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Bosch has just completed successful trials of MobilPass, a system for electronic toll collection, sponsored by the ...
Bosch has just completed successful trials of MobilPass, a system for electronic toll collection, sponsored by the department of environment, transport and the regions. This technology could play a leading role in the government's initiative to ease traffic congestion and improve the public transport system.

The government intends to introduce legislation allowing local authorities to charge road users. It hopes to relieve traffic congestion in urban environments, improving journey times and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and provide an income stream to support public transport enhancements.

MobilPass will allow local authorities to collect tolls and control access to residential areas or parking facilities without impairing traffic flow. On-Board Units (OBUs) are easily installed on vehicle windscreens and beacons, comprising antennas, microwave transceivers and a control computer, are positioned at selected points on the roadside. When a vehicle passes, the beacon communicates via radio transmissions with its OBU, collecting toll charges or authorising access for that stretch of road. Valid charging is confirmed by an electronic acknowledgement and stored in the OBU.

'Modern electronics have a large role to play in managing traffic efficiency and MobilPass can offer an efficient and cost-effective solution. It integrates the experience of Bosch Telecom in radio communications and transmission and Bosch's Blaupunkt division in vehicle systems and mass production,' says Peter Fischer, divisional director at Bosch Telecom.

MobilPass can communicate with cars travelling at high speeds, making it an effective tolling device for motorway use. It is a secure means of electronic communication, able to detect unauthorised OBUs and using the Data Encryption Standard (DES) to encrypt transmitted data.

'Our tests of MobilPass at the Transport Research Laboratory at Crowthorne have proved extremely successful. We are now in a position to offer local authorities a complete turnkey solution and the expertise of a reliable partner for planning, installation and maintenance,' adds Fischer.

Vehicle category and dimensions can be used to determine the toll because the technology allows parameters to be entered permanently in the OBU.

OBUs can be supplied with or without microprocessor chipcards, external interfaces and display systems. However, the basic module, comprising an antenna, microwave front end, digital ASIC and microprocessor, is identical in all versions, ensuring compatibility in the basic functionality of all OBU variants.

MobilPass is fully compatible with other systems as it complies with the GSS industry standard (Global Specification for Short Range Communication).

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