Reducing Congestion via Satellite

By on 19 July, 2010

Singapore transport will explore the use of satellite tracking technology to update its electronic road pricing system and reduce road congestion, the government has announced.

The system involves using a GNSS to monitor all the location of vehicles via transmitters.

Traffic congestion is a big problem in Singapore. A road pricing technology, involving placing short-range radio transmitter in all vehicles that transmitted locational data to a series of gantries around the city, was put in place in 1998. Cars and other vehicles are charged a fee as they pass under each gantry.

The system uses market principles to manage road congestion, by varying the usage price of certain roads at different times of the day. But the system hasn’t solved the congestion problem as drivers seek out alternative routes to avoid the charges, which in turn causes new congestion.

The government says that basing the system on a satellite network could lead to increased accuracy and reliability and therefore will issue tenders for a satellite-based road pricing scheme shortly. Trials will be used to assess the accuracy of the system.
"We expect the development and testing of new [road-pricing] technologies that are suitable for Singapore's conditions to take some years, before it is ready to be launched and implemented," said Raymond Lim, the Southeast Asian city-state's minister of transport.

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