AUSTIN, Texas – A new generation of tolling system technology will be tested on Austin roadways.
“Connected Vehicle”, a next-generation of vehicles capable of providing real-time toll rates, confirming toll payment, and offering a wider range of payment options, will be tested on both the MoPac Express Lane and on the 45SW Toll Road.
“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.”
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Testing the new system comes as a partnership between The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Kapsch TrafficCom (Kapsch), and Ford Motor Company.
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. The service will also provide a wider range of payment choices for customers and offering additional customer service features.
Kapsch will conduct the test by installing 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 “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, Mobility Authority says.
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“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.”
The new technology will also affect toll road operators.
Mobility Authority says the new 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.”