Citizen Engagement

Humanizing the tolling industry!

Have you noticed that tolling solutions are not evolving? Once a tolling solution is put into an operation, it is hardly improved during the following years.

Governments have been transforming from eGovernment via Digital Government to Cognitive Government. But tolling solutions? Even a new mobile app supporting a tolling operation would make an industry news splash? Really? How low are our expectations about this industry?

Imagine if tolling systems were integrated into overall transportation ecosystems. You have one mobility account for all transportation options and traffic congestion is being addressed holistically across an entire transportation network? Imagine if tolling systems were built around citizen centricity, rather than around the most efficient way of collecting money?

The world has changed

By 2020 there will be over 50 billion smart connected devices in the world, all developed to collect, analyze and share data. And we are still building tolling systems using specially built in-vehicle devices! Again, really? Or is it just somebody trying to protect healthy revenue streams for another 10 years?

There has been a great deal of effort put into digitizing the tolling industry. But we just digitized a status quo to make operations as cost efficient as possible. Did anybody come across a tolling blockchain pilot? Yes, blockchain, the technology which has been piloted from financial to food industry. The technology which may replace a traditional way of toll trip authentication, vehicle owner identification, discount eligibility based on user’s overall transportation profile.

Oh, yes. I forgot it would require tolling operations be integrated into overall transportation ecosystems to see benefits of such promising technology.

It is time that government transportation organizations go beyond just optimizing and modernizing today’s tolling systems. Tolling systems should be seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives. And today’s digital technology can help. If new tolling systems would be designed with a citizen-centric approach, it will naturally integrate them into overall mobility solutions. It will happen in small steps, but will push the tolling industry in the right direction.

CTO - Transportation and National Infrastructure

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