advanced technologies will be used to advise
travelers of current conditions and alternate routes,
improving emergency response, and providing
coordinated interagency traffic management.
Status: Project is under development, and is
expected to be operational by Spring of 1993.
Southern State Parkway - NY
This project will probably be coordinated with
INFORM and will use surveillance and control
techniques similar to those used in INFORM, but
state-of-the-art hardware/software systems will be
Status: The state DOT is defining the scope of
system feasibility.
New Jersey Toll Road ETTM
An interagency effort involving toll agencies from
neighboring states to develop a compatible regionwide ETTM system.
Status: The project is under design.
TRANSCOM Congestion Management Program
- NJ, NY
A cooperative effort has been initiated to equip
approximately 1,000 commercial vehicles with AVI
transponders. The test will evaluate the use of this
data to determine real-time traffic information.
Status: A consultant contract has been awarded for
the feasibility of an ETTM system and project
desien. installation. and evaluation.
Source: Strategic Plan for IVHS in the United States.
Project Name
Up to 5,000 private and commercial vehicles will be equipped with
in-vehicle navigation and route guidance systems. Vehicles will
serve as probes, providing real-time traffic information.
Status: Initial design is underway
A Metropolitan Transportation Center will collect traffic
information from various sources and provide traffic updates, via
low cost methods of communication, to travelers on an exception
Status: A consultant has been selected to develop a system design.
The integration of ATMS and ATIS will provide a two-way flow of
information between the SCATS and Ali-Scout central computer
systems in a shared Traffic Operations Center.
Status: 28 intersections are under SCATS control and testing of the
Ali-Scout beacons has begun.
In-Vehicle Signing and Variable Speed Limit WA
Variable speed limit signs, variable message signs, and in-vehicle
communication equipment will be used to improve safety along a
40-mile stretch of I-90.
Status: Project design is underway.
Pathfinder - CA
25 specially equipped cars will provide up-to-date information about
accidents, congestion, highway construction, and alternate routes as
they operate in Los Angeles’ SMART corridor.
Status: The second stage of a 3-stage evaluation is complete.
TravTek - FL
The goal is to provide traffic congestion information, motorist
services information, tourist information and route guidance to
operators of 100 test vehicles equipped with an in-vehicle device.
Status: The TravTek project is operational and evaluation of the
data has begun.
Source: Strategic Plan for IVHS in the United States.
Project Name
Advantage I-75 - FL, GA, TN, KY, OH, MI,
Ontario, Quebec
The project will facilitate motor-carrier operations
by allowing transponder equipped and properly
documented trucks to travel any segment along I-75
at mainline speeds with minimal stopping at
weigh/inspection stations.
Status: Final design phase of this project is
HELP/Crescent - BC, WA, OR, CA, AZ, NM,
This project is a multi-state, multi-national research
effort to design and test an integrated heavy vehicle
monitoring system using AVI, AVC, and WIM.
Status: AVI, AVC, and WIM equipment has been
installed. Approximately 2,000 trucks are equipped
with transponders.
Source: Strategic Plan for IVHS in the United States.
Project Name
Bellevue Smart Traveler - WA
This project examines ways in which mobile
communications, such as cellular phones, can be used
to make ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling), more
Status: The project is nearing completion of the
planning phase.
California Smart Traveler
Both the private and public sectors will jointly test an
audiotex/video-based ATIS to permit residential and
business users to interact using remote systems over
telephone lines to exchange transportation information,
Status: A draft report has been prepared describing a
California Smart Traveler Information Network
(CASTINET) for carpool matching services.
Houston Smart Traveler - TX
This project works toward the development of a realtime traffic and transit information system.
Status: The concept development phase has been
completed. The final draft report is being circulated
for comment.
Twin Cities Smart Traveler - MN
The Regional Transit Board is conducting a preliminary
study of the potential uses of smart cards to improve
transit services.
Status: System design is underway
Ann Arbor Smart Bus - MI
The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) will
develop and implement a test of an RF Smart Card for
transit and parking lot use.
Status: The initial phase is underway, and will receive a
$1.5 million capital grant from FTA for equipment
MTA (Baltimore) Smart Bus - MD
The MTA has equipped 50 buses with LORAN-C
receivers and 800-mhz radios to implement an AVL
system for bus status information and improving timely
bus arrivals.
Status: The initial system is operational with 50 buses,
4 cars, and 2 consoles with map displays.
CTA Smart Bus - IL
This project is to identify AVL and bus traffic signal
preemption technologies and analyze their impact on
vehicular traffic and bus operations.
Status: An extensive review of AVL and traffic and
traffic signal preemption specifications.
RTD (Denver) Smart Bus - CO
The RTD is installing an AVL system to provide bus
location information to transit dispatchers to increase
efficiency, ridership, and safety.
Status: A contract has been awarded for an upgraded
communications system to be installed in the RTD’s
833 buses and 66 supervisory vehicles.
TABLE 12 (Continued)
Project Name
Portland Smart Bus - OR
This project reviews the German-made Flexible
Operation Command and Control System (FOCCS)
that integrates fixed-route transit, dial-a-ride minibus,
and contract taxi services.
Status: The investigation of FOCCS has been
completed and the evaluation is currently underway.
Norfolk Mobility Manager - VA
This project will operationally test and evaluate how
transit and paratransit user-subsidies can improve
transportation services available to low-income transit
Status: This project has tested various approaches to
user-subsidies and is now working with employers and
social service agencies on new methods of making the
subsidies available.
Rouge Valley Mobility Manager - OR
Advanced electronic technology will be used to record
financial transactions and will include Smart or
magnetic-stripe fare cards.
Status: A project steering committee has been
organized to assist in the development and
Anaheim IVHS Operational Test - CA
This project will develop a concept plan and project
design for advanced information systems to be provided
to travelers at bus stops, transfer stations, and in transit
Status: The project has recently been initiated and a
concept plan is being developed for an operational test
of the display system.
Detroit Transportation Center Transit
Information - MI
This project is to provide real-time traffic condition
information to dispatch centers of public transit
Status: The initial project has begun with the purchase
of computer hardware and software.
Source: Strategic Plan for IVHS in the United States.
Project Name
PROMETHEUS (Program for European Traffic with
Highest Efficiency and Unprecedented Safety)
This project is led by 18 leading European car
manufacturers with assistance from 40 research
institutions looking at improving the
competitive strength of Europe, by stimulating
development in areas such as information
technology, telecommunications, robotics, and
transport technology.
DRIVE (Dedicated Road Infrastructure for Vehicle
Safety in Europe)
There are 70 projects in the DRIVE program
falling under six categories:
(1) Evaluation and Modeling
(2) Behavioral Aspects and Traffic Safety
(3) Traffic Control
(4) Route Guidance, Vehicle Location and InVehicle Information Systems
(5) Public Transport and Freight Management
(6) Telecommunications
This is an infrastructure-based, dynamic route
guidance system adopted by the British
government. Inside each vehicle, a device keeps
track of the vehicle’s location using a
combination of roadside beacons, deadreckoning and map-matching. A demonstration
system has been operational in London since
early 1988.
CARIN (CAR Information and Navigation system)
CARIN is a route guidance system, which
calculates shortest routes based on the on-board
computer map data.
CARMINAT is a project investigating the use
of Radi-Data Systems (RDS) to provide a
limited amount of dynamic traffic information
to an on-board CARIN unit.
LISB (Leit and Information System Berlin)
This project was launched in 1988 employing
the ALI-SCOUT system, which is a dynamic
route guidance system utilizing a network of
roadside beacons to provide two-way
communications between vehicles and the
control center.
This is the first commercially available, in-car
traffic information system capable of
automatically alerting drivers with up-to-theminute information on motorway congestion to
become operational in the U.K.
SOCRATES (System Of Cellular Radio for Traffic
Efficiency and Safety)
SOCRATES is the largest DRIVE project. The
concept is to use specific frequencies from the
pan-European GSM system (which will replace
current European cellular radio systems in the
1990’s) to broadcast data to all equipped
vehicles with a cellular phone.
INF-FLUX (Paris, France)
This project will install infrared beacons, which
together with 2,000 equipped public service
vehicles, will provide a detailed traffic
monitoring system.
Project Name
RACS (Road/Automobile Communications
Initiated in 1984, RACS is a joint program involving
the Public Works Research Institute of the Ministry of
Construction and 25 private companies. Its goal is to
establish a roadside beacon-based driver navigation and
communication system. The information beacons are
connected to a road-traffic information center to
update dynamic traffic information.
AMTICS (Advanced Mobile Traffic
Information and Communication System)
Initiated in 1987 by the National Police Agency and
supported by the Ministry of Posts and
Telecommunications, AMTICS is a vehicular navigation
system that uses dead-reckoning and map matching
with CD-ROM-stored digital maps in conjunction with
traffic data received via teleterminals.
VICS (Vehicle Information and
Communication System)
VICS was recently started in an attempt to integrate
AMTICS and RACS. Plans call for the National Police
Agency to expand Traffic Control Centers and analyze
traffic for the Ministry of Construction to operate a
system of roadside communication beacons.
Survey research is a valuable tool for assessing and evaluating
the perceptions, attitudes, and characteristics of selected market
segments regarding new products and services. ETTM is a service
that has the potential to benefit the user, the nonuser, and the
community as a whole. The surveys used for this synthesis help
measure the potential trends and provide the status of several
ETTM projects. The use of survey research in this analysis includes
the following three surveys: (1) mail-back questionnaire survey of
traffic management system operators, (2) mail-back questionnaire
survey of ETTM vendors and consultants, and (3) mail-back questionnaire survey of toll agency operators conducted by the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association (IBTTA). Each
of the surveys is summarized and reviewed in this section.
Traffic Management Operator Survey
The operator survey consisted of 20 questions designed to measure the potential trends and provide status of several ETTM projects (see Appendix A). The operator surveys were mailed to the
43 operators (see Appendix B). The operator survey response was
63 percent. The foreign operator response was 60 percent (3 of
5). Fifty-six percent of the operators that responded have a fully
operational system. Fifty percent (5 of 10) of the systems that are
not fully operational expect to be within the next 2 years. The
operational systems serve from 4,700 vehicle fleet to 2 million
average daily traffic volume; and from 100 to 1.2 million peakhour travelers. Three of the fully operational systems pass service
fees on to the user. Sixty percent (10 of 15) have a formal traffic
or fleet management system, marketing, or public information program. Extensive monitoring and evaluation programs are generally
lacking. Table 15 summarizes the basic type of traffic management
features for the various operators surveyed.
ETTM Vendor/Consultant Survey
The ETTM vendor/consultant survey consisted of 22 questions
designed to identify the available technologies. This survey is
shown in Appendix C. The vendor/consultant surveys were mailed
to 63 vendors and consultants (see Appendix D). Thirteen of these
responded to the survey. Foreign companies make up 40 percent
of the vendor respondents. The predominant technology available
from the vendors is a radio frequency microwave with read/write
capabilities. Although the overhead operational configuration was
most preferred by the vendors, most could use more than one
operational configuration. Most vendors produce transponders that
are re-codeable and transferable. The subsystem for enforcement
primarily depends on video. Vendors generally provide design and
initial operational assistance to the customer. Many of the vendors
also take care of follow-up needs, such as system operations and
Loop Detectors
3 (12%)
1 (4%)
Automatic Vehicle
System Detectors
Adaptive Traffic Signal
2 (8%)
Radar Detectors
1 (4%)
1 (4%)
Variable Message Signs
5 (20%)
Citizens Band Highway
Advisory Radio
2 (8%)
Graphic Maps
Public Traffic
Telephone Number
1 (4%)
Closed Circuit TV for
Incident Detection
9 (36%)
Intelligent Traffic
2 (8%)
High Occupancy
Vehicle Priority
2 (8%)
Smart Bus
Ramp Metering
4 (16%)
maintenance, tag store operations, software, and technical support.
The technologies are currently employed in fleet management,
automatic electronic identification for light and heavy rail, intermodal and air freight container tracking and handling, airport traffic management, port-of-entry bypass operations, parking and access control, terminal gate control systems, and real-time traffic
Allen Brady Co
6 digits, 20 or
40 characters
O-160 6 digits
O-88 20 characters
O-48 40 characters
Alta Technology+
512 bytes
Fixed 16 bytes
Variable 16 bytes
toll plaza O-80
highway O-128
AT/Comm Inc+
lm upstream
144kbs downstream
1000 bytes
4 bytes
Laserdata Corp+
dependent on label size
Mark IV+
16 bytes, 32 bytes
Micro Design+
25Okbps, 300kbps
8Mbps, 16Mbps
32 bytes
Mitsubishi Hv Ind
500 bytes
Motorola Inc
12 byes
Rockwell Int
Saab Automation+
3kbps, 167/267kbps
15 bytes, 32kB
* Vendor supplied survey responses as of January 1993.
+ ETC systems operational as of September 1992.
monitoring. Table 16 summarizes some of the basic features offered by the ETTM vendors and consultants who responded to
the survey, and therefore this listing should not be considered
IBTTA Survey
In March 1992, the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike
Association (IBTTA) conducted a survey concerning ETTM sys-
terns that were either in place or being planned by their various
toll collection agency members. This 26-question survey contained
inquiries regarding average daily traffic, vehicle mix, number of
toll lanes by type, average transactions per hour by type, ETTM
manufacturer, payment options, method of enforcement, percent
existing or expected ETTM usage, and many more ETTM characteristics. Table 17 summarizes some of the ETTM characteristics
obtained from the IBTTA survey for existing or proposed systems.
TABLE 17 (Continued)
Project Name
Number of
Tags Issued
Available At
Payment I Balance
E-470 Public Highway
$20 tag
toll plaza
check, credit I
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
$25 tag
tag store
cash, check,
Crescent City Demonstration
$25 tag
toll agency
Thomas Hatem Bridge - MD
$2 tag
Oklahoma Turnpike
$30 tag
retail mall
Lincoln Tunnel
$60 tag
bill by mail
cash, check,
credit card
2 months of
Dallas North Tollway
$2 tag
tag store
cash, check,
credit card
$10 tag
contract to
cash, check,
credit card
not decided
E-Z Pass Interagency Group
Private Toll Roads - California
not decided
retail mall
cash, check,
credit card
not decided
Florida Turnpike
$50 tag
800 number
& mail
cash, credit
not decided
not decided
not decided e
not decided
not decided
Golden Gate Bridge
not decided not decided
Illinois State Toll Authority
$35 tag
not available
New Hampshire Turnpikes
not decided
bill by mail
& tag stores
Change in legislation required for video enforcement
Source: IBTTA
cash, check,
credit card
In the United States, the transportation system has shaped our
society. We build our cities, buy our houses, and choose our jobs
based on the premise that the transportation system provides reasonable mobility. In recent years, however, our ability to travel
freely in many areas has become constrained by congestion, by
the cost of highway travel, and by the financial problems that
reduce services offered by public transportation. Despite soundly
engineered roadways, mobility is declining and safety is at risk.
The U.S. transportation system is at a crossroads. Public transit,
which should be a relief and a welcome alternative, is too often
viewed as an unattractive alternative to driving. Commercial vehicle drivers spend significant time waiting in line to be weighed or
to pay tolls, and handling administrative paperwork. Furthermore,
mobility and safety have depended on decisions by individual
drivers who based their decisions on past experience, with little
guidance from advanced technology and real-time traffic information. (II)
During the past decade, we have also seen an explosion in the
speed and power of computers. Modest personal computing power
used to be available to only a few, and cost as much as a luxury
car. Now enormous personal computing power is available for the
cost of a medium-priced sound system. At the same time, a parallel
explosion has occurred in personal and business communications.
Cellular telephones, nationwide satellite networks, low-cost sensors, and fiber optic links to home and office are beginning to
change the way we work and live.
A technological revolution in transportation and information has
transformed individual mobility into an integrated, coordinated
system by providing more travel choices and assistance in selecting
the best trip for a particular traveler. IVHS technologies have
already begun to interconnect formerly independent traffic management jurisdictions and transit dispatch centers, and new systems
are already collecting tolls automatically. The M-IS programs
developed to this point represent just the beginning. According to
the Strategic Plan for IVHS in the United States, in the coming
decade, we can expect to also see the following developments:
Improved access to information on the availability, schedules,
and proximity of public transportation;
l Transportation management systems that adjust lane usage,
speed limits, traffic signals, and roadway access based on actual
traffic conditions;
l Traffic information and communication systems that advise
drivers about current and expected traffic conditions, road hazards,
weather, recreational/tourist attractions, and where to park,
l On-board electronics in vehicles to assist drivers in planning
and following safe and efficient routes;
l Additional capabilities allowing commercial fleet and transit
operators to track their vehicles, and communicate with their drivers in order to offer alternate routes;
l New interactions between roadway jurisdictions and vehicles
that will allow all tolls to be collected, trucks to be weighed, truck
permits to be issued, and cargos to be checked and monitored,
largely without requiring vehicles to stop; and
l The first demonstration of an automated vehicle/highway control system.
These impressive gains cannot be made without first overcoming
some formidable obstacles, however. Assessments of this new
technology list three barriers to the widespread implementation of
ETTM and other IVHS technologies: scarce financial resources,
coordinating diverse systems, and consensus on technical standards. Already, several large ETTM projects are in the process of
selecting different vendors, with different (and sometimes incompatible) systems. At present, the battle over standards for shortrange vehicle-to-roadside communication used in E’ITM is a hotly
contested one. Without strong leadership from industry-wide standard-setting associations, a nationwide compatible toll collection
program may never become a reality.
According to the Strategic Plan for IVHS in the United States,
if these barriers can be overcome, we can expect to see implementation of a national program in IVHS in the next 20 years. Designs
for this program are comparable in scope to the Interstate Highway
System and participation from both the private and public sectors
is required. The primary focus of this program is a balanced transportation system including a national system of travel-support technology; a new level of cooperation between public and private
sectors, government, and academia to create the infrastructure for
the mobility revolution; a vigorous M-IS industry supplying both
domestic and international needs, and an attractive, efficient public
transportation system that complements and interacts effectively
with improved highway operations.
ETTM systems comprise advanced technologies in information
gathering, processing, and communication. ETTM offers a feasible
alternative to improving the efficiency of transportation systems.
Its technology enhances existing roadway systems so that vehicles
can operate more efficiently, safely, and economically. This report
represents a “snapshot” of the ETTM industry, an industry which
is constantly growing and changing.
Although very few E’ITM technology performance evaluation
data are available, basic operational differences are generally
known. It appears that, for any given set of operational parameters
and protocol, a compatible ETTM technology can be developed.
However, tradeoffs exist between such operating characteristics as
data rate transmission and information storage capabilities. Most
technologies have now advanced to second and third generations
to keep up with the market demands for performance. E’ITM
standards are not yet in place, but they are being rigorously discussed and evaluated in transportation applications.
More important than the technology issues are the system design
considerations. For example, ETTM systems present additional
computer system requirements, different traffic operational factors
to assess, and financial and user payment options. With the implementation of ETTM one can expect many benefits resulting from
the more efficient and safer flow of traffic. Careful consideration
must be given to choosing an appropriate scale for the ETTM
system. Market identification and user perception surveys will be
essential for project success.
Issues also exist with the enforcement, privacy, and equity in
providing such an advanced electronic toll and traffic management
system. The implementation of ETTM will necessitate the passage
of new legislation regarding access to information that is retrieved
electronically. Management systems involving improved traffic
flow and early incident detection also have evolved from ETTM
technologies. In addition, commercial carriers and public transportation vehicles benefit from real-time traffic information passed
on by highway operations. Commercial fleets will be able to transport their cargos more efficiently, and transit services will become
an attractive alternative to the single-occupant vehicle.
Many ETTM projects and programs have been developed and
implemented throughout the country and abroad. Their common
feature is providing more convenience and real-time information
to the motoring public. However, the evaluation of these systems
remains to be accomplished, documented, and shared. ETTM is
now on a course to completely modernize how we drive and how
we make decisions during our travels. Current research efforts and
operational tests provide the opportunity for everyday usage of
ETTM systems to become a reality. For the transportation industry,
advancements in computer and information technologies have arrived just when they are most desperately needed.
1. “Strategic Plan for Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems,”
IVHS AMERICA, May 1992, Washington, DC.
2. Koelle, Alfred R., Advances in Practical Implementation of
AVI Systems, Presented at the 71st Annual Meeting of the
Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C. (1992).
3. Center for Urban Transportation Research, “Analysis Of Automatic Vehicle Identification Technology and Its Potential Application On The Florida Turnpike-Technical Memorandum
2,” University of South Florida, Tampa, FL (1990).
4. Davies, Peter, Chris Hill, and Jeremy Siviter, AVI Research
for Commercial Vehicle Operations, Presented at the 70th
Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C. (1991).
5. Transportation Research Circular 254: Research Problems
in Transportation Communications, Transportation Research
Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. (1983).
6. Center for Urban Transportation Research, “Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of AVI/ETTM for Florida’s Turnpike System,”
University of South Florida, Tampa, FL (1992).
7. “Federal IVHS Program Recommendations for Fiscal Years
1994 and 1995,” IVHS AMERICA, prepared October 15,
1992, Washington, D.C.
8. Kay, Jack L., Advance Traffic Management Systems-An Element of Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems, presented at the
69th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board,
Washington, D.C. (1992).
9. Sabounghi, Lewis R., Intelligent Vehicle Highway SystemThe Universal Close-Range Road/Vehicle Communication
System Concept-The Enhanced AVI and Its CVO Applications, presented at the at the 70th Annual Meeting of the
Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C. (1992).
10. Davies, P. et al, National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 340: Assessment of Advanced Technologies for
Relieving Urban Traffic Congestion, Transportation Research
Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. (1991).
11. Smart Highways: An Assessment of their Potential to improve
Travel, No. GAO/PEMP-91-18, General Accounting Office,
Washington, D.C. (1991).
Center for Urban Transportation Research, “Analysis Of Automatic Vehicle Identification Technology and Its Potential Application On The Florida Turnpike-Technical Memorandum 1,”
University of South Florida, Tampa, FL (1990).
Center for Urban Transportation Research, “Analysis Of Automatic Vehicle Identification Technology and Its Potential Application On The Florida Turnpike-Technical Memorandum 2,”
University of South Florida, Tampa, FL (1990).
Center for Urban Transportation Research, “Assessment of Benefits for Advantage I-75,” University of South Florida, Tampa,
FL (1992).
Center for Urban Transportation Research, “Cost-Effectiveness
Analysis of AVI/ETTM for Florida’s Turnpike System,” University of South Florida, Tampa, FL (1992).
Chandler, Chester and Al V. Palmer, “Toll Collection System;
AVI Questionnaire - Manufactures & Vendors,” Corridor Design Management Group (1990).
Fleming, Daryl S., “Laying the Foundation For Congestion Pricing,” Ii-vine, CA (1991).
General Accounting Office, “Smart Highways: An Assessment
of their Potential to Improve Travel,” No. GAO/PEMP-91-18,
Washington, D.C. (1991).
Harris County Toll Road Authority, “Specifications and Bid for
Roadway Signing for EZ Tag System on Hardy Toll Road and
Sam Houston Tollway,” Houston, TX (1992).
Henry, Kim C., and Omar Mehyar, “Six-Year FLOW Evaluation,”
Washington State Department of Transportation, Seattle (1989).
Hills, P., and N. Thorpe, “Traffic-Demand Management in Urban
Areas the Role for Pricing,” Transport Operations Research
Group, University of Newcastle upon Tyre, England.
M-IS AMERICA, “Strategic Plan for Intelligent Vehicle-Highway
Systems,” prepared May 20, 1992, Wash., D.C.
IVHS AMERICA, “Federal IVHS Program Recommendations for
Fiscal Years 1994 and 1995,” prepared October 15, 1992, Washington, D.C.
Proceedings of the M-IS AMERICA 1992 Annual Meeting-Newport Beach, California, “Surface Transportation and Information
Age,” Volumes 1 and 2, May 17-20, 1992.
Smith, Steven, “INFORM Evaluation,” U.S. Department of Transportation; Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Government
Printing Office (1991).
Texas Transportation Institute, “Houston Smart Commuter IVHS
Demonstration Project; Concept Design and Implementation
Program Outline,” Texas A&M University (1991).
Transportation Research Board, NCHRP Report 340: Assessment
of Advanced Technologies for Relieving Urban Traffic Congestion, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. (1991).
Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Circular
290: Conference on Transportation Partnerships: Improving
Urban Mobility Through Public-Private Partnerships, National
Research Council, Washington, D.C. (1985).
Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Circular
254: Research Problems in Transportation Communications,
National Research Council, Washington, D.C. (1983).
Transportation Research Board, Special Report 172: Transportation System Management, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. (1977).
Transportation Research Board, Transportation Systems Planning
and Applications, in Transportation Research Record 1283, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. (1990).
U.S. Department of Transportation; Federal Highway Administration, T o l l Facilities in the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. (1991).
U.S. Department of Transportation; Federal Highway Administration, Urban Corridor Demonstration Program Manhattan CBDNorth Jersey Corridor Automatic Bus Identi’cation, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. (1972).
Wilbur Smith Associates, “Electronic Toll and Traffic Management Feasibility Study,” New Haven, CT (1992).
The Transportation Research Board has identified your agency as a traffic management systems operator.
Your assistance in completing this survey is greatly appreciated.
Name of Facilii(ies)
Is your electronic traffic and/or fleet management system fully operable?
A. _ Yes
If No to question #1, when do you expect your system to be fully operable?
What is (or will be) the length of your traffic management system in:
Center-Line Miles?
Lane Miles?
Please describe your current electronic traffic and/or fleet management system.
What expansion and/or IVHS integration plans do you have for your system in the future?
What is the approximate TOTAL fleet size and/or daily traffic volume (ADT) served by your facility?
Approximately how many TOTAL peak-hour travelers does your electronic traffic and/or fleet
management facility serve?
Are any service fees passed on to system users?
A. _Yes
B. _No
If yes to question #8, what amount?
Have there been any impacts to traffic on OTHER ADJACENT non-system roads?
reduction in traffic
B. _increase in traffic
C. _ no change
Have there been any safety problems/accidents since system implementation?
A. _Yes
B. _No
If yes to question #11 how severe?
B. _moderate
C. _ fatal
Has there been any reduction in roadway capacity expansion as a result of system implementation?
B. _No
A. _ Yes
Do you have a formal traffic or fleet management system marketing and/or public information
A. _Yes
B. _No
Has marketing or public information improved system usage?
B. _No
c. _ Difficult to determine
Have you performed any traffic or fleet management system user surveys?
B. _No
A. _ Yes
Have you performed any system technology(ies) performance tests?
B. _No
A. _ Yes
What has/have been the greatest benefit(s) of your traffic and/or fleet management system?
What has/have been the greatest drawback(s), if any, of your traffic and/or fleet management
Are there any reports available on your traffic and/or fleet management system? If Yes, please list
each document title.
Illinois Department of Transportation
201 West Center Court
Schaumburg, IL 6OI96
Connecticut Freeway ATMS
Connecticut Department of Transportation
38 Wolcotthill Road
Wethersfield, CT 06019
Advanced Traffic Management Systems Model
Study for the Denver Metropolitan Area
Colorado Department of Transportation
Traffic Section
2000 South Holly Street
Denver, CO 80222
CTA Smart Bus
Chicago Transit Authority
P.O. Box 3555
Chicago, IL 60654
Advanced Traffic Management Systems Model
Study for the Portland Metropolitan Area
City of Portland
1120 S.W. 5 t h Room 730
Portland, OR 97204
Advantage I-75
University of Kentucky
Transportation Research Bldg.
Lexington, KY 40506-0043
Anaheim IVHS Operational
Test/Integrated System Project
Public Works - Traffic Engineering
Department City of Anaheim
200 S. Anaheim Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92085
Arbor Smart Bus
Arbor Transportation Authority
S. Industrial Highway
Arbor. MI 48104
Baltimore Smart Bus
Mass Transit Administration
300 West Lexington Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-3415
Bellevue Smart Traveler
University of Washington
Technical Communication FH-40
Seattle, WA 98195
California PATH Program
University of California
Institute of Transportation Studies
1301 S. 46th Street Bldg 4.52
Richmond, CA 94804
California Smart Traveler
California Department of Transportation
Traffic Improvement Office
P.O. Box 942874
Sacramento, CA 94274
Central Artery/Tunnel
Massachusetts Highway Department
One South Station
Boston, MA 02110
Denver Smart Bus
Denver Regional Transportation District
1900 31st Street
Denver, CO 80216
Detroit Transportation Center Transit Information
Michigan Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 30050
Lansing, MI 48909
Michigan Department of Transportation
425 West Ottawa St., P.O. Box 30050
Lansing, MI 48909
Commission of European Communities
61 Rue De Treves
Rm 613 B-1040
Brussels, BELGIUM
2 Rue Stephenson
78181 St. Quentin
Yvelines Cedex, BELGIUM
Road Commission of Oakland County
31001 Lahser Road
Beverly Hills, MI 48025
Minnesota Department of Transportation
117 University Ave.
St. Paul, Mn 55155
HELP/Crescent Project
California Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 2048
Stockton, CA 95201
Houston Smart Traveler
Metropolitan Transit Authority
P.O. Box 61429
Houston, TX 77208-1429
I-95 International Mobility Project
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
200 Radnor-Chester Road
St. Davids, PA 19087-5178
I-95 Urban Congestion Alleviation
Virginia Department of Transportation
1401 East Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Incident Management
Traffic Management Center
Minnesota Department of Transportation
11014th Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
New York Department of Transportation
State Office Building
Veteran’s Memorial Highway
Hauppdug, NY 11788
Multi-Jurisdictional Live Aerial Video
Montgomery County Department of Traffic
Division of Traffic Engineering
101 Monroe Street, 11th Floor
Rockville, MD 20850
Multi-Jurisdictional Live Aerial Video
Virginia Department of Transportation
1426 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204
Norfolk Mobility Manager
Tidewater Transportation District Commission
1500 Monticello Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23501
Portland Smart Bus
4012 S.E. 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97202
Care of Daimler-Benz AG
Department of FGF/F
Stuttgart, D-7000 GERMANY
Rouge Valley Mobility Manager
Rouge Valley Council of Governments
P.O. Box 3275
Central Point, OR 97502
Route 91 Express Lanes
California Private Transportation
ZOO Michelson, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92715
Seattle Incident Management and
Integrated Systems
Washington Department of Transportation
Washington State Transportation Center
4507 University Way N.E., Suite 204
Seattle, WA 98105
SMART Corridor
Los Angeles County Transportation
818 West 7th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
SmartRoute Systems
141 Portland Street
Suite 8100
Cambridge, MA 02139
25 Journal Square, 1st Floor
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Transportation Control Technology &
Systems Office
1201 Wilson Ave.
Downsview, Ontario
City of Orlando
400 South Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32801
Twin Cities Smart Traveler
Regional Transit Board
Nears Park Center
230 E. 5th Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
Urban Congestion Alleviation Demo Project
Maryland State Highway Administration
7491 Connelley Drive
Hanover, MD 21076
The Transportation Research Board has identified your firm as a vendor or consultant of electronic toll and
traffic management systems or subsystems. Your assistance in completing this survey is greatly
What is your system’s trade name, if any?
c. _
E. _
What operational configuration does your system employ?
lane side
C. _ in pavement
D. _ other
What type of transponders do you provide? (check all that apply)
B. _semi-active
C. _ passive
What is your data transmission rate?
What are your transponder data storage capabilities?
What is the MAXIMUM traffic speed that can be maintained during transmission?
type of transmission technology(ies) do you provide? (check all that apply)
B. _ optical scanner
acoustical waves
radio frequency microwaves
F. _other, please specify
What is the MINIMUM traffic speed that can be maintained during transmission?
What is the MAXIMUM reader antenna target distance required?
What is the MINIMUM reader antenna target distance required?
Do you provide for re-codeability of transponders (i.e., for &pooling, vanpooling, etc.)?
A. _Yes
B. _No
Do you provide for transferability of transponders (i.e., for carpooling, vanpooling, etc.)?
A. _ Yes
B. _No
Describe your enforcement subsystem?
What are your AVERAGE ETTM system capital costs per lane?
What are your AVERAGE annual ETTM operating and maintenance costs per lane?
Does your system require an FCC license?
A. _ Yes
B. _No
A. _
C. _
E. _
What have been the typical follow-up needs of your clients?
What are the appropriate applications of your technology (if any), besides electronic toll collection?
Do you have any available performance evaluation results of your technology?
B. _No
A. _Yes
If yes to question #20, please specify laboratory, field test, or test-track location and date.
Name the facility(ies) and agency(ies) you currently provide services to? (also include number of
transponders, number of lanes installed, etc.)
services do you provide to your clients? (check all that apply)
B. _ operations
D. _ marketing
other, please specify
Secor Corp. (US Distributor)
463.5 Fairmont
Troy, MI 48098
Cotag International, Inc.
103 Springer Building
3411 Silver-side Road
Wilmington, DE 19819
Alta Technology, Inc.
81 Main Street, Suite 101
White Plains, NY 10601
Cubic Toil Systems
150 Broad Hollow Road
Melville, NY 11747
P.O. Box 14045
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Detector Systems, Inc.
11650 Seaboard Circle
Stanton, CA 90680
Amtech Systems Corporation
17304 Preston Road,Bldg El00
Dallas, Texas 75252
Digital Equipment Corp.
20 Corporate Place South
Piscataway, NJ 08855-1345
2 Rue Stephenson
St. Quentin-en-Yvelines,
78181 FRANCE
Electronic Data Magnetics, Inc.
210 Old Thomas Road
P.O. Box 7208
High Point, NC 27264
AT/Comm, Inc.
America’s Cup Building
Little Harbor Way
Marblehead, MA 01945
63 Boulevard Bessieres
75017 Paris, FRANCE
AT&T Network Systems
Crawsford Comer Road
Room U-329
Holmdel, NJ 07733
AT&T Smart Card Group
295 N. Maple Avenue, Rm 6347F2
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Automatic Identfication
Mfrs. Assoc.
1326 Freport Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
Autostrade S.P.A.
Via Antonio’ Nibby 20
Rome, 00161 ITALY
AWA Traffic Systems America, Inc.
2127 University Park Dr,Ste 300
Okemos, MI 48864-3975
Barrier Systems Inc.
P.O. Box 8565
Incline Village, NV 89452
3570 Warrensville Center Road
Shaker Heights, OH 44122
Eureka Systems, Inc.
1 Oliver Plaza
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Grenobloise D'Electronique et
CGA-HBS, B.P. 85
Meylan Cedex, 38243 FRANCE
GTM Enterpose Electricite
61 Avenue Jules Quentin BP 315
Nanterre Cedex, 92003 FRANCE
Hughes Ground Systems Group
Bldg. 618, MS 302
P.O. Box 3310
Fullerton, CA 92634
IBM Corporation
Public Transportation System
10401 Femwood Road
Bethesda, MD 20817
50.5 Ring Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201
International Road Dynamics, Inc.
702 43rd Street
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Controlled Access, Inc.
1100 Wright Avenue
Camden, NJ 08103
MFS Network Technologies
1100 Kiewit Plaza
Omaha, NE 68131
Lazerdata Corporation
2400 Diversified Way
Orlando. FL 32804
Lockheed Info Management Systems
2100 Torey Pines Road
Ames, Iowa 50010
Mark IV IVHS Division
6020 Ambler Drive
Mississauga, Ontario
Micro Design A/S
P.O. Box 3974
Trondheim, N-7002 NORWAY
Microsense, Inc.
4800 Dethania Station Rd.
Winston Salem, NC 27105
Microwave Sensors
7885 Jackson Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works
Central P.O. Box 1086
Kobe, 650 JAPAN
Mitsubishi International Corp.
520 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Motorola, Inc.
4000 Commercial Avenue
Northbrook. IL 60062
NDC Automation
3101 Latrobe Drive
Charlotte, NC 28211
Norske Vegfinansieringsselskapers
P.O. Box 176 N-5430
Bremnes. NORWAY
Peek Traffic
4920 Woodlane Circle
Tallahassee, FL 32303
The Perot Group
777 Main Street, Ste 1480
Fort Worth, TX 76102
85 McKee Drive
Mahwah, NJ 07430
295 North Bernardo Avenue
Mountain View, CA 94043
Rand McNally and Company
DocuSystems Group
8255 N. Central Park Avenue
Skokie, IL 60076
Rockwell International
3370 Mira Loma Ave.
Bldg. 253, MS DM08
Anaheim, CA 92803
Saab Automation AB
Box 33
S-164 93 Kista, SWEDEN
Sensor Systems, Inc.
1704 Oak Creek Dr. #307
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Siemens Corporation
186 Wood Avenue South
Iselin, NJ 08830
Sierra Semiconductor
2075 North Capitol Avenue
San Jose, CA 95132
Smart Card International
363 Seventh Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10001
State of Russian Highway Company
129301,4 Bochkov Street
Moscow, RF
Syntonic Technology, Inc.
7611 Derry Street
Harrisburg, PA 17111
TDC Electronics, INC.
222-15 Northern Blvd., 3rd Floor
Bayside, NY 11361
Tecnotel SRL
Via Lazio, 25
Zola Predosa (BO), 40069 ITALY
Texas Instruments, Inc.
TIRIS-Business Development
12.501 Research Blvd., MS 2243
Austin, TX 78714-9149
Special Enterprises Program
3M Traffic Control/Materials Division
1010 Hurley Way, Ste 300
Sacramento, CA 95825
Toll Systems Technology Pty.
21 Smith Street
Capalaba, Queensland, 4157
Toshiba Corporation
Soc. Autom. Sys. Div./2-1
Shibaura 1-chome, Minato-ku
Tokyo, 105 JAPAN
Automatic Coin Machine
Machines which collect exact change from toll patrons and control one access gate.
Average Daily Traffic
A measure of traffic flow over a 24hour period.
American National Standards Institute
A national standards-setting organization.
Advanced Public Transit Systems
The application of advanced technologies to improve the efficiency and quality of service of
public transit modes. A subset of Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems.
American Society for Testing and Materials
A national standards-setting organization.
Advanced Traveler Information Systems
The application of advanced technologies to improve information available to travelers. A
subset of Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems.
Advanced Traffic Management Systems
The application of advanced technologies to improve the management of urban traffic systems.
A subset of Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems.
Automatic Vehicle Classification
A method of classifying vehicles (car, 4-axle truck, 6-axle truck, etc.) when they pass over
sensors mounted in the pavement, overhead, or roadside.
Advanced Vehicle Control Systems
The development of technologies which can relieve the human driver of partial or total control
of a vehicle, in order to improve safety and increase road capacity. A subset of Intelligent
Vehicle Highway Systems.
Automatic Vehicle Identification
Wireless communications between a transponder mounted on a vehicle and a sensor located
at the roadside. Uses include toll collection, traffic management, fleet management.
Automatic Vehicle Location
The installation of devices on a fleet of vehicles (e.g. buses, trucks or taxis) to enable the fleet
to function more efficiently by knowing location of vehicles in real-time.
Bits Per Second
A measure of the speed of information flow: 1 bit per second
Closed-Circuit Television
A method of monitoring external conditions using television cameras which feed images to a
small number of TV monitors.
Central Processing Unit
The part of a computer or computer system which performs core processing functions.
Center for Urban Transportation Research
Performed surveys of electronic toll collection system operators and vendors,
Commercial Vehicle Operations
The application of advanced technologies for commercial vehicle fleet management. A subset
of Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems.
Digital Audio Tape
A method of external data storage. Cartridges are the size of a common audio cassette.
A toll plaza simulation model developed by the Florida Department of Transportation.
Electronic Communications Privacy Act
Legislation which protects wire or electronic communications from illegal interception by
unauthorized third parties.
Environmental Protection Agency
The federal agency which enforces environmental legislation.
Electronic Toll Collection
Use of automatic vehicle identification to eliminate the need for a vehicle to stop to pay tolls.
Electronic Toll and Traffic Management
Uses two-way communications between vehicles and roadside sensors for toll collection and
other traffic management functions.
Federal Communications Commission
The federal agency which regulates telecommunications in the United States.
A measure of information volume: 1 billion bytes.
A measure of frequency: 1 billion waves per second.
High Occupancy Vehicle
Can describe any vehicle containing more than one person, such as buses, carpools, vanpools.
International Electrotechnical Commission
An international standards-setting organization.
International Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers
An international standards-setting organization.
International Standards Organization
An international standards-setting organization.
Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems
The application of advanced technologies to improve the efficiency and safety of transportation
Intelligent Vehicle Highway Society of America
An industry trade group which promotes the application of emerging technologies to
transportation systems.
A measure of information volume: 1,000 bytes or 8,000 bits
Kilobits Per Second
A measure of the speed of information flow: 1000 bits per second
A measure of frequency: 1000 waves per second.
Local Area Network
A method of connecting several computers together using thick or thin wires.
A measure of frequency: 1 million waves per second.
Network Interface Unit
Software and equipment allows clusters of individual computers to communicate with a local
area network.
Occupational Safety and Health Agency
The federal agency which enforces workplace safety laws.
Personal Computer
Personal Communication Services
A variety of mobile communication technologies including pagers, cellular phones.
Radio Frequency
A method of wireless communications which uses electromagnetic-energy.
Surface Acoustical Wave
A method of wireless communications. A lithium crystal converts the RF energy into sound
An internationally recognized protocol for communications between different computers.
Wide Area Network
A method of connecting several computers together using fiber optic cable.
A method of weighing commercial vehicles when they pass over sensors mounted in the
Uninterruptible Power Supply
A power supply with external storage capacity used to keep computers in operation when power
outages or surges occur.
THE TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD is a unit of the National Research
Council, which serves the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
It evolved in 1974 from the Highway Research Board, which was established in 1920. The TRB
incorporates all former HRB activities and also performs additional functions under a broader scope
involving all modes of transportation and the interactions of transportation with society. The Board’s
purpose is to stimulate research concerning the nature and performance of transportation systems, to
disseminate information that the research produces, and to encourage the application of appropriate
research findings. The Board’s program is carried out by more than 270 committees, task forces,
and panels composed of more than 3,300 administrators, engineers, social scientists, attorneys,
educators, and others concerned with transportation; they serve without compensation. The program
is supported by state transportation and highway departments, the modal administrations of the
U.S. Department of Transportation, the Association of American Railroads, the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development
of transportation.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of
science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter
granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the
federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National
Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National
Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its
administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences
the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also
sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research,
and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the
National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to
secure tbe services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy
matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to
the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal
government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education.
Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to
associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering
knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies
determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the
National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the
government, tbe public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered
jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M.
White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
Transportation Research Board
National Research Council
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20418
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