According to Georg Kapsch, the toll is the solution for financing and controlling traffic. According to him, the financing of the road infrastructure is “the subject of the future”.
Georg Kapsch, CEO of the toll system provider Kapsch TrafficCom, is convinced that in future it will not be possible to finance road and rail or efficient traffic control without a toll. Because after the “Corona waste measures” there will no longer be enough money available to build transport infrastructure. “Financing the road infrastructure will be the topic of the future, this is an extremely growing market,” said Kapsch in an interview with APA.
Kapsch: Link driving behavior to financial framework conditions
But the traffic-controlling effect of a toll is just as important. “In the long run, you will only be able to control traffic if you link driving behavior to financial framework conditions”. This means that using the same route can cost differently depending on the volume of traffic or the time of day.
The model will also make sense for highways, but it is even more exciting for cities. The best solution for urban areas is a combination of a toll and traffic control using information. This does not necessarily mean less traffic, but you can “enormously” reduce the traffic jam. Even with a good traffic management system, traffic jams could be reduced by at least 30 percent in the short term, combined with a city toll, “you can get 70 percent relatively easily” less traffic jams, says Kapsch.
Whereby the information system would ideally be “interactive”, i.e. reacting to the current traffic situation. The difference between a situation with mainly human drivers compared to autonomous vehicles: With humans, one has to hope that they adhere to the recommendations that autonomous vehicles could be controlled directly.
Traffic control elements are very demanding
The individual elements of traffic control are very demanding. Kapsch TrafficCom has acquired a stake in a company that only specializes in the question of how information about imminent traffic lights is communicated to vehicles. Because only if the driver – or a future autonomous vehicle – knows in advance that the next traffic light will be red can the driving speed be ideally set.
Kapsch TrafficCom itself is now primarily developing platforms to implement the relevant information. “We’re not a traffic light manufacturer,” said Kapsch, who estimates that his company is now 75 percent software company.
Toll business: every city goes its own way
And offers services such as toll billing in the background. Because the toll business is very regional, every city goes its own way. But that shouldn’t be a problem for consumers – “You will have a service provider who pays the toll for you across Europe and who delivers the traffic control data to your vehicle”. Kapsch has already launched a service for the USA where the customer can pay any toll using an app without having to worry about who is currently charging them a toll.
Kapsch sees his company with traffic control as “part of the green economy”. “Climate change is an engine for us. Because with our products and services we are someone who makes a disproportionately large contribution to reducing the climate damage caused by traffic. That is certainly an advantage for us for the future,” says Kapsch. This applies to both autonomous and conventional vehicles. These considerations also apply regardless of whether the future belongs to the e-car, the hydrogen car or, for a longer period of time, the combustion engine, and regardless of when autonomous driving becomes a reality.