'GINA' demonstrates reliability of GNSS-only road pricing and the benefits of EGNOS

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22 November 2010

The EC-funded GINA project has designed and tested a system for accurate location of vehicles with respect to 'geo-objects' and for recording the distance they travel, thus laying the groundwork for a fairer system of GNSS-only road pricing.

The European satellite navigation systems, EGNOS and Galileo, represent important new opportunities for business and social improvement in Europe, and powerful tools in the drive to meet key global challenges, including mounting demand for mobility.

gina 2010.jpgThe 'GINA' project meets in Brussels © Peter Gutierrez

Speaking at a recent GINA project workshop in Brussels, Fiammetta Diani of the GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) said, "Road network management is a priority for Europe. The availability of the EGNOS augmentation signal opens the possibility of new services for a wide range of users, including infrastructure managers, fleet operators, or car insurers. And it also means new options for addressing congestion and pollution through road pricing schemes.

"GNSS systems such as EGNOS are flexible, and they represent a low-cost solution," said Diani. "With GNSS-based road charging there are no tollbooths, no new infrastructure, and we can cover each and every road, no matter how small or in what kind of environment. EGNOS corrects GPS position, delivering increased accuracy and insuring the reliability of the signal, contributing to enhance the final performances."

GINA trials successful

The GINA project is aimed at addressing the use of EGNOS in the road sector, carrying out large scale feasibility tests in the Netherlands, including positive location and tracking of vehicles both in urban environments and on the open road.

"A high degree of position integrity is important to make sure we are charging correctly," explains GINA coordinator Sara Gutiérrez of GMV. "We have to be able to say with certainty that a particular car is driving on a particular road and not on a nearby parallel road, for example. With the GINA system we have that kind of accuracy and integrity of signal, and EGNOS is contributing with increased accuracy and reliability."

Accurate vehicle tracking means accurate charging. For GNSS-based charging schemes to succeed, the public has to feel confident about their reliability, one workshop participant pointed out. If customers start receiving invoices and seeing that they are being overcharged, confidence in the system will quickly start to corrode.

"Our tests showed an improvement in tracking accuracy for GPS plus EGNOS when compared to similar systems using GPS alone," says Gutiérrez. "To summarise, the system developed under the GINA project is reliable, it is simple and affordable, and it delivers improved performance over GPS."

It's about fairness

Another participant at the GINA workshop also raised the issue of public perception of EGNOS, noting that people could come to associate the system with having to pay money to use their cars.

Diani responded, "The fact is that we all pay taxes that go towards transport infrastructure, whether we use that infrastructure or not. So we are not talking about a system for charging more but for charging more fairly. With the information we can gather about driving behaviour using EGNOS, we can ensure that the people who pay are the people who are really using the roads. The ones who take public transport or who ride a bicycle, for example, would not have to pay at all, while those who do drive would pay a fair price based on the real amount of driving they do."

Ultimately, say GINA partners, the project has shown that GNSS and EGNOS present economically viable and fair solutions to help reduce the negative impact of road transport, including congestion and pollution.

More information:

The workshop findings and all presentations are available on the GINA web site.

Updated: Sep 03, 2014