ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) transponder is a small wireless communication device installed in a vehicle for electronic tolling purpose. When the vehicle passes the toll point, roadside transceiver reads out data stored in the transponder, and then the system automatically deducts the toll payable.
At present, the electronic tolling technologies vary from country to country. What are the pros and cons of ETC transponders that adopt different technologies?
1. Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC): It is the mainstream technology for electronic toll collection, applied in countries such as China, Japan, Korean, Singapore and most European countries. DSRC technology has higher vehicle identification precision and is mature in tolling application, but it costs relatively high in terms of in-vehicle transponder (DSRC on-board unit/OBU).
2. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): The world's first large-scale RFID-based tolling system opened in Taiwan in 2012. The system is easier to be promoted on a large scale due to the low cost of RFID transponder/tag. Currently, many countries adopted or are considering using RFID technology for electronic tolling. However, RFID technology is relatively low in identification accuracy, which requires much human efforts to check and correct errors manually at the back-office system.
3. Satellite Positioning: At present, satellite tolling is rarely observed worldwide, only with a few cases in countries like Germany. The system locates vehicles via satellite, which requires no additional roadside investment. But the cost of in-vehicle transponder (GNSS on-board unit/OBU) is so high that it is difficult to promote satellite tolling on a large scale. In addition, satellite positioning accuracy is relatively low, unable to cope with complex road conditions, and is heavily affected by external factors. When encountering adverse weather, tunnels and other unfavorable circumstances, satellite signal will be blocked or too weak to be tracked, thereby resulting in positioning failure.