Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded S$4 million (US$3.24 million) in tenders to find the best system for the Lion City's next generation electronic road pricing (ERP) system.
The ERP system automatically charges motorists when they use Singapore's roads during peak hours, in an effort to regulate traffic flow. The ERP system uses a dedicated short-range radio communication system to deduct ERP charges from CashCards. These are inserted in the In-vehicle Units (IUs) of vehicles before each journey.
Each time vehicles pass through the more than 80 gantries on selected roads, ERP charges are automatically deducted in a pay-as-you-use system. The LTA reviews the traffic conditions on the expressways and roads, where the ERP system is in operation, on a quarterly basis and during the June and December school holidays.
According to the LTA the "ERP has been effective in maintaining an optimal speed range of 45 to 65 km/h for expressways and 20 to 30 km/h for arterial roads".
In an official announcement on their website, the LTA said tenders for the next generation ERP system have been awarded to four consortia - Kapsch TrafficCom AB, MHI Engine System Asia & NCS, ST Electronics (Info-Comm Systems) & IBM Singapore, and Watchdata Technologies & Beijing Watchdata System Co.
The four consortia will conduct the system evaluation test (SET), for 18 months from June 2011, for the lion city's next generation road pricing system.
The LTA statement said: "The participating companies were evaluated not only based on their technical expertise and track records, but also on the overall economic benefits and innovation in telematics that their proposals would bring to the Singapore economy.
"Each selected consortium will be allocated seed funding of SG$1 million each to design, develop and demonstrate its technological solutions."
Years timeline for new project
The announcement said that, at the end of the SET, the LTA will assess the performance of the various solutions to determine whether an appropriate technological solution is available and can form the basis of a next generation ERP system.
"The development of this project is in its very early stages," the LTA said. "The next generation ERP system, if technically feasible, is still some years away before it is ready to be launched and implemented."
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