ATI issues formal Request for video toll interoperability proposals

October 27, 2009

ATI has issued a formal Request for Information (RFI) seeking a comprehensive solution for using license plate images (video) as the basis for inter-authority toll charges across North America. The Request states that interoperability is unlikely to be achieved with standardization of RFID transponders since there are now four well established separate transponder blocs - E-ZPass, Texas, Florida and California - and such heavy sunk investments in each there is no foreseeable prospect for standardization through RFID.

ATI is concentrating on ways of using license plate reads and motor registry data to collect out-of-bloc tolls.

Illustration: a vehicle with, say, an E-ZPass transponder and account in, say, Maryland traveling to, say Texas, would still not have its transponder read because of the technical differences between the RFID transponder-reader systems of E-ZPass and Texas. It would however have its license plate read by the 'enforcement' cameras on, say, the Dallas North Tollway. In Dallas the North Texas Tollway Authority would be able - somehow, under a system to be designed in response to the ATI Request - to get its toll payment while the motorist would be able to make full use of the open road toll lanes in Texas and simply have his or her E-ZPass accounted debited the Texas toll, the same way they would for travel on pikes up northeast.

The Request calls for a "comprehensive solution for achieving North American toll account interoperability by use of license-plate images."

It offers no fee, allows no proprietary protections of materials submitted, and promises no follow-up procurement.

The Request is in effect an invitation to license plate read specialists and financial and back office experts to wow the toll industry with their expertise and imagination - with the hope of taking the exercise to the paying stage.

It asks for submissions to address:

- how toll payment account information would flow between the various entities required to support a comprehensive system,

- how it could be made economically viable and advantageous to all parties,

- how privacy of information about motorist drivers licenses, bank cards, vehicles, and trips would be protected

- how it would structure legal obligations of the different parties

- the extent to which existing interoperability arrangements and violation enforcement would need to be modified

- proposed terms of compensation for the various players

- how transactions would be tracked, reported, audited, and settled

Here is the full text the Request a 7 page pdf:

(Note the delightful North Carolinian turn of phrase that "Unsolicitated proposals" are not acceptable.)

ATI represents about 40 North American tollers. Its secretariat services are at North Carolina Turnpike Authority in Raleigh NC where Jim (JJ) Eden is ATI Chairman and Jennifer (JR) Fenske is the Alliance secretary.


tel 919 510 4373


ATI are holding a 'webinar' Nov 9 15:30

Deadline for submissions is Dec 14.

TOLLROADSnews 2009-10-26

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