Smart road pricing systems help manage traffic flows
Road traffic is on the increase, the world over. This is causing inner-city congestion, tailbacks on major highways and turnpikes, carbon emissions, and other forms of pollution. According to research organization acatech, Germany can expect the volume of car traffic to increase by 20 percent by 2020, and truck traffic to rise by 34 percent. Cars now generate 12 percent and trucks 30 percent less greenhouse gases and air pollution than a decade ago. However, carbon emissions from road freight traffic have jumped by 13 percent. What‘s more, billions will need to be spent on new roads if we are to avoid gridlock.
OEMs are developing new technologies to further reduce emissions from cars and trucks. Logistics players are deploying state-of-the-art ICT solutions to improve fleet management. Intelligent GPS navigation will help to reduce traffic jams. And all member nations of the EU charge for road usage, by means of a variety of technologies, generating funds for transportation infrastructure projects.
Road charging has a major advantage over annual vehicle taxes that take no account of the number of kilometers driven: the price paid is based on actual road usage. The same applies to tolls levied for a particular period of time – they do not reflect real-world mileage. Moreover, pricing that can be adjusted according to the road, day, and hour, allows far more effective management of traffic flows. Through variable pricing, it is possible to encourage drivers to avoid busy periods, and busy routes – alleviating congestion during the most popular times, and on the most popular highways. For example, the price for entering a city during the morning rush hour could be higher than for the same journey at night.