At a special press conference on the opening day of the 6th European ITS Congress, being held in Aalborg, Denmark, Kapsch has announced a world first – a hybrid on board unit (OBU) which operates simultaneously with both DSRC and satellite (GPS/GPRS) signals.

The system, called Kapsch Area, is a thin-client OBU which treats data from both DSRC and GPS in the same manner. The system comes with a complete back office service system as well as a comprehensive enforcement solution.

Kapsch says its new technology reflects the fact that governments, municipalities, road authorities and operators are looking to introduce tolling in an increasingly wider range of situations. In addition to providing regional or national tolling on main highways, Kapsch Area will allow customers to also toll minor roads where the cost of installing permanent infrastructure is not cost effective. Indeed, the company says its new technology can be used on any road, by any type of user, for the complete range of road user charging applications, including highway tolling, cordon charges, time and distance charges, etc. Additional ITS applications can be piggybacked, such as for instance, pay-as-you-drive insurance schemes, probe vehicle applications, OBU based access applications and hazardous goods transport and tracking.

Because Kapsch Area is based on thin client technology, the actual OBU has been kept both simple and cost efficient and uses, for example, server-side map matching. Permanent vehicle installation is simple and straightforward, while occasional users can simply install the unit by means of the cigarette lighter socket of a vehicle and move it from vehicle to vehicle.

PUBLICATION: ITS International
DATED: 18th June 2007