One toll system - many benefits
Its electronic format makes the AGES e-Vignette an efficient toll system, which can be implemented and operated quickly and cost-effectively. Drivers save time and find the scheme to be user-friendly due to the range of purchasing options available. As the conditions to buy an e-Vignette are the same for domestic and foreign road users and are controlled in the same way, it is also a fair toll system. At the same time the e-Vignette provides a high degree of data security. The AGES scheme enables flexible e-Vignette pricing to deliver environmental policy, capturing costs from pollutant emissions and allowing differential charging for vehicle classes.
Since 1st October 2008, the e-Vignette has been in operation in the form of the Eurovignette and has proven to be an efficient and cost-effective toll system for HGVs. But the e-Vignette may also be used for passenger cars – and it is cost-effective. About 5% of the annual toll revenue covers all of the costs incurred including the start-up costs of the toll system. Other road user charging systems are distinctly more inefficient: Paper vignette systems require about 8% of the annual revenue of the toll to cover costs, distance-based DSRC or GPS/GSM systems even 25% to 50%.
This difference can be explained by the simplicity of the toll system which avoids the high costs to set up and maintain the roadside infrastructure or to instal the devices in the vehicles. In addition, there is no longer any need for monthly billing or for the maintenance of millions of vehicle and customer data records.
Another significant advantage is that the e-Vignette can be set up and operated quickly. This tried-and-tested toll system can be in operation within six to nine months.
The user friendliness of the e-Vignette is due to its electronic format.
Domestic and foreign road users have the same purchase options. The right of use can be purchased simply online – even with a smartphone – or at one of the numerous points of sale, e.g. at petrol stations or other sales partners. Once the vignette has been purchased, the road user can use the network within the toll area for desired periods up to one year. To do this, they only have to enter the registration number of their vehicle and the period of use. In the case of the e-Vignette, it is no longer necessary to have a receipt as proof or to put a sticker on the screen as a digital entry exists in a central database. The entry is checked automatically during a vignette control via mobile cameras so that the road users do not lose any time.
There is no need to install registration devices in the vehicles for the e-Vignette. Thus no additional costs are incurred, and the road user does not even have to check the invoices on a monthly basis any more.
A fair toll system distinguishes itself in that it applies equally to domestic and foreign road users. It is simple to control but difficult for toll evaders to manipulate.
Foreign road users purchase the e-Vignette under exactly the same conditions as domestic drivers. They are not discriminated and at the same time make their own contribution to the financing of infrastructure costs.
The e-Vignette stores the right to use the toll roads as a digital entry in a central database. The possibility to manipulate the vignette, as was always the case with the paper vignette, is therefore impossible in the case of the e-Vignette. At the same time, the electronic format facilitates the monitoring of the authorization of use. This is carried out with mobile control devices as for conventional enforcement systems. It is not necessary to stop the vehicle. The only exception: If a foreign vehicle violates the toll obligation, it will be stopped so that the driver cannot escape proceedings to impose a penalty.
The use of the e-Vignette system ensures that drivers can choose to pay for what they use, when they wish to use it, that all road users are subject to the same controls and that they are treated equally.
The e-Vignette conforms with data protection laws.
When purchasing the authorization of use, only the vehicle data which is related to the charged amount is stored alongside the registration number. Any sensitive data is generated only in an encoded format when controlling the vignette obligation and will be deleted immediately and automatically unless there is a violation.
Neither movement profile nor personal data is registered, stored or processed for the e-Vignette. Distance-based DSRC or GPS/GSM systems on the other hand have to store sensitive data long term so that the billing of the distance travelled is comprehensible for the road user.
The e-Vignette service offers an effective tool for traffic control and environmental protection. Functionality may be extended flexibly to include criteria to scale the amount charged:
- Duration of road use
- Vehicle pollutant emissions
- Time of road use (peak times vs. standard times)
- Type of route (congested route / normal route)
These and other distinguishing criteria can be combined optionally within the AGES e-Vignette scheme design.