Within the scope of a large-scale test, the Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services (I&S) Group in Australia has proven that the previously separate technologies for the collection of road toll fees — microwave-based Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) and satellite-based Global Navigation Satellite
Systems (GNSS) — can be integrated into one single solution in the future with just a single hardware component.
These two separate toll collection technologies are proven at being able to function smoothly and reliably. Nevertheless, both systems exist in parallel and up until now it has not been possible to operate them simultaneously. However, in the field test in Melbourne and the New South Wales region, Siemens ITS, Transurban and the largest Australian mobile radio provider, Telstra, successfully tested a hybrid on-board unit (OBU) from Siemens VDO and a new software application with which both microwave-based and satellite-based toll solutions can be used by one single unit. The hybrid OBU, into which a DSRC microwave module is integrated, makes it possible to detect existing microwave signals from toll gantries in addition to normal satellite operation.
“Therefore, Siemens is the first manufacturer of a hybrid OBU which detects microwave signals from gantries and processes GPS signals,” said Stefan Höpfel, responsible for toll solutions in the Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) Division of Siemens I&S. “Operators can keep using the existing infrastructure and, at the same time, also the advantages of satellite-based toll collection.”