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The Future of Tolling: Cashless Systems and Automation

There’s no question that our digital world is changing in many ways. The more technology is integrated into every aspect of our lives, the more we are seeing transformations and improvements. The tolling industry is one great example of how trucking systems are improving. Now that cashless tolling is becoming the standard, gone are the days of labor-intensive cash transactions, paper receipts, and driver reimbursements.

Not only are we seeing many toll facilities switching to electronic payment models, but it’s anticipated that Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) will continue to be the way in the future. The prediction is that eventually we will reach a point where cash is no longer accepted at toll points. All transactions will be digital through automated systems.

Undeniable Benefits of Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)

Why does it make sense that the future of transit is built on cashless tolling? There are many reasons why it makes sense to integrate digital solutions for fleet toll management:

  • Efficiency: Cash transactions are inefficient. A lot of small steps need to happen for a truck to pass through a toll road successfully. Switching to a cashless tolling solution eliminates the need for drivers to have cash on hand, and they can move through the toll stations more quickly.
  • Congestion: How much time is wasted sitting in toll lines, waiting to make a payment and pass through? If all transactions are digital, then it means that drivers can move through the payment process automatically without stopping. As a result, more vehicles can pass each hour, which helps to minimize lines and traffic congestion.
  • Fuel Consumption: Another cost-saving benefit of cashless tolling is the ability to manage fuel consumption. When trucks can pass through the toll station quickly, then it reduces the fuel wasted while idling in line. Additionally, cashless tolling improves a fleet toll management system by optimizing routes to reduce fuel costs, using the toll roads instead of longer routes.
  • Safety: Finally, cashless tolling can optimize safety for everyone involved. If drivers can continue on the road without stopping, it reduces the likelihood of accidents.

How it Works: Cashless Tolling and Automation

If you are looking for solutions to improve fleet toll management and you are considering cashless tolling, then it’s important to understand how the technology works. Several advanced technologies are integrated into the systems to ensure accuracy and efficiency as drivers are passing through the toll checkpoints:

  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): This technology enables ongoing toll collection, without a need for drivers to stop. When the RFID card is located in the vehicle, the system automatically scans the card as the vehicle passes through.
  • Video Analytics: The use of video provides another way to determine who is passing through the toll checkpoint. Video can collect information about the vehicle and license plates, allowing verification and billing through automated systems.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Better data and analytics improve the system as a whole. The combined use of AI and machine learning (ML) helps to optimize the cashless tolling system by learning from past data to boost efficiency. For example, it’s possible to predict traffic patterns based on the time of day, which can optimize the toll collection systems overall.

For example, when the vehicle passes through a tolling station, the in-vehicle RFID tag can log the passing and automatically bill for the amount owed from a prepaid account. Alternatively, if the RFID card fails for some reason, another option is that video analytics will record the vehicle details and the system sends an invoice to the vehicle owner.

This multi-faceted system for open road tolling makes it possible for drivers to keep moving, while ensuring that the toll facility is collecting the proper fees. At the same time, the automated system decreases paperwork in the office because there are fewer invoices to be managing. Automated payments are simplified and more efficient, especially when fleet toll management incorporates all of the major tolling operators in the area.

Future Growth for Electronic Toll Collection

The numbers show a bright future for ETC. This industry has grown significantly in the last few years – coming in with a market worth of $8.3 billion USD in 2022. The anticipated growth trends predict the numbers to reach $11.4 billion USD in 2027.

This growth has strong government support, especially because cashless tolling decreases traffic congestion and reduces environmental pollution. ETC is a win-win for everyone involved. As transportation infrastructure continues to improve, it’s anticipated that tolling will continue to be an integral part of private road access.

Call the Fleet Toll Management Experts

What other questions do you have about cashless tolling? Our team at Innovative Toll Solutions is here to help. Contact us today to see how these technology solutions can improve your fleet toll management.