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Global Fleet News: Vehicle Positioning Systems to Gain Edge in European Road User Charging Systems Markets

August 3, 2004

The replacement of older, non-interoperable systems with new, interoperable systems in the electronic toll collection (ETC) segment and the expanded installation of technologically advanced charging systems are set to boost the European road user charging systems (RUC) markets, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan on July 28. As various technologies battle for market share, the benefits of vehicle positioning systems (VPS) are expected to give them an edge over their competitors. Efforts to achieve Europe-wide interoperability in toll systems and meet Comité Européen de Normalisation (CEN) instituted standardization norms are likely to motivate European countries to implement road user charging systems in one form or another, leading to impressive market growth. At the same time, the projected success of Germany's VPS is likely to encourage similar deployments in other countries, thereby effecting a considerable leap in market revenues. Buoyed by these trends, the total European market for RUC systems (comprising sales of on-board units and infrastructure equipment) is forecast to grow at an estimated annual rate of 10 per cent over 2003-2011, increasing from €128,444.3 million to nearly €128.1 billion. Over this time frame, the fastest growth - at almost 35 per cent per year - is likely to be recorded by on-board units (OBUs). Significant growth rates registered by ETC OBUs in the near term are likely to taper off while VPS OBU sales are expected to shake off a tepid start and pick up pace over the long term. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems also offer exciting growth opportunities and are expected to compete for share with established ETC and the newer VPS systems. Regarded as the most effective system for curbing urban congestion, ANPR has been successfully deployed in the London congestion-charging scheme.
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