NXP and Siemens Mobility have reached an agreement to collaborate on development of NXP’s new Automotive Telematics On Board (ATOP) into a ‘single chip on-board unit’ system based on GPS and GSM. Once it is done with development and ready for the market, it is intended for use in private vehicles. ATOP can be used simply and cost-effectively as it exploits existing GPS/GSM mobile networks.
A benefit of ATOP is that it is not necessary to install an infrastructure, such as toll stations for roads, because drivers can install the on-board unit in just a few minutes, and the system will then act as a secure and easy toll collection method.
Governments, authorities and institutions all over the world are becoming increasingly interested in flexible road pricing solutions that are suitable for all car drivers and can automatically calculate and charge customers for a journey by car. In addition, they must not impair the flow of traffic and must help to ensure that the number of vehicles on the roads is kept within reasonable limits.
Siemens Mobility and NXP are therefore working together to create solution for the market. NXP will supply a chip and basic software which combines all the functions for toll collection such as GPS, GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and NFC modules. Interfaces for flexible telematics applications, such as additional traffic information including the Smart X high-safety application, will be provided on a single-chip platform. Siemens is developing the on-board unit and integrate the single chip and software from NXP.
The system also includes a non-removable adhesive vignette which is fitted with an RFID chip and is attached to the window shield. It communicates with the on-board unit in order to ensure that the on-board unit is actually present in the vehicle and is being operated in accordance with the use for which it is intended. The RFID vignette can also be used for other applications such as parking space management.
With the system installed, the price of a car trip can be determined in a number of ways. The distance traveled and the time of day chosen for the trip are the main factors, but the type of vehicle and fuel consumption or CO2 emissions are also possible references.
Simple, secure toll charging is ensured by means of monthly invoicing but, in order to ensure privacy, a prepaid card can be purchased instead. In this case, no details of the driver or the route are disclosed.
The current fee for car journeys can be displayed by the on-board unit at all times. The police or another authorized monitoring body can carry out a check at any time to make sure the driver is using the system in the way for which it is intended, enabling easy enforcement. For this purpose, a portable device will be provided which uses NFC in order to read out information from the vignette on the windscreen. The vignette also serves as a security mechanism in conjunction with the on-board unit in order to ensure than only the one specifically assigned to the vehicle can be used and not exchanged with another vehicle.
The OBU is being developed to take into account the conditions inside the vehicle. This is necessary in order to enable it to withstand extreme temperatures. The lifetime of the unit is not dependent on the lifetime of the vehicle. The system is being developed in such a way that it can be easily fitted in the vehicle and, in the event of damage, can easily be replaced.
Further information on intelligent traffic systems from Siemens Mobility at http://www.siemens.de/traffic.