Europe News: RCI addresses business impact of interoperable tolling

Europe News:  RCI addresses business impact of interoperable tolling

The Special Session on road charging at the 6th European ITS Congress in June focused on the opportunities of cross-European interoperable tolling.

The European Commission-supported RCI Project, which is co-ordinated by ERTICO – ITS Europe, provided insight and answers to questions such as: When will GNSS-based tolling systems become available through an open and competitive market? How can industry accelerate advancements needed for performance improvements, cost reductions and increased functionality? And how can toll service providers secure and extend the business case of toll service provisioning?

The European Commission’s Directive 2004/52 mandates the availability of the European electronic tolling service.

The RCI project is halfway through its demonstration activities on how European specifications can be utilised in the major existing tolling and taxing environments in Europe, and RCI’s published results already support current and projected business developments in Europe.

An open and competitive market for tolling solutions requires stable European specifications that allow the various stakeholders to invest: suppliers to manufacture and invest in products, service providers to invest in new operations, and policymakers to engage in new schemes throughout Europe – or beyond.

It requires that in-vehicle units that would be deployed in Member State X be interoperable with the tolling infrastructure in Member State Y. It also requires that future infrastructure and policy to be deployed by a new tolling operator in Member State X is already interoperable with all of the existing in-vehicle units on the market in Member State Y.

Increased openness and competition through standardisation makes the tolling market horizontal, enabling policymakers to better predict and control costs for implementation, operation, maintenance and future updates of road user charging schemes.

Standardisation also creates the conditions of a mass market for suppliers, enabling them to further invest in cost optimisations and a lower price per unit, and allows toll service providers to secure and possibly extend the business case of toll service provisioning.

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