Toll Collect

Last updated
Truckers without electronic billing units use a Toll Collect terminal to select a route and pay the appropriate toll TollCollectTerminal.jpg
Truckers without electronic billing units use a Toll Collect terminal to select a route and pay the appropriate toll

Toll Collect GmbH is a German company that has developed and is running the tolling system for trucks (LKW-Maut) on German motorways.


The company was a consortium led by Daimler AG, Deutsche Telekom, and Cofiroute until 2018 when it was taken over by German Government. The consortium won a bid for the development of a toll billing system from the German government. The development of the system started in September 2002. The technology is based on the Global Positioning System, and a web application for booking truck routes in advance. Trucks are equipped with embedded systems called "On Board Units" (OBUs). OBUs are used for positioning, monitoring and billing. Additionally, the OBUs have infrared and Dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) interfaces for exchanging data with stationary enforcement gantries and mobile enforcement on the tolled road network.

Since the end of 2002 several hundred engineers and programmers worked on the project. Articles report more than 1000 experts were involved in the project[ citation needed ]. The rollout was first scheduled for the end of August 2003, but was delayed repeatedly, causing the government to forfeit toll collection on trucks using the Autobahn. The deadline was first shifted by 2 months, then by at least one year. Not until the German government purchased Toll Collect were the long-lasting disputes between Toll Collect and the German government about the payment of damages due to the long delay in the launching system resolved. There were also accusations that during the tendering procedure for the system, the offers made by non-German companies were not given fair consideration.

The system was opened two years behind schedule on January 1, 2005. It was the first system in the world that deployed a national GNSS road pricing scheme. The charge per kilometre varies according to the number of axles and the vehicle's emission category, and is between 9 and 14 cents per kilometre. For a trip from Hamburg to Munich (776 km) for example, the costs lie between €69.84 and €108.64. Since the installation of an On Board Unit (OBU) by a professional service is costly and/or time-consuming, the option of paying for a specific trip tickets was also provided from the very beginning (as illustrated).

In publications from December 2019, however, journalists attributed Toll Collect's whereabouts to the federal government to the contracts signed by Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer with industry representatives on the failed car toll in December 2018 and also critically assessed the role of the State Secretary and later Toll Collect boss Gerhard Schulz . According to this, the provision of parts of the Toll Collect infrastructure was probably already assured to Scheuer's contractual partners at the time before the bidding process for the Toll Collect privatization was officially ended in January 2019. [1]

Technical background of the satellite based toll system

Generally, for any truck travelling on the German motorways, the distance-based fees can be paid by different means: through the advanced purchase of a specific route via the internet or at payment terminals (typically located in fuel stations), or fully automated through the use of OBUs that are professionally installed in the trucks. Through the use of satellite navigation, the position and the trip are data stored in the OBU which enable the device to determine the tolling fees that apply for the route driven. The data collected in the OBU are transferred to the data center by mobile data communication (GSM), and processed for billing. The fact that the system is "satellite based" relates to the positioning only, not to the communication of the OBU to the data center.

Camera gantry in Germany for toll compliance enforcement Mautbrucke01 2009-04-13.jpg
Camera gantry in Germany for toll compliance enforcement

To prevent avoidance of toll payments (e.g. by switching off the OBUs), the trucks are photographed at approximately 300 toll enforcement gantries, and checked by approximately 450 mobile checking stations. The data generated from these compliance checks are compared in the central computing system, and enforcement measured being started. The non-compliance rate is published as being constantly less than 1%. [2]

Plans to export the specific German solution to other countries were not realized, but a number of GNSS-based tolling solutions were implemented in European countries for distance-based charging of trucks. Plans to expand the system to value-added services, such as fleet management, were not implemented. [3]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Toll road</span> Roadway for which a fee (or toll) is assessed for passage

A toll road, also known as a turnpike or tollway, is a public or private road for which a fee is assessed for passage. It is a form of road pricing typically implemented to help recoup the costs of road construction and maintenance.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Electronic toll collection</span> Wireless system to automatically collect the usage fee or toll charged to vehicles

Electronic toll collection (ETC) is a wireless system to automatically collect the usage fee or toll charged to vehicles using toll roads, HOV lanes, toll bridges, and toll tunnels. It is a faster alternative which is replacing toll booths, where vehicles must stop and the driver manually pays the toll with cash or a card. In most systems, vehicles using the system are equipped with an automated radio transponder device. When the vehicle passes a roadside toll reader device, a radio signal from the reader triggers the transponder, which transmits back an identifying number which registers the vehicle's use of the road, and an electronic payment system charges the user the toll.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Electronic Road Pricing</span> Singaporean toll collection scheme

The Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system is an electronic toll collection scheme adopted in Singapore to manage traffic by way of road pricing, and as a usage-based taxation mechanism to complement the purchase-based Certificate of Entitlement system.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Automatic number-plate recognition</span> Optical character recognition technology

Automatic number-plate recognition is a technology that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates to create vehicle location data. It can use existing closed-circuit television, road-rule enforcement cameras, or cameras specifically designed for the task. ANPR is used by police forces around the world for law enforcement purposes, including checking if a vehicle is registered or licensed. It is also used for electronic toll collection on pay-per-use roads and as a method of cataloguing the movements of traffic, for example by highways agencies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Open road tolling</span> Boothless toll collecting

Open road tolling (ORT), also called all-electronic tolling, cashless tolling, or free-flow tolling, is the collection of tolls on toll roads without the use of toll booths. An electronic toll collection system is usually used instead. The major advantage to ORT is that users are able to drive through the toll plaza at highway speeds without having to slow down to pay the toll. In some installations, ORT may also reduce congestion at the plazas by allowing more vehicles per hour/per lane.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cross City Tunnel</span> Motorway tunnel in Sydney, Australia

The Cross City Tunnel is a 2.1-kilometre long (1.3 mi) twin-road tunnel tollway located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The tunnel links Darling Harbour on the western fringe of the central business district to Rushcutters Bay in the Eastern Suburbs. Each of the twin tunnels has a different alignment, with the westbound tunnel running underneath William and Park Streets and the eastbound tunnel running underneath Bathurst Street.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gantry (transport)</span> Structure on which road signs are mounted

A gantry is a traffic sign assembly in which signs are mounted or railway signals are supported on an overhead support. They also often contain the apparatus for traffic monitoring systems and cameras, or open road tolling systems.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Weigh station</span> Highway checkpoint to inspect vehicular weights

A weigh station is a checkpoint along a highway to inspect vehicular weights and safety compliance criteria. Usually, trucks and commercial vehicles are subject to the inspection.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Telepass</span>

Telepass is the brand name for an electronic toll collection system used to collect toll (pedaggio) on motorways (autostrade) in Italy operated by Autostrade per l'Italia S.p.A., its affiliates, and other legal entities. The system was introduced in 1989.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Autobahns of Austria</span>

The Austrian autobahns are controlled-access highways in Austria. They are officially called Bundesstraßen A (Bundesautobahnen) under the authority of the Federal Government according to the Austrian Federal Road Act (Bundesstraßengesetz), not to be confused with the former Bundesstraßen highways maintained by the Austrian states since 2002.

A toll road is a road over which users may travel over on payment of a toll, or fee. Tolls are a form of use tax that pays for the cost of road construction and maintenance, without raising taxes on non-users. Investor's bonds necessary for the construction of the roads are issued and sold with the expectation that the bonds will be paid back with user tolls. The toll roads may be run by government agencies that have bond issuing authority and/or private companies that sell bonds or have other sources of finance. Toll roads are usually a government guaranteed road monopoly that guarantees limited or no competing roads will be built by government agencies for the duration of the bonds. Private toll roads built with money raised from private investors in expectation of making money from the tolls probably dominated early toll roads. Government sponsored toll roads often guarantee a minimum payment to the bond holders if traffic volume and toll collections are less than predicted. If the toll authority is a private company there is often a maximum amount of fees that they may extract from users. Toll road operators are typically responsible for maintaining the roads. After the bonds are paid off the road typically reverts to the government agency that authorized the road and owns the land it was built on. Like most government taxes it is not unusual for tolls to continue to be charged after the bonds have been paid off.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Video tolling</span> Form of electronic toll collection

Video tolling is a form of electronic toll collection that uses video or still images of a vehicle's license plate to identify a vehicle liable to pay a road toll. The system dispenses with collection of road tolls using road-side cash or payment card methods, and may be used in conjunction with "all electronic" open road tolling, to permit drivers without an RFID device to use the toll road.

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers, using the GPS, GLONASS, Galileo or BeiDou system, are used in many applications. The first systems were developed in the 20th century, mainly to help military personnel find their way, but location awareness soon found many civilian applications.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">LKW-Maut</span>

The HGV toll is the tolling scheme for heavy goods vehicles traversing Autobahn road usage with trucks. Charges are based on the distance driven in kilometres, the emission category of the vehicle and the number of axles.

eToll is a National Roads Authority run interoperability system allowing cashless payment on all of Ireland's toll roads. Based on an RFID tag attached to the windscreen of a participating vehicle, it allows drivers to travel on the tolled sections of them M1, M4, M6, M7, M8 and M50 as well as the East Link, N25 Waterford bypass, Dublin Port Tunnel, and the Limerick (Shannon) Tunnel.

GNSS road pricing or GNSS-based tolling is the charging of road users using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) sensors inside vehicles. Road pricing using GNSS simplifies distance-based tolling for all types of roads in a tolled road network since it does not require the installation and operation of roadside infrastructure, such as tollbooths or microwave-based toll gantries. Instead, all vehicles required to pay the distance-based fees are equipped with an On Board Unit (OBU), in Singapore also known as an "In-vehicle Unit" (IU).

The multi-lane free flow(MLFF) is a system that allows free-flow high-speed tolling for all highway users. With MLFF, current toll lanes at toll plazas can be replaced with ordinary multilane road segments. By using tags with readers at gantry across the highway to detect vehicle and deduct toll using the existing Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) when fully implemented. Using only video and automatic license plate recognition it is also possible to have a MLFF system without using tags and readers. This type of solution is implemented in Stockholm for congestion charging purposes.

BelToll is a system of toll roads operating in the Republic of Belarus.


  1. "Mission Toll Collect: Verkehrsminister Scheuer hat ein Mega-Problem". 2021-02-03. Archived from the original on 2021-02-03. Retrieved 2023-06-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. Anfrage nach dem Informationsfreiheitsgesetz auf
  3. Daniel Delhaes (2013), "Völlig verfahrenes Verfahren", Handelsblatt (in German), no. 48, p. 6, ISSN   0017-7296