On 1 January 2010 the Slovak Republic commissioned one of the most state-of-the-art electronic toll systems, which puts Slovakia among the leaders in electronic toll collection worldwide.
When launched, the system covered almost 2,400km of specified road sections – along with motorways, expressways and many 1st class roads – powered by state-of-the-art satellite GPS-GSM technology of the toll collection based on GPS navigation, i.e. recording a vehicle´s position by means of the navigation device inside the vehicle (On-Board Unit) using GPS satellites. The chosen toll collection technology provides for maximum flexibility of the system to manage future growth of the volume in cargo transport and expansion of the roads network in the Slovak Republic.
The Slovak ETC system uses technologically innovative "hybrid" On-Board Units, which integrate three technologies:
- Satellite GPS positioning technology provides for the collection of data concerning the use of the specified road sections;
- GSM/GPRS technology for communication within mobile networks, which transmits data between the On-Board Unit and other information systems within the ETC system;
- Microwave DRSC technology for short-distance communication, which checks toll payers within the process of toll collection enforcement.
As of 1 January 2014 the satellite technology of the toll collection has covered almost 17,770km of Specified Road Sections in the Slovak Republic, including about 660km of specified sections of motorways and expressways, 3,630km specified sections of 1st class roads, 3,640km specified sections of 2nd class roads and more than 9,840km specified sections of 3rd class roads.
The aforesaid expansion of the Specified Road Sections means Slovakia is the first EU country that:
- Operates in total the longest road network within the Electronic Toll System;
- By means of the ETC system covers the longest network of lower category roads stretching more than 17,100km.
The satellite toll system used in the Slovak Republic is technologically ready for interoperability with neighbouring countries in full compliance with the requirements of the future European Electronic Toll Collection Service based on the principle of “one contract – one OBU – multiple toll systems”. Thanks to the technology applied it can quickly and flexibly implement future changes and rules of the EU in terms of pan-European traffic policy.
Satellite Toll System Operation
The ETC system is a complicated information, communication and technological complex consisting of several information subsystems and a number of specific applications that ensure all operational processes of toll collection and enforcement.
Before entering the specified road sections, all vehicles subject to the toll duty shall register first with the ETC system and, at the same time, have a properly installed OBU, which is mandatory on the whole network of the specified road sections.
The OBU includes up-to-date geographic data about the specified road sections that are subject to toll payment (the GEO model). After installation in the vehicle and properly set up, the OBU functions immediately. While driving, the OBU monitors the vehicle's position on the specified road sections using a global satellite tracking system (GPS) and compares it with data stored in the GEO model. If, based on this data comparison, the OBU algorithm finds that the vehicle used a toll section subject to toll payment, it shall, in accordance with the applicable legislation, create a relevant toll record of this event (the toll event).
The toll events created by means of the GSM/GPRS technology shall be sent from the OBU to the CIS, where based on the distance travelled by the toll-liable vehicle on the specified road sections and the appropriate toll rate for the specific vehicle category and the type of specified road section, toll transactions shall be generated and the toll rate shall be calculated. The Central Information System is formed by a number of applications that provide complete functionality of the toll collection process. Along with the evaluation of toll events and billing of toll transactions, it also includes the creation of invoices, reminders, management of customer and supplier relations, logistics, operation of the customer zone of the web portal and so on.
Toll collection enforcement
Toll collection enforcement is provided for by the system operator (SkyToll) in cooperation with the Toll Police. The built-in microwave (DSRC) technology of the OBU allows it to communicate with a specific subsystem in the ETC system designated for toll collection enforcement. Its task is the enforcement of toll payment and other obligations under the toll collection act and to document toll incidents and deal with toll offences. The system of toll collection enforcement uses several types of state-of-the-art detection devices.
Using the the installed technology, the fixed and portable roadside control gantries can verify the technical data of a vehicle and compare it with the vehicle registration data in the central information system as well as the proper setting of the OBU. Any suspicious findings (toll incidents) detected by control gantries shall be sent automatically to the central surveillance office, where they are processed, classified and verified again. Confirmed incidents are classified as toll offences and then treated in compliance with the applicable legislation.
For more information visit the Toll Collection Enforcement System page.