About RUC & VAS

Road User Charging (RUC) may be referred to as a variety of methods for charging road users in a country, a region or a city for the distance they travel, with the charge based on the type of road, the time of day and/or the type of vehicle. A RUC scheme can be introduced individually by member states, regions or cities.

Road pricing has been identified as an important transport policy tool for decades. Today, this initiative is often driven by the need to control traffic congestion, however, it is also often regarded as a new tax.

The practicality of electronic road pricing was first shown demonstrated in Hong Kong in 1985, and shortly after, in 1987, the first electronic toll collection (ETC) system was introduced. Presently, most road charging systems are based on dedicated short range communication (DSRC), however, technologies relying on more intelligent vehicles have also proved to be effective and highly relevant when trying to reduce the cost of roadside infrastructure. The use of positioning information provided by satellite positioning systems (mainly GPS at the moment) is expending as it allows to cover a much wider road network than other technologies.


Read about RUC

Traffic Technology International, Feb/March 2006
Thinking Highways Europe, June 2008

Some specific Value Added Services which are driver information applications based upon a GNSS and communication link within a vehicle can be provided using a shared infrastructure with Road User Charging. The VAS list is constantly growing and will benefit from the introduction of the European GNSS. Amongst other VAS, the GINA partners proposed to focus on the following ones:

  • eCall initiative (emergency services): this is a subset of emergency services where an emergency call is generated either manually by vehicle occupants or automatically via activation of in-vehicle sensors. The system establishes voice connection with a Public Safety Answering point and sneds a minimum set of incident data to an operator.
    The eSafety partners (European Commission, industry, public authorities and other stakeholders) agreed to introduce eCall as standard equipment in all vehicles entering the market after September 2010.
  • Pay-As-You-Drive services: this concept involves all kind of road applications where the driving profile of a user has an influence on the price policies of the service which is provided. It includes auto insurance or rent or leasing applications. The use of GNSS enables the implementation of a rating system based on the driver profile (the driving behaviour, the mileage, etc.). PAYD service offer is rapidly expanding thanks to the increased penetration of in-vehicle GNSS units.
  • Traffic information generation, processing and provision: these are part of location-based vehicle/driver assistance services which are a set of applications encompassing all non safety of life - non liability critical location based VAS. These services are already proposed by several car manufacturers, however they are still confronted with several barrers (high cost, niche diffusion, etc.)
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