From April 1st 2016, all heavy goods vehicles of more than 3.5t that transit through Belgium must have a working On Board Unit (OBU) in order to pay road charges. At the end of 2016, 740.000 Satellic OBU’s are equipping trucks throughout Europe with a GPS precision of 99,7%.  However, this OBU for Belgian toll is just one of the many devices that are on the front window of a truck. There are many different technologies in place to support toll charges throughout Europe. As DKV is always looking for innovative ways to support their customers, it is no surprise that they have been working on just one box that will support all possible toll charges in Europe. How is that for efficiency?
Prior to the introduction of the new Belgian toll system, the country used Eurovignettes to settle tolls. This system is still applicable in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden and Denmark. The Eurovignette system was set up in 1996 to increase efficiency in the toll landscape. Over the years, the OBU proved to be more efficient due to its ‘one contract, one invoice’ requirement. Whilst the introduction wasn’t a hundred percent perfect, today it can be said that the new Belgian toll system is running smoothly. Rudolf Pospischil, CEO Satellic: ”After a difficult start, we received a lot of positive feedback from the users and transport federations about the improvement of our service. We accomplished our mission and managed to build a state-of-the-art tolling system in a record time.”
However, the toll landscape changes continuously. In July 2017 the Flemish Parliament evaluated 15 months of the new Belgian toll system. They announced that they are planning to stop the exemption for semi-trailers that are under the current 3500kg limit. Another upcoming change is that distinctions will be made in the height of the fines for, for example, driving with an OBU that is not working, manipulation and driving without an OBU at all. The OBU for Belgian toll is one step closer to and a good example of an integrated toll system for all European countries but we are not there yet.
DKV is developing the DKV BOX EUROPE. Upon the introduction of the DKV BOX EUROPE in 2018, only one toll box will be needed for all journeys throughout Europe in the future. All toll transactions will be shown on a single, integrated DKV invoice. Belgium, Germany, France, Austria and Poland are planned to be covered from the market launch and shortly after the launch Italy, Portugal, Spain and Hungary should be covered as well. The major advantages are:
- Cross-border toll box (OBU) with only one contract and a single, integrated invoice · Quick and easy toll registration via the DKV website.
- Automatic and wireless activation of countries on the OBU
- Flexible interchanging of OBUs between vehicles
- Direct use of toll box through “plug and play”
- Extensive journey planning and analysis functions
Concluding we can say that the technology developments towards the different OBU’s that are now in the market have been a good first step in the realisation of more efficiency, both for the driver and for the back office. However, one European toll box remains the next goal and with the DKV BOX EUROPE we are one step closer to reaching that goal. DKV will keep you updated along the way!
Interested in the DKV BOX EUROPE? Watch our movie right here: