Next Generation "Connected Vehicle" Tolling System To Be Tested on Mobility Authority Roadways
(Austin, Texas )— The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mobility Authority) and Kapsch TrafficCom (Kapsch) are partnering with Ford Motor Company to test a next generation of vehicles capable of providing real-time toll rates, confirming toll payment and offering a wider range of payment options. The vehicles will also be capable of communicating with roadside equipment to provide drivers with real-time information about roadway conditions including accidents, congestion and lane closures, as well as changing weather conditions.
“Connectivity is transforming the automotive industry, and we are quickly approaching the tipping point where these features will shift from experimental to essential,” said Jeff Dailey, Deputy Executive Director for the Mobility Authority. “This integration of automobiles and technology presents an opportunity for enhanced services for the traveling public. Testing and research are critical to ensure these systems provide the features customer want and the accuracy and reliability they demand and deserve.”
To conduct the tests, Kapsch will install dual-mode / dual-active roadside units at toll gantries on the MoPac Express Lane and on the 45SW Toll Road. The devices will communicate with Ford “test vehicles” using cutting edge Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) connected vehicle technology. Test drivers will receive visual and verbal messages as they approach and pass through tolling points.
On the MoPac Express Lane, which has variable pricing that changes based on traffic volumes, drivers will be notified about the toll rate prior to making a decision about whether to use the Express Lane. On the 45SW Toll Road drivers will be notified about the toll rate before passing through the tolling location.
On both roadways, as drivers pass through the tolling location, the vehicle will confirm that the toll was paid. Drivers will also have the option to access their payment account to get a receipt or perform other account functions. Ultimately, these in-vehicle payment systems could be used to pay for services beyond tolling such as gas or fast food purchases.
“We look forward to partnering with the Mobility Authority and Ford to demonstrate the efficacy and versatility of connected vehicle technology,” said Chris Murray, president of Kapsch TrafficCom North America. “Our innovative tolling and V2X solutions – from mobile tolling applications to dual-use roadside units – offer flexible integrations for existing transportation systems and make this test program an ideal application of Kapsch expertise.”
In addition to tolling, next generation Connected Vehicles will be able to receive and notify drivers about speed limits, roadside signs, and traffic conditions. The Kapsch demonstration project will test the ability of the roadside units to accurately and effectively exchange this type of information with test vehicles. Advancements in this type of technology could ultimately speed up the deployment of next generation automated self-driving vehicles and improve mobility and safety for all drivers.
For toll road operators, Connected Vehicle technology will reduce construction, operation and roadway maintenance costs. It will also dramatically improve the quality and timeliness of communicating traffic and road condition information to drivers. Next generation tolling technology will also enhance customer service by providing a wider range of payment choices for customers and offering additional customer service features.
About the Mobility Authority
The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority is a local, independent government agency created in 2002 to improve the regional transportation system in Travis and Williamson Counties. The Mobility Authority implements innovative and sustainable transportation options to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in Central Texas. The Mobility Authority operates 183A Toll, 290 Toll, the 71 Toll Lane, the MoPac Express Lane, the 45SW Toll Road, and the 183 Toll Road. The agency is finishing construction of the 8-mile 183 South Project and the 290/130 Flyovers Project. For more information about the Mobility Authority, visit www.MobilityAuthority.com.