Siemens has received orders from Eurotoll and Total, two of the largest French electronic toll onboard units issuers, to supply technology for the new French toll collection system. The equipment comprises onboard units for the vehicles as well as the electronic detection system. The orders are part of the Ecotaxe project calling for the introduction of mileagebased taxation on French national roads for trucks weighing 3.5 tons and more. The orders for Siemens are worth a combined total of about EUR 50 million.
In addition to the highways, bridges and tunnels already subject to toll payments, France plans to introduce a toll for the use of national roads and some country roads for trucks weighing 3.5 tons and more starting in mid 2013. The monitored road network comprises about 10,000 kilometers. In contrast to conventional microwave systems, satellite-based tolling systems directly detect the position of the vehicles via the onboard units by using GPS satellite signals which are encrypted and transferred by GSM mobile telephony to the control center for further processing. This satellitebased technology is therefore especially suitable for extensive road networks beyond the scope of the highways. Toll gantries are not required for data capture. The technology offers not only the accurate charging of distance and time-related tolls, but also the flexible adaptation by means of software updates.
Siemens already developed and supplied an area-wide satellite-based toll collection system for Slovakia in 2010 and completed other toll projects, such as in London, Tel Aviv and the Seattle region in the US state of Washington. Thanks to the City Toll System, 60,000 fewer motor vehicles than before are driving on the streets of London. Since it was introduced in 2003, traffic volume has declined by 20 percent and the incidence of traffic jams has fallen by around 30 percent. And since 2011, the toll fees for a special lane on the highway from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv are automatically adjusted to reflect the traffic situation, thereby guaranteeing an average speed of 70 km/h. When too many cars move into the toll lane, the toll increases and the lane empties out again. The satellite-based toll collection system in the Seattle conurbation is the world's first system to combine real-time vehicle positioning with toll calculation based on time and distance.
Tolling is one of the collaboration areas where Siemens is working together with Atos as part of a strategic partnership initiated in July 2011, which focuses on leveraging sales synergies and jointly developing new innovative solutions.