Autonomous Charging of Road Toll, Vehicle Parking charge, Fines & Penalties.
Abraham Paul. P.
Intellectual property of P. Abraham Paul, FCOMNET, India.
Specializing in Telecom & IT: Engineering, Services, Training and Consultancy.
Innovative & first of its kind, state of the art, all-in- one system for control and autonomous charging of Road Toll, Parking fee, Penalties and fines, Traffic control and Crisis management using the latest in Wireless Technology and e- Payment method.
2. Objective of this paper: Explain a simple and straight forward system to begin with and the much versatile technology based system. Such a system will be of benefit for the Public, the Government, the Road Traffic Authorities, the Municipalities and Technology Service Providers.
Topics covered are: Concept, Technology/Network elements, Principle of operation, Features, Benefits and advantages and Business case.
2.1. The Concept:
This unique concept will replace current Road Toll fee, Parking fee, Penalties & fines collection methods with more generalized and simplified method of autonomous charging of all forms of usage public roads and spaces for commuting and parking of vehicles anywhere and everywhere in the country. Provision can be made to exclude few predefined spots or areas such as home, office parking lots and some frequently visited friends or relative’s places. Additions of such places can be included by making extra payment.
2.2. The proprietary idea.
There are two ideas. i) A simple and easily implementable one.
ii) A more elaborate and sophisticating technology idea.
i) A simple and easily implementable one. What is needed is a Mobile phone in working condition of any service provider. The simple idea to start with is to have a display board in every parking area with unique short coded call number displayed on it sufficiently bold and large enough with suitably lighting so that it can be seen from certain distance. Any one wanting to park in a allowed parking space shall call this Unique short code and enter the vehicle number. For example *A general access code*Short code of parking zone*Vehicle number# That is all. Please see schematic below.
System will identify calling number, location and start charging and inform the user with a return message.
While taking out the vehicle again repeat same procedure to end charging. The system will calculate charge according to place, time of the day and duration and debit it your phone account or a special purpose prepaid account and send a message about the duration and amount charged.
The officers checking can merely dial the car number to the system and concur the user had complied the process. While parking vehicle owner leaves a plaque “Parking Authorised” near to the wind shield. As a matter of trust the inspecting officer need check at random. Such a system can be easily implemented in any place.
Allowing usage only on predetermined days.
The same arrangement as mentioned above can be used for restricting of Cars or Vehicles on particular day to prevent excess pollution or limit traffic overload etc. Same way as in the case of parking, a different access code is used while taking the Vehicle. System has data to identify whether particular vehicle is eligible for road use that day and returns an ‘OK to use message’. Else a ‘Not eligible to use” message and asks to pay a pre-defined fine for exceptional cases and then sends message allowing usage as “Emergency use” or “Exempted as Special case”
Driver places a bold placard in the windshield for the inspecting officer to see. It can be cross verified by the officer by dialing the registered number of the vehicle and fraud is dealt heavily.
ii) The other system is more elaborate and use more resources to implement is explained in detail below.
The key break through is in the unique idea of “Uniform Charging for Road and Parking space usage with built-in safeguard against non compliance and fraud”.
2.2.1 It shall be mandatory for every vehicle in the area shall have a Unique Identity and ensured that all vehicles are covered and made part of the system from the time of registration until the vehicle is de-registered and discarded.
2.2.2. Road and Parking space usage for driving and parking will be charged uniformly. But for parking at home and 3 to 4 other predefined choice places, all forms of road usage shall be charged. The tariff will differ, based on the current location of the Vehicle and the time of the day, day of the year and type and classification of the Vehicle. The system can be programmed to allow or disallow certain type of vehicles, or those have no valid registration or certain pre-defined number plates and in certain areas or routs for noise and emission pollution control etc etc. The tariff may also differ according to the classifications of road / parking space and purpose of the Vehicle.
2.2.3 Revenue loss due non-compliance or fraud is prevented by unique in-built system feature, making it compulsory for the vehicle owner to keep the device in the vehicle in live-and-logged-in condition round the clock on continuous basis. Any discontinuity is promptly detected by the system, and charging is continued according to last available information and aggregated later. In case of prolonged discontinuity the vehicle owner and authorities are alerted.
Device will have power direct from the vehicle battery so that it will be live even when the vehicle in switched off condition. Tampering or detaching the device is prevented by adopting tamper proof fixing and sealing of the device with the vehicle and making the device unserviceable in case of tampering and built-in method to alert the authorities in case of tampering or switching off the device.
The system can be shared by private parking space providers in apartments and other parking lots on revenue share basis.
Method of fee collection shall be on Pre-paid or Post paid basis, identical to the method of paying telephone charges.
2.2.4.The Sociological hurdle which can hamper the proposal. A major hurdle in implementing this is perhaps the possible civic objection about invading the privacy of the vehicle user. However, the matter is identical to the mobile phone users, with the exemption that the mobile can be switched off or kept away to defer detection.
2.3. Wireless network. The service is proposed to be implemented with GPS networking identical to vehicle tracking and navigation service. GPS based system is preferred as GSM/CDMA/WiFi net work cannot provide the precise location identification required for the proposed service.
Even a heavy vehicle entering unallowed speed lane could be identified by GPS based system.
The high deployment expense of a special purpose GPS system and cost per interaction over GPS link should not a deterrent, as the revenue expected is sizably huge to overcome these costs by leasing the transponders or sending up own GPS satellites.
Large network coverage: Three Geo Synchronous Satellites needed for the Global Positioning System can cover a wide area in the region.
2.4. Service Providers: Municipal/Road Traffic Authority itself can establish, own and operate the system with revenue sharing or other arrangement with the GPS / Network Service Provider.
2.4.1.Value added Services: The system, suitably networked and programmed, can provide high revenue potential Value Added Services.
2.5.Useful for various Administration needs and Crisis management.
Statistics and information of every vehicle and its movement could be readily extracted from the system opening out immense possibilities for various administrations.
It is possible to include features that can autonomously monitor behavior of Drivers as well as the pollution level in in the fumes emitted by vehicles. Please see my paper of How to stop Drunk & Drive in the link. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-It
3. Network elements:
The system is based on Wireless Telephony Application implemented over GPS network.
3.2.1 User end device.
Every vehicle will have a Unique Identification number (UID) and will have a special purpose GPS terminal device in the vehicle identical to navigation device.
3.2.2. GPS Network:
– Exclusive networking over GPS links which provide coverage of virtually all roads and
parking spaces in the entire City.
– Tunnels and basement parking areas are to be covered with repeaters & antennae.
– In a business point of view, the proposed system has very high revenue potential and
profit margin and there for exclusive transponder or even a special purpose satellite
could be procured for this business.
3.2.3. Core System.
A powerful application system with GPS interface and high speed high volume signaling capability between the device in the vehicle and the system over GPS Network.
3.2.4. Intelligent Network System.
Exclusive IN system linked with core system for signal processing and prepaid / post paid charging and statistics generation.
3.2.5. Location finder system based on digital location mapping.
3.2.6. Administration and Billing system:-
For customer data handling, tariff generation, accounting, billing.
3.2.7. System connectivity.
Core system shall have connectivity with GSM Wireless and Land line systems for
information interchange, road traffic control and Crisis management.
Schematic showing the networking of one of the three Geo Synchronous Satellite of the Global Positioning System. (For explanatory purpose only.)
Press CTRL key and click on the caption below to see a presentation on Road Toll and Vehicle Parking Charging
4. Principle of operation.
4.1 User end device.
A sealed in tamper proof special purpose terminal similar to GPS supported navigation device.
The device is designed to be live in non-stop operation mode through out its life.
The device is fitted in the dash board and powered by the vehicle’s battery for continuous operation. A lamp indication to show that the device is active and logged in to the core system.
Starts flashing of the lamp and beeps if the vehicle enters a prohibited or restricted area.
The device is identified by the vehicle’s registration number which is computer programmed in the device by the service provider at the time of installation and protected by password.
The device is programmed to interact with the central system via GPS link to continuously send and Update Vehicles identity and location information to the core system.
4.2. Prevention of revenue loss: If the device logs out of the network in black spots or willfully or inadvertently, the core system detects it and charging is continued to avoid revenue loss. After a predetermined duration, the vehicle owner is informed over land line or mobile communication link and the authority concerned is alerted to initiate penal action for willful manipulation or fraud.
Detaching the devise or any form of tampering will make the device permanently unserviceable and will have to be replaced through the authority concerned.
4.3. Elimination of manual monitoring: The above key feature of the system ensure continuity of operation and eliminate need of any form of external monitoring processes, manual or otherwise which considerably reduce the operating cost and revenue loss.
5. The central system.
At the time of registration, the registration authority collects and feed in all necessary information into the service provider’s administrative and billing system which in turn fed into the data base of core system.
From that point the system location registers will have the data base of all the devices and its geographic locations.
The device is kept in continuous logged-in condition and charged according to the location information. Any change in location triggers the Intelligent Network system to initiate appropriate changes in charging.
If the device get logged off due to any reason, like while in tunnels and other no radio coverage area etc., the system continues to charge based on the last available location information and aggregates with the new location information when logged in again thereby safeguarding loss of revenue by willful action or other wise. This feature is very important as in most of the cases the device will log off and remain in that condition during parking in shielded parking lots. The revenue collected for parking in Private parking lots could be shared with the parking space owners.
Core system monitor and identify violations of traffic rules and pass on information to the authorities and a lamp flashing and beeping sound are activated to warn the driver.
Various voice messages also could be delivered in the device.
In addition, a message over a voice call and SMS are sent to the vehicle owner’s mobile phone to inform the situation by the Core system.
Penalty charges are automatically levied and statistics are maintained for all violations.
Facility is provided for the authorities and vehicle owner for on line access of the statistics related to the details of vehicle number, location, time, duration involved and type or incident penalty imposed etc.
5. Salient features:
5.1 Highlights of the proposed system.
Click on the caption below to see a presentation on autonomous Road Toll and Vehicle Parking Charging
No need of Toll gates and Parking ticketing machines.
Universal application covers of all roads and parking spaces.
No hassles of road traffic planning and toll gates.
User friendly, effortless and hassle free service for vehicle users.
More features, products and value added services.
5.2. Less operating expenses.
No need of external monitoring as far as toll and parking fee payments are concerned.Need less patrolling and supervision of violation of wrong parking etc.
Efficient, effortless revenue collection. Less fraud, less litigation.
More revenue from full time coverage of all roads and parking spaces.
Private Parking Space providers also can avail on revenue sharing basis.
5.3. One system can provide service in many cities/countries.
With one core system it is possible to network areas of different countries and provide service by suitable networking. For example, a core system in a city in can provide service across all Emirates and can provide service to all cities across the country.
5.4. Flexible tariff plans.
Charging options for road usage and parking viz.,
– Location based charging.
– Occasion based charging.
– Time dependent charging.
– User specific charging eg. higher tariff for commercial vehicles.
– Monthly and annual charging plans.
Many more options based on different criteria.
6. General features
- Efficient, effortless revenue collection.
- Need much less patrolling and easy to monitor.
- Less fraud, less litigation.
- User friendly, effortless and hassle free service for vehicle users.
- Discourages unnecessary occupation of public roads and public parking places.
- Traffic restriction in high premium roads by imposing high tariff during busy hours.
- No need to have manual monitoring of parking usage. Device will emit message that can be checked by parking supervision officers using NFC phones/devices and the status can also can be verified with the system by sending the vehicle number to it.
- More revenue from full time coverage of all roads and parking spaces.
- Additional revenue from more features, products and value added services that can be implemented.
6.1 Benefits to the public.
- No hassles of parking machine. No need to move away from the Vehicle to get the parking ticket and at toll fee gates. No need to go and extend parking time. Everything is done automatically.
- Different tariff depending on location. Same tariff during commuting and parking.
- Vehicle can choose low tariff routes for frequent commuting.
- More flexibility in finding and using parking area.
- Automatic timing and Charging based on the location and actual duration ofparking in terms of minutes and seconds.
- Users cost could be subsidized with revenue earned from Value Added Services and revenue from service rendered to other agencies and the savings in operation cost.
- Automatic warning of road restrictions and violations.
- No human error in charging.
- Convenience of Pre-paid Payment with different recharging facility.
- Parking subscription can be used all over the country.
- Facility available during roaming in other cities where such facility exists.
- Monitoring facility of every vehicle movement, can help to eliminate vehicle theft.
- Terrorist activities can be contained to certain extent.
6.2. Charging for parking in spaces of Private Parking space providers.
There is great shortage of parking spaces in Cities and towns. In future there can be multi storied parking buildings with automated parking arrangements. Such buildings can be built over the roads or railways itself to save cost of land. Dozens of such are needed immediately in many cities and near to Metro stations where car users can keep their car parked. The autonomous mode of parking can become very handy in these.
6.3.Special arrangement of charging:
Identification of private parking space with exclusive code.
Parking allowed only with parking space owners approval.
Individual tariff plans and exclusive charging options for every parking space provider.
Customer dependent charging.
Revenue sharing facility with the GSM and Parking system Service providers.
Payments gets debited directly to the parking providers account.
Verification by parallel accounting with data collected on own servers.
Provision for exclusive GSM cell sites in the parking lots.
6.4. High revenue potential for network providers and the system service providers.
For the satellite system providers for GPS network provision.
For service providers who set up and provide service.
For the Road Traffic authorities, Municipal authorities.
For private Parking Service Providers.
The system and the network can be programmed to deliver SMS / Data to the device.
6.5. Value added services:
Many Value Added products/services can be developed and marketed using the same application system and micro and macro e-payments technology.
• Navigation device.
• Taxi and Fleet monitoring and control.
• Control of traffic of vehicles in restricted routes, areas and spaces.
• Device can be used for access permission in restricted entry areas.
• Other Micro/Macro e-payments such as getting serviced from food and beverage vending machines, different ticket vending machines etc.
By adding plug-ons in the device and giving access to external servers, more and more versatile products are possible, viz.
Value Added products/services such as interactive location based services, information of climate, traffic situation, and entertainments such as music, jokes, astrology, video, live chat service to avoid monotony of solo driving.
7. The Business Case.
7.1. Making available enough Public Transport Systems. Governments shall plan and Implement means of more public Transport System for people to use it more than using personal vehicles.
7.2. Parking spaces. Government shall provide more parking spaces.
Where there are no space like in Cities multi Storied Parking lots over wide roads and automatic parking methods there, with Private participation.
7.3. Communication set ups.
a) As GPS signaling works on Line-of-sight principle, there will be many black spots where connectivity could not be retained.
b) As the service is compulsory for all vehicle owners across the entire area, cost to the user need to be equal or less than the current expense on Road Toll and Parking fee. Expense on this for those in the villages and rural areas shall be negligible.
c) At the same time the initial cost to the service provider for GPS satellites and network and implementation will be very high. Initially, the cost of interaction over GPS links will be higher than the revenue it can generate.
7.4. Potential areas that can offset above constraints.
a) The problem of black spots is resolved by ensuring that charging is continued according to last location information and aggregated with new location information when going out of the black spot and logged in again. For the night band falling in this period of discontinuity, only night tariff will be applicable. The tariff applicable in the road and parking case in the same area being same this feature takes care of charging without much discrepancy, during parking in shielded parking areas like private parking places / residences / malls etc.
In case of prolonged discontinuity of over 24 hrs or (project dependent) the vehicle owner is informed by sending prerecorded SMS or voice message to their telecom connection. The authority is alerted and given the details by electronic means.
b)The key is in the high volume user base inherent in the business plan. Revenue contribution from entire vehicle population being mandatory, the high business volume with an annual growth of 15 to 20 percent, are expected to over ride the above constrains.
The cost of Technology systems and network are also likely to come down in due course.
c) There is considerable scope of additional revenue generation from various Value Added Services. Revenue could be generated from providing Navigation aid, Surface / Aviation / Marine Fleet Management etc. services to private and government agencies.
Sharing of investment and operation cost would be possible with Government Authorities for usage of the system for administrative, traffic management and crisis management facilities.
A single core system can service entire area of the country and other regions.
Service can be extended to other MENA region using same GPS and Core system.
Linking the core system with Fixed and Wireless phone networks can provide additional sources of business.
Owning or leasing of Geo Synchronous Satellite as needed for the facility would bring down the cost per interaction and usage.
6. Revenue calculation in nutshell.
Coverage of all vehicles and the entire area generate high business volume.
Revenue from value added services also will be substantial.
Therefore, the road usage/parking tariff proposed is low and affordable to general public.
*Tariff will be half the above rates is proposed during Fridays and National holidays.
a) 30% Percentage of Vehicle population are in Type A areas during day time band.
b) 15% of the vehicle population are in each of Other Type areas during day time band.
c) 60% of the vehicle population are in Type D areas during night time band.
d) 10% each of the vehicle population are in Other Type areas during night time band.
Revenue: A very low tariff is proposed to avoid hardship for users. The shortcoming is expected to be compensated with revenue from Value added services and from service given to other agencies.
Total day and night = 1158.00+ 186.00= INR 1344 per 100 vehicle per day
i.e. INR 13.44 per vehicle per day.
Revenue per vehicle per annum (assuming 290 working days and 75 holidays):
INR365x13.44 = INR 4905.60
Vehicle owner’s expense per month on an average = INR4905.60/12 = INR 408.8 (Includes night fee)
Expense per month who use free night parking space = INR 352.25
The above amount is much below the current expense on toll & parking fee.
Revenue per million vehicle population per annum = INR 4905.60 million
Revenue from Value added Services will be much more than this.
As the business grow, the cost of the Satellites and GPS networking will consume only a minor portion the revenue.
Expenditure and profit: Initial CAPEX and OPEX and profit etc depend on various factors and business tie ups and hence not discussed here.
P. Abraham Paul.
FUTURE GROUPS – FCOMNET INDIA
PH: +914712446644 M: +919446322644
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