Pricing and monitoring electronically of automobiles. The DRIVE project PAMELA. 2. The scope of automated pricing systems
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Authors: Thorpe, N. and Hills, P.
Journal: Traffic Engineering and Control
This paper is the second in a series of three describing the research being undertaken by the PAMELA consortium under the European Commission's DRIVE program. The first paper provided an introduction to the PAMELA system, outlining its aims and objectives and describing the technology being developed by the consortium to facilitate the two-way interchange of data between a moving vehicle and the roadside via a microwave communications link. In this paper two approaches to the operation of road-use pricing are discussed -- namely, discrete zone-based charging and continuous pricing based on congestion monitoring. However, to provide a longer-term solution to congestion, it is argued that a charging system is required that is more able to reflect the variable nature of the costs of congestion. By incorporating the automatic debiting system being developed by the PAMELA consortium with onboard devices capable of monitoring the prevailing level of congestion, a system can be devised that is able to charge road users directly in relation to the congestion they cause, as and when they cause it.