There are several ways of paying tolls and levies in Europe. The various European toll charging systems regularly form an obstacle for transport and logistics companies, if only because of the hassle and loss of time caused by the mass of paperwork. Companies are therefore searching for a varied package of products and services aimed primarily at cost control, efficiency, transparency and taking away the strain involved. This is one of the reasons why we initiate and firmly support EETS, a uniform European tolls system integrating all currently individual toll systems within Europe.
What is the present status?
Right now, paying the various European tolls with one and the same on board unit is not yet possible. Although we already have the technical capacity, we still lack the contractual standards and conditions required for commercial activity and exposure. Since the early nineteen nineties, steps have been taken to arrive at a uniform European toll payment system. EETS contains various applications that require compliance with the EU-directives regarding EETS. The introduction of the on board unit in 2007 was the onset of the standardisation of an automatic payment system. Another important requirement for the system is that it must be able to accommodate newcomers in the toll charging area, like Ecotaxe. In this respect it is of vital interest to remain in close contact with adequate partners. The transparency required by this is manifested by AETIS. Acting jointly, this group of potential EETS providers remains in close contact with the European Commission and the motorway operators in various countries.
The various toll charging systems mostly operate via diverse technical systems, and technical mutations appear hard to implement. To us for instance, the new French Ecotaxe posed a true challenge, mainly lying in the billing of two systems, namely the DSRC- and GPS-based tolls system. DSRC, the system currently used for TIS PL and ViaT, operates via microwave, whereas GPS uses satellites. This necessitates the implementation of both systems in one singular on board unit. It is, in the first place, the application of a univocal system by the various European countries that will offer a firm platform on which to build a pan-European system. There will be a great chance of success if toll countries manage to make the diverse systems intercommunicate.
View on the future
Right now the European Union is planning to make EETS available for Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Italy, Denmark and Poland. This initiative is thanks to, among other things, individual introductions of interoperable boxes at regional level. If countries succeed in attuning compatibilities mutually, success will be likely in our view. Introduction of EETS is planned somewhere around 2014 and/or 2015. But according to us and to many hauliers it could never come too soon.
You drive, we care!