NXP and Siemens Develop GPS/GSM-based Road Charging Platform
Published on: 5th May 2008
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
NXP and Siemens Mobility have reached an agreement to collaborate with each other in order to develop NXP's new ATOP (Automotive Telematics On Board Unit Platform) into the 'single chip on board unit' system based on GPS and GSM. Commercial use is planned for the first half of 2010.
As ATOP exploits existing GPS/GSM mobile networks, it is not necessary to install expensive infrastructure such as toll stations.
NXP will supply a chip and basic software which combines all the functions for toll collection such as GPS, GPRS and NFC modules. Interfaces for flexible telematics applications such as additional traffic information, including the Smart X high-safety application, will be provided on a single-chip platform, which is fully automotive-grade. Siemens is to develop the on-board unit (OBU) and integrate the single chip and software from NXP.
The ATOP-based on-board unit receives GPS satellite signals and uses GSM-based standard radio technology for transmitting data to the central system for toll calculation. The system also includes a non-removable adhesive vignette which is fitted with a radio chip (RFID) and is attached to the windscreen. It communicates with the on-board unit in order to ensure that the OBU is actually present in the vehicle and is being operated in accordance with the use for which it is intended. The RFID vignette can also be used for other applications such as parking space management.
The price of a car journey can be determined in a number of ways. The distance traveled and the time of day chosen for the trip are the main factors, but the type of vehicle and fuel consumption or CO2 emissions are also possible references. Simple, secure toll charging is ensured by means of monthly invoicing but, in order to ensure privacy, a prepaid card can be purchased instead. In this case, no details of the driver or the route are disclosed.
The current fee for car journeys can be displayed by the OBU at all times. The police or authorized monitoring bodies can carry out a check at any time to make sure the driver is using the system in the way for which it is intended, enabling easy enforcement. For this purpose, a portable device will be provided which uses near field communication technology (NFC) in order to read out information from the vignette on the windscreen. The vignette also serves as a security mechanism in conjunction with the OBU in order to ensure than only the OBU specifically assigned to the vehicle can be used and not exchanged with another vehicle.
The OBU is being developed to take into account the conditions inside the vehicle. This is necessary in order to enable it to withstand extreme temperatures. The lifetime of the unit is not dependent on the lifetime of the vehicle. The system is being developed in such a way that it can be easily fitted in the vehicle and, in the event of damage, can easily be replaced.