Norways approach to free flow tolling
Low-emission zone tolling as seen in major cities such as London are a big topic, not only for calming traffic but also for climate protection. Now, Efkon – a Strabag subsidiary – has implemented its solution for free-flow city tolling in Norway.
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration’s priority was to have the best possible integration of toll equipment into its old cityscape to preserve the famous landscape of the fish market in Bergen and other historic locations and popular tourist spots in Oslo. The Public Roads Administration requested slim and attractive equipment and installation structures to create a discreet, aesthetically pleasing and consistent appearance across multiple city environments.
There was an additional challenge – to produce a slim, single-gantry design to replace the massive multi-gantry installations used at the markets, which require multi-lane free-flow (MLFF) tolling applications. Typically, many individual products had been installed, including cameras for image acquisition and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR), flashlights for illumination, laser sensors for classification, DSRC transceivers, switches, cabinets and more.
This is not such an issue in a multi-gantry environment, where there is enough space to accommodate so many components – far more space than in an urban or single-gantry structure. Multi-gantry installations usually feature large, separated and external lane cabinets with their own processing units and switches. The cabling required to connect all of these devices is extensive and costly.
It would seem that an optimal solution would be to integrate many of the single products and services into one appliance. Such products should offer in-built processing power plus redundancy and high availability. It should be possible to utilize one appliance for multiple services such as electronic tolling, enforcement, tracking, access-zone surveillance and ALPR applications.
N-Force AVT100 was Efkon’s answer – a new product that was designed to fulfil these increasingly demandingindustry requirements.
Launched in 2018, the product was an organic development in which Efkon placed a special focus on implementing technical multi-purpose services in a one-box solution with an attractive design.
The higher technical integration also benefits from an attractive product price, easier installation and lower total costs of ownership during the system lifecycle. The product is contributing to easy and attractive integration in urban or countryside areas that require small and single-gantry structures or masts.
The AVT100 All-Vehicle Sensor Box supports MLFF applications for up to two lanes at speeds of up to 160km/h. Each N-Force AVT100 combines a high-dynamic-range CMOS camera, a powerful infrared flash, a SAM security module processing unit and embedded management software, including ALPR, in a compact design with full component redundancy. External plugs to connect Efkon DSRC transceivers are available. The in-built functionality supports image capturing and ALPR, vehicle classification, DSRC processing and transaction storage in the local database. This eliminates any need for separated and external processing units and lane-side cabinets.
N-Force AVT100 is suitable for a variety of applications such as toll collection with DSRC, ALPR/video-based tolling, access-zone management, surveillance, tracking, enforcement services or any other ALPR applications. Relatively small constructions such as single gantries, poles or cantilevers are sufficient to install the units. Only power and data cabling is required.
The innovative product allowed Efkon to achieve a successful product launch and market entry in Norway in 2019. More than 100 MLFF toll stations in Norway are equipped with Efkon’s N-Force AVT100, notably in the cities of Oslo and Bergen. The project has become a significant reference point, given that Norway is one of the pioneers of electronic tolling in Europe.
Efkon continues to further develop AVT100-based projects in the area of urban tolling and low-emission zones, which are becoming more popular – not to mention necessary – to protect our environments and nature.
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