Seoul smart transportation pricing demonstration

Tuesday 30 September 2008

Skymeter has announced that Cisco’s Tony Kim, head of “Connected Urban Development” Seoul, declared Skymeter Corporation “as our technical solution partner for Location, Time, and Distance-based road user charging”. Kim made the announcement last week at the Clinton Global Initiative conference “Connectivity for Sustainability”. This is a major development in the application of GPS technology to road user charging and a significant step for the Canadian firm Skymeter.

Connected Urban Development (CUD) is a partnership between Cisco Systems and the Clinton Global Initiative in seven major cities (Amsterdam, Birmingham (UK), Hamburg, Lisbon, Madrid, San Francisco, and Seoul) to create urban communications infrastructure that demonstrates how network connectivity can reduce carbon emissions in urban environments. CUD will help change the way in which cities deliver services to residents, manage the flow of traffic, operate public transportation and many other critical operational activities. Seoul’s focus in this CUD project is connected and sustainable mobility solutions.

Location, Time, and Distance-based Road User Charging enables governments to manage demand for roads by charging motorists directly for road use at rates that vary with location of journey, time of day, and distance traveled. This allows governments to address traffic congestion, direct funds for roads according to their use, and fund concurrent transit improvements providing a better level of service to all peak-hour commuters, whether motorist, transit user, or cyclist.

Over the last six months, Skymeter has been working with Cisco Systems to test its innovative road-use metering technology on the streets of Seoul. Skymeter’s CTO, Preet Khalsa, says, “I was asked to prove that we can operate reliably anywhere, no matter how tall the buildings – in what is called ‘urban canyon’. Cisco chose the densest architectural parts of the city to test whether our road-use metering technology always determines the correct charge, because until now, GPS for road use charging has been known to work reliably only outside cities in ‘open sky’.”

“They really put us through a tough test. It was imperative that we generated highly consistent charges every time we ran the same trip.” Khalsa explains “the public demands consistency and an extremely low error rate. Errors of five and 10 percent in road or parking charges would be unacceptable. We already surpass two percent and will continue to improve this.”

Also attending the conference, Todd Litman, executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute and a widely respected transportation economist said “judging from early test results, Skymeter has removed critical barriers to the use of GPS for road use charging. They appear to have addressed reliability, cost and privacy issues. I look forward to seeing the results of a formal pilot in Seoul.”

Source : ITS International

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