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Electronic Toll Collection/Electronic Screening Interoperability Pilot Project: Final Report Synthesis
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    Final report
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  • Abstract:
    In 1998, ITS America established a Blue Ribbon Panel on electronic commerce to study the convergence of transportation and electronic payment systems. Panel members included senior managers from government, toll agencies, motor carrier industry, and service providers. The panel’s goal was to achieve national interoperability of Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), electronic screening (E-screening), and other dedicated short-range communication standards (DSRC) applications. The panel provided a successful forum for discussion, while moving toward a solution to the national interoperability problem. In March 2001, the I-95 Corridor Coalition approved funding for an ETC/E-Screening Interoperability Pilot Project for regional interoperability between ETC and E-screening. The long-term goal was to provide a model for national interoperability of DSRC applications. The project combined testing a single dual-mode DSRC transponder for both ETC and E-screening, and developing administrative and organizational structures to support interoperability beyond the Pilot Project. The Pilot Project’s intent was to coordinate the Northeast’s interoperable ETC program, E-ZPass, with the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) E-screening deployments planned by Maryland and Connecticut. The Pilot Project was designed as a series of five incremental builds to incrementally establish functionality and address institutional and technical challenges that could potentially impact interoperability. The Pilot Project evaluation structure is based on standard evaluation practices originally developed by USDOT. The following five evaluation goals were identified: 1) Assess the impact of interoperability on motor carrier mobility; 2) Assess the impact of electronic screening on motor carrier safety; 3) Identify industry and government efficiency gains from ETC/E-screening; 4) Assess the impact of electronic screening on the environment, in particular, reduction in diesel emissions; and 5) Assess overall customer satisfaction, both government and industry. The Pilot Project successfully demonstrated the following: 1) Interoperable applications using a single transponder are both technically and institutionally feasible; 2) The CVISN model of electronic screening, where motor carriers are issued a transponder but not given a guarantee that simply having the transponder will result in a weigh station bypass, is both technically and operationally feasible; 3) The results of the mobility and efficiency tests demonstrate that interoperable applications do result in quantifiable benefits to the motor carrier industry; and 4) The application of ITS/CVO technologies and systems produces significant environmental benefits through reduced truck idling and emissions. The resulting lessons learned include: 1) Flexible Approach to Project Management – One of the key successes of the project has been the flexible approach to project management adopted by the project team; and 2) Need for Process Re-Engineering – The ETC/E-screening project has demonstrated the importance of process re-engineering to support the deployment of new technologies and systems. The resulting recommendations include: 1) Expand Environmental Impact Assessment to conduct a more comprehensive environmental impact analysis using actual emissions data; 2) Conduct an Expanded Safety Analysis when market penetration has reached the point where statistically valid data can be obtained; 3) Expand Interoperability Applications to promote transponder use in commercial vehicles; 4) Identify Additional Opportunities for Expanding Interoperability to aid in congestion mitigation and management at seaports, airports, and intermodal facilities.
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