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Module 1: Intelligent Transportation Systems

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Electronic Toll Collection

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In this lecture, give you an example of how, uh, the different ideas, uh, Uh, architectures or the different systems can be actually applied for certain specific transport related cases. Right. So in this lecture, we will be looking at the case of electronic toll collection. Uh, so, uh, we'll introduce you to what is toll collection, uh, how electronic toll collection, uh, Uh, processes are carried out what is the relevant ideas architecture to it. And then we will, uh, give you with an example of, uh, uh, if you move from manual toll collection to electronic toll collection, uh, how, what are the benefits that you can see? And then you would realize that, uh, why you need, uh, uh, ideas in the trust arena, uh, right. Uh, so toll collection, as you may be very well aware. That, uh, traditionally highways were, uh, uh, financed, uh, by public money, right? Uh, the money, uh, that was, uh, gathered either through direct taxes or through indirect taxes, for example, the taxes that we pay, uh, at the petrol pump, uh, or, uh, just a portion of your income tax that you pay. So all of those used to be used, uh, to develop our, uh, or to construct our national highways buyer. Various public agencies, but as money became, uh, has as money or budget has become tighter and tighter, we have moved towards, uh, this model of building highways using private partners along with, along with public agencies as well. So this whole PPP model has been developed. And as a result of this model, uh, what we have seen is that the private entities, uh, now collect tolls, uh, from the users. Of that facility and these tools are used to, uh, not only, uh, uh, regain, uh, the money that the private players have invested, but also can be used for maintenance and operations of that facility during the toll period. And also obviously, uh, the private entity would want to make some profit out of that as well. So, uh, tolls are now being collected at, uh, various, uh, um, uh, highways, various highway segments. And, uh, the place where the tolls are collected are known as, uh, the toll booth platters. So what we have seen that, uh, ad Tolbert Plaza that some of the very busy highways you would see long queues, uh, that starts, uh, uh, forming, uh, at such toll booth possess, which causes a considerable amount of delay to the, um, traveling public. And also, uh, more and more, uh, what we are observing is that, uh, such delays. Uh, in turn are resulting in a lot of, uh, emissions at those locations as well, right? Because the vehicles are stalled. And if there are a lot of a large number of vehicles that are queued up and are stalled at those locations, uh, then the emissions are even more hi. So all of this has given rise to the need of developing electronic toll collection systems. Right? So, uh, but if you look at the, uh, original, uh, layout of. Uh, as, but I IRC, uh, specified in 2014, IRC, uh, uh, specialist SP 84 in 2014. This is how a generic toll Plaza design should look like. Uh, if the vehicles are arriving in this direction, then usually if it's a, uh, two lane, uh, two lane highway, uh, that, uh, usually splits into a two lane highway, usually splits here, which is. Uh, the queuing area, which then splits into different number of lanes based on how many toll boots you have at that, uh, at that location. So, uh, you have a queuing area, then you have the toll booth area. And then again, All of those, uh, vehicles that emerged out of the tolling booth, they have, again, March back into their two lanes. So you have a merging area as well. So really there are only two lanes, uh, that all of them he's maybe one, two, three, four, five, six, seven lanes have too much backing. So what causes, uh, the delay is not only, uh, the, uh, time taken by the vehicles. To cross this, uh, toll booth or to make the transactions at the toll booth, but also this, uh, merging and diverging areas. Right? So, uh, people have to merge, uh, diverged from, um, uh, two lanes to seven, eight lanes. So there's some time that they take to realize which lane they should go to. So they slow down and look for the lane that is, has the least queue and then select that lane. And then once they are. Uh, merging back in, uh, they have to be very careful that there are two or three other vehicles that are coming out of these lanes, so they should not, uh, meet with an accident. So hence they slowly merged back in and all into the two existing gluts. So all of this put together creates a lot of delay. However, what, uh, the electronic toll collection, uh, attempts to minimize this, the attempts to minimize the. Numb the delay at the toll Plaza itself at the toll booth itself. Right? Because what usually happens at the toll booth is that during manual toll collection, you have a person sitting inside the toll booth right here. Uh, here again, he has intern implied, two more people here, for example, uh, then they are. Well giving you or receiving from you a token based on from where you have, uh, entered the highway, and then you using that token, they are calculating this person inside the booth is calculating how much you have to pay. And based on that, then again, you are making that payment. Uh, if you don't have exact change, then the person is giving you change and all this is taking up a lot of time. Right? So imagine. Uh, there's a lot of delay that may happen processing time is the highest in case of manual, uh, uh, manual toll collection. So imagine this happening at peak hour, uh, when everybody's trying to go to their, uh, go to work. So there there's a highway that is in the suburban part of your area. Uh, it's very common nowadays in many of the large cities in India, you have highways, uh, which are told. Uh, are in the suburban part of your, uh, area, for example, in NCR. Uh, and then you are all going into a new Delhi for your job. And then, uh, the morning peak hours, there may be tremendous amount of rush, as you can see in this picture as well, that there is tremendous amount of force rush and the cues that are, uh, very, very long and this manual toll collection takes. Time forever. However, what, uh, electronic toll collection allows you to do is it allows you to automatically identify the vehicle. Uh, and the vehicle has a tag, uh, attached to it. And the tag is connected to your, uh, bank, the individual driver's bank account. And once the tag is identified, uh, and the vehicle, uh, is identified then automatically the amount of money is deducted. Uh, from the tag and you almost do not even have to stop at the toll Plaza. There are no boom barriers or anything. Ideally there should not be any boom barriers, uh, at the toll, the electronic toll Plaza counters. And you should just be able to go through directly because the transporter is right. So it, it, it, uh, in ideal conditions, it should not provide any delay, but, uh, maybe, uh, since, uh, you have to at least. Uh, divergent merge, uh, into, uh, those particular lanes. So you'll have still have some delay, but, uh, we you're, uh, you're delivering as compared to manual toll Plaza collection is, is to a large, large extent. Yes. So it has all kinds of advantages for the users operators, as well as the government, uh, for the users we have already discussed. Uh, there's almost a. Uh, uh, no delay at all, uh, convenience of cashless payment. So you don't have to, uh, search for cash or exact change or whatever it is. And, uh, the stole statements can be easily mailed to your home online or to your email account operators. It has low operating costs for them. They don't have to have so many, two or three people employed at that booth. Everything can be, uh, mid, online, better audit. Of all these reports can be done. All these transactions can be done and improve capacity without being required without requiring more infrastructure. Right. So usually what happens is if the Q's start on building up, people usually think, Oh, we need more tool boots. Uh, but, uh, more tool boats, uh, putting in more toll booth is putting in more money into the infrastructure and money may be scarce. So in order to, uh, uh, improve the efficiency of the system, uh, the use of, uh, electronic toll collection helps. So again, like we had said earlier in the last lectures, one of the goals of, uh, any idea systems to improve the efficiency of the system. And this is how, uh, in our electronic toll collection, Uh, case, uh, it is improving the efficiency of toll collection and also for the government as a, as a whole, uh, it reduces emissions from idling vehicles and it improves and also improves the transparency of total transactions. So there is, there is no corruption or anything, uh, that can happen at the toll Plaza, digital collection, all the electronic, uh, uh, uh, all the electronic devices help in, uh, transparency as well. So, uh, what are the keys? Uh, uh, key, uh, its devices or ICT devices that are necessary for electronic toll collection. One is the automated vehicle identification system, right? Avi Avi is key because, uh, this using this system itself, you will be able to. Uh, deduct automatically the money required in order to, uh, process that vehicle to the toll Plaza. Right? Uh, unless it, until you know, that this vehicle belongs to this person and this person's bank account is this, you will not be able to make the transaction happened electronically. So automatic vehicle identification is usually done. Uh, by reading the, uh, your registration plate number, your registration plate number is, uh, the database is back with the RTO. The RTO has all the information. Uh, related to, uh, the person with this registration, with this registration number, for example, his address, uh, pen number, bank, account information, so on and so forth. So it automatically then, uh, the system, the Avi system then automatically, uh, identifies, uh, the vehicle. It, uh, it unfortunately identifies the vehicle, uh, and not the driver. Right. Uh, so, uh, And we don't even want to identify the driver because, uh, if it is a, uh, and for example, my wife is driving it, uh, but uh, our bank accounts, uh, maybe just one the same bank account. So it doesn't matter if I'm driving it or my wife is driving it. Uh, we still end up paying the toll. So it is the vehicle that is identified and not, not the person driving the vehicle whose identity, if I, uh, RFID tags, uh, at, uh, attached to your vehicles. Uh, you may be now getting familiar to, uh, the, uh, RFID tags. Uh, many of the vehicles are now mandated to get, right. Uh, uh, those are called fast tags is the faster, uh, the company's called fast tag. Uh, they are giving you these tags. Uh, they usually work on, uh, that technology, the, uh, radio-frequency transponder technology, and there are stationary Adidas on top of the toll Plaza that we, these RFID tags. So if, if, uh, if when, uh, when the vehicle passes through the, uh, toll gate, you have thing is normal, then the transaction happens. If something is abnormal, for example, there is not sufficient balance in your bank account or your bank account number doesn't match. So then, uh, you, it automatically takes, uh, as it's already reading your registration plate number, it automatically sends you the bill to your home. Right? And then you can pay it online with a penalty fee of course, attached with it. So fast tag, like I said, uh, this is the one that, uh, the government of India has now introduced. Uh, so what happens is you have this fast tag, a sticker or tag on your, uh, on your windshield, uh, that is read by the tag reader that is on top of the, uh, toll Plaza. And, uh, once everything is normal, it reads. It detects that this is the right vehicle for which the tag is given. And, uh, also the, uh, the transaction happens that, uh, your bank account has sufficient balance. And then, uh, this traffic get automatically opens up and you can go. So it is usually mentioned that you have to slow down your speed in order for this entire transaction to happen. You cannot travel at for example, 80, 80 kilometers per hour. The transaction would be happening for that. You will need a very high speed communication technology. Uh, people are working towards, uh, open toll booth, uh, open, open tolling where you can just drive at your normal speed and you'll be told, but for that, you would need, uh, not only good communication system networks, but also, uh, a good lane behavior as well. Uh, so since in Indian conditions, our lane behaviors are not that very good. And the communication technology is still developing. So we would still, uh, still require you to, uh, slow down a tad, uh, for this, uh, for this transaction to happen. But, uh, yeah, you do not have to come to a complete stand still and you do not have to wait at the, so this is how, uh, uh, electronic toll collection. Why are fast stag, which is the company that is happening currently in India, you will see almost one 80 toll plazas across national and state highways. I think that number is increasing as well. Uh, because now all toll plazas are, uh, mandated to have, uh, etc. Boots at that, uh, premises. Uh, the other thing, uh, with, uh, with, uh, such kind of electronic toll collection initiatives are that. Are the interoperability of, of these tags, right? So these tags should be, uh, not only specific to one particular toll Plaza or one, uh, mechanism of being electronic toll. It should, it should be interoperable. So, uh, if different toll collection agencies adopt independent standards and technologies than a vehicle enrolled with an EPC program of one toll operator would not be able to access it is the services offered by another toll operator. Right. So if there is difference between, uh, one, uh, highway, uh, using a different toll operator and that toll operator has different standards for electronic toll collection versus the other state highway, then, uh, the fast tag, for example, will not work in. One place and would work only certain places. Then it does not bring efficiency to the system as a whole. So these, all these initiatives have to be interoperable, uh, so that the standards, minimum standards are, uh, uniform throughout the nation. And if you have that transponder on your car, uh, any toll booth, any toll Plaza, any state you are in, uh, that should be able to work and, uh, you should be able to sell pasta tollgates. Uh, so now the minimum functional requirements of the transponders you have to, uh, the transplanter has to, for example, have a power source. Uh, it has to have a, uh, active, uh, battery life. So all of the C uh, now, no, you are trying, now you are in the business of designing a system, right? So when you're designing a, if you were in a business of designing, uh, pavements, uh, for example, then you'd have to know everything about, about, uh, how much, uh, uh, uh, how much, uh, I'm going to mix the uni, what is the mixed design so on and so forth, right? So what is the aggregate sizes? What proportion of the aggregators do you need? So all of those goes into pavement design. So similarly here, when you're doing your system design, so you have to know, uh, every little minor detail about what are all the elements that goes into the system. Uh, what is the average, uh, active battery life of each of these, for example, uh, tag positioning. Now, this is a very important thing. In toll collection, right? Uh, if the tag is positioned, not at the right place on your windshield, uh, the, uh, the tag reader at the top of the, um, toll Plaza will not be able to read your, uh, uh, uh, your tag on the car. Properly. If it doesn't read properly, then again, you get an abnormal transaction and then you have to, even, even though you pass through the, uh, toll Plaza, but you'd have to pay a penalty maybe because your, uh, registration plate number has now been now been captured. So also the positioning is very, very important. So all of these. Add to the system capacity and the system efficiency. So if you have to have an efficient system, you have to, uh, pay attention to detail. You have designed the system in such a manner that, uh, everything works every small, minor detail. You cannot say that. Well, I did not have a battery on my tag reader, uh, on my transponder, uh, and there was no power source. So, uh, I could not, I'm not able to read. Uh, are any of the, um, fast tags that are, uh, going through that is not, that should not be an excuse, right? So you have to think about all of these, what happens, which type of transport transponder do you want to have a transporter that can only read devices, but cannot write anything and not override? Or do you want a transplanter type three which can read, write and perform operations as well? Right? All of those things are something that you have to. Uh, uh, design in a very detailed fashion. So if you look now at the physical view of the entire electronic toll collection system, so you would, again remember that they are all in different specific colors. So these are all the centers, right? The light green all the time. There's, uh, the light Brown, uh, are, uh, are the vehicles are the roadway payment, uh, or the roadway systems? Uh, these are the light blue are the vehicles, uh, and the driver in the vehicle. And then, uh, yellow R D Bateman devices. So what has happened winning is, uh, every time a vehicle is arriving at the. Toll Plaza. Uh, one thing that is, uh, uh, the vehicle is being there. The there's an information flow that is going from the roadside equipment to the vehicle saying vehicle payment request, right? Awaken payment request is going to the vehicle from the roadside equipment. So once the vehicle receives, uh, the vehicle is receiving this request, meaning the vehicle or the tag on the vehicle, as it receiving this request. Then the vehicle payment information is going back to the roadside equipment, to the roadside equipment, roadside equipment, meaning they're a reader on the top of the toll Plaza that, uh, that payment application status is going, uh, to the administration center as well. Right now, all this payment, all this information has to be. Uh, collected and monitored data, utter DMC, right traffic management center. So the traffic management center has a payment administrator who is looking at all of this. And the traffic management center in turn is connected to your financial center, right to your banks. Now the payment request goes here. The financial center says, okay, transactions status is a success. Then the payment administration says. Okay. Uh, the money has been received to the, uh, to the, uh, equipment on the, uh, on the toll Plaza. And then the toll Plaza says, okay, the vehicle can go. So this, all this information instantaneously has to happen, right. So you can. Imagine the amount, uh, the communication network that has to be working day in and day out for these all types of things to happen at an instant, you are, you do not have to even wait for it. It's maybe within a second, all of these things happening. So the thing with any kind of, uh, uh, uh, any kind of application of, uh, ICD devices, is that when it works, it works brilliantly. But if there is a snag in the system, uh, then, uh, the capacity of the system breaks down, uh, very, very quickly as well. Right. So if there is any snag in any of the communication system here or say here, then you would suddenly see, see that the QS at the toll plazas, uh, keeps on increasing because now you don't have a manual backup at the. Q station, ideally you would not have a manual backup, right? Because if you have a manual person there, as well as the electronic toll collection, then there is no cost efficiency involved. So when you don't have a manual person, and now there is a snag in the electronic system, uh, then the efficiency of the system goes down very, very quickly. So you have to ensure that all of these systems work, all the communication channels work between. Uh, different. So I just showed you a very simplistic, uh, example of what happens for just one sort of communication to happen. Right. Uh, but there are so many other communication. Uh, you, you, you see the, you see the, uh, uh, information flows on there, on there, so you can see. So many different types of information is being flowing between different entities and all of those channels have to be open, uh, every time at every instant. So that anything that goes wrong, uh, has to be either self rectified or has to be, uh, uh, assigned to somebody at the TMC, for example, or at the banks or somewhere so that they can help in the rectification of the problem. Right. Uh, so in electronic tool collection or manual collection, the simple theory that is used as the queuing theory that, uh, many of you may be aware of a queuing theory is nothing but the mathematical study of delays of waiting in a line. Right? So if you are a customer and you have experienced, this is not only in the toll Plaza, but anywhere that you form a queue at say at a ticket counter at a railway station, You wouldn't have a bank counter, uh, bank tellers counter at any of the banks. You are a customer waiting in queue. Uh, you have some sort of, uh, uh, service mechanism, somebody helping you. At the top of the queue at the end of the queue. And once you reach that place, then you are all your services provided and you get out of the queuing system. Right? So that is the basic understanding of even the toll Plaza is that you are, uh, waiting to be served. Uh, you're waiting in the queue to be served. Then you reach the toll booth where you are being served. Uh, even at that time, there is some delay because. If it's manual transaction, there is some delay. And then once you're served, you accelerate and get out of the queue. So in, in, in these giving theories, so if you understand the queuing theory, then you will understand how, uh, electronic toll collection minimizes the delay, uh, that happens. And, uh, by minimizing the delay for one car, if you then. I understand that if you accumulate this, uh, reduction in delay, uh, for the entire system of, uh, cars that are approaching, uh, are going through the toll Plaza, uh, then you can get the benefit off electronic toll collection. So in doing, uh, what we are usually, uh, some of the terminologies that we usually use, our arrival rate and service rate arrival rate is the rate at which cars arrive at the total area. So for example, there may be 300 vehicles. But our debtor, uh, actor arriving at the total, uh, the total area, which, uh, on an average is about 5.8 vehicles per minute. And service rate. However, is the rate at which the cars are served by the toll booth, uh, which for example, it may be four 50 vehicles per hour are seven and a half acres a minute. So in this case, what you're seeing is the service rate being high. Yeah. Then the, uh, arrival date. So when the service rate is higher than the arrival date, that means. A fewer number of vehicles are coming and I have the capacity to serve even more, uh, vehicles that are alive at that time. No queue takes place. Right. But when the arrival rate increases or becomes higher than the service rate, that is when June queuing starts to take this. Uh, just the inverse of these arrival dates and service dates. We'll give you the, uh, service time and arrival time. So service time is nothing but one by service rate. So a service time, meaning 37 seconds per vehicle. So to serve a vehicle at the toll booth, it takes me 37 seconds. Uh, arrival time is, uh, every 15 seconds. One vehicle is arriving, right? Every 15 seconds, one week Alyssa arriving. So that is the arrival time. And that I will rate that is how they are. Uh, interdependent. So if you have, uh, usually at the toll boots, you have these sort of, uh, uh, databases that toll plazas, uh, keep, uh, keep with them. Uh, they say that, okay, this is a 50 number car, uh, that has arrived, uh, at overtime to, to the queue that has arrived at a five minutes. Say example. Uh, at whatever fifth minute, uh, timestamp arrived at the queue. So that is when you arrive at the queue, meaning at the back of the queue. So this person, this car has now arrived at the back of the queue, right? And then the car has moved up, arrived at the. Toll booth at five minutes, 45 seconds. Right? So the car was in the queue for 45 seconds and 500, five minute 45. Second. It has arrived at the toll booth and it has departed from the toll booth at six minutes. So in 15 seconds, uh, it was served whatever toll he or she had to pay. They have paid and in six minutes they have left the, uh, toll booth. So the service time essentially was. 45, 15 seconds. The waiting time was 45 seconds because they had to be, uh, it, it took the car 45 seconds to reach from the back of the queue to the toll booth. So that is what is called waiting time. This is what is called service time. Uh, the arrival time between, uh, two cars you can calculate by where the difference between when the next car lives at the end of the queue. Uh, in, uh, in relation to the car in front of it. So that is what is, so if arrival time has to be calculated that I was between two vehicles to the queue here at, uh, five seconds service time difference.We've already talked about waiting time. We have already talked about. Uh, we have also, uh, given you an understanding of why delay happens. It happens due to two things, queuing delay, which is when you are queuing up to pay for, uh, pay the tolls and also merging delay when you are trying to March back, because there are seven lanes that have to merge back to two lanes. So all of stakes are a little bit delayed as well. Uh, so what happens essentially at, uh, uh, uh, electronic toll collection, EPC is electronic toll collection and MPCs manual toll collection. What happens is the service rate of EPC is higher than the service rate of MTC. So that is how it reduces the giving delay item. Electronic toll collection. Electronic tools can serve you at a much faster vape. Right because there is no manual person. There is no manual transaction happening. There's no money being exchanged. There's only a transponder that is reading your tolls and it's letting you go. So the service rate of alternate tool collection is much higher. So what, how you calculate a delay? Is that a waiting time? I at a toll booth is what is calculated. Waiting time at the toll booth is dependent upon service rate at the toll booth. And also the total traffic volume that is coming and also the number of toll boots that are there. Right? So the service rate is very, very important. The higher the service rate, the lower will be the higher, the service rate. The lower would be the wait time at the toll booth. So since the service date of EPC is greater than the service state of MTC, that is how it reduces our electronic toll collection reduces the. Uh, delete . So you would say if you're given a simple problem and asked to calculate the queuing delayed time at a manual toll Plaza, if the total number of toll booths are three on a single lane highway, so it's a single lane highway, and now there are three toll boots. The total traffic law on the highway is 800 vehicles per hour as Hume that the manual toll collection toll booth assume the service rate of the MTC toll Buddhists. 400 vehicles per hour, right? So there are 800 vehicles per hour that are coming. Uh, the traffic flow on the highway is 800 vehicles per hour. Whereas the MTC toll booth service rate is 400 vehicles per hour. Then once you're finished, uh, measuring the, uh, delay at the MTC, compare the queuing delay for similar toll Plaza, upgraded with EPC. Okay. And the service rate of 1200 vehicles per hour. Now, if this has been upgraded to an electronic toll collection and the ear and the, uh, service rate, there is 1200 because per hour, what would be the given delay time? So you can both, uh, for both the cases you can use this formula. And then the first case when the service rate is 400 vehicles per hour, you'll see that, uh, you substitute 400, this is already 800. And you said that there are three number of toll boots. So you'll see the, uh, the delay is 27 seconds per vehicle, right? So per vehicle, the delays 27 seconds, whereas at an EDC, when the service rate has gone up this remaining constant, your delay has gone down to just 3.9. Okay. Second spot vehicle. So almost a seven time reduction in delay due to the application of electronic toll collector. So these are the benefits of, uh, for example, ITA ICT devices. In this case that we have shown is that electronic toll collection. Plaza. So this can be demonstrated in any other, uh, ideas application that you are, uh, you are thinking of in installing in your city or in urban area. Uh, this is how you can demonstrate the benefits of it. Uh, that these are actual efficiency benefits that help, uh, that help in transforming your manual operations into an electronic operation.