As one of Europe’s leading service providers, DKV Euro Service is on the forefront of industry developments. One of the major industry developments now taking place is the introduction of a European Electronic Toll System (EETS). EETS will ensure interoperability of tolling services on the entire European Union road network. This enables road users to easily pay tolls throughout the whole EU with only one subscription contract, with one service provider and a single on-board unit.
Currently, countries that levy toll within the European Union each have their own system for the payment of tolls. This means that for international journeys, lorry drivers are required to have a multitude of on-board equipment in their vehicles. This results in extra costs and administration for road users.
DKV Euro Service is one of the initiators and one of the most firm supports of EETS. We strongly believe that only a uniform European toll system which integrates all – currently individual – toll systems within Europe, will enable our customers to control costs and to improve efficiency and transparency.
What does EETS exactly entail?
The objective of the 2004 EU-Directive and the 2009 EU-Resolution is to lay the basis for a uniform, pan-European, interoperable tolls service. To this end, both EU-law and individual national law must be harmonized where EETS is concerned. Conditions are: one contract, one OBU, one invoice. Two of these conditions – namely one contract and one invoice – are already met by DKV right now. To meet the third condition, one OBU, technical challenges need to be overcome. After all, the European tolls service intends to reconcile DSRC based toll systems (microwave based) and GPS-based toll systems (satellite-controlled). In order to be able to present one uniform OBU, a regional pilot (REETS) was run between 2013 and 2015. DKV Euro Service was heavily involved in this initiative, which resulted in an agreement on common technical solutions and practical tests. DKV Euro Services has opted to be so closely involved with the major industry initiatives to ensure that the uniform toll box will be introduced as soon as technically and logically viable. But also to ensure that it will comply to the standards in the industry, this way a high quality of the box is ensured.
DKV is already EETS today Although right now there still is no OBU that is fit for use all over Europe, there are a few interoperable OBUs in the market, like the DKV BOX. This box can already be used in Germany (Warnow Crossing and Herrentunnel), Belgium (Liefkenshoektunnel), France (TIS PL), Spain (VIA-T) and Portugal (ViaVerde). DKV has long been able to offer two out of three conditions of the EETS system, being ‘one contract’ and ‘one invoice’. By offering a ‘one contract, one invoice’ solution for uniform European tolls settlement we are offering an almost complete EETS service. Together with industry partners large investments have to be made to make the interoperable box, combining both the GNSS and DSRC countries, a reality. So far, however, technical, commercial, contractual and legal preconditions are not yet all in harmony. At the same time, and to ensure that we do not stop improving the effectiveness and the efficiency of our customers, DKV Euro Service keeps expanding the interoperable toll box with the intention to add new countries in the short term.
What do we recommend for a long term, high quality toll experience?
At DKV Euro Service we work closely with industry partners, a group of potential EETS providers who are acting jointly to remain in close contact with the European Commission and the motorway operators in various countries. In order to comprise both systems GNSS and DSRC a lot of preparation as well as research needs to be done and requires the cooperation and experience of the industry partners involved. For a sustainable, future-proof toll experience DKV Euro Service recommends its customers to firstly keep informed about the progress of EETS since, as said, not all technical, commercial, contractual and legal preconditions have been met. DKV Euro Service in the Benelux provides regular updates to its customers using her newsletter program. We also recommend customers to start defining their actual requirements; considering their own operation and strategic plans. Is the investment in a uniform EETS box really required or will the regional, lower-cost, alternatives suffice? Given that we expect the uniform DKV EETS Box will become available, it’s not too far away to justify taking some time to properly plan ahead.