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Mapflow and DTO announcd Dublin satellite tolling study
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Dublin, Ireland, September 19th, 2005 - Queues at toll booths could be a thing of the past following a feasibility study into the use of satellite technology to monitor road usage in Dublin. The research, which will be undertaken by Mapflow with its co-sponsor, the Dublin Transportation Office (DTO) is being funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and aims to establish whether satellite technology (GPS) can be used to correctly calculate road usage in the Dublin city.

This study is to be carried out under the ARMAS (Active Road Management Assisted by Satellite) project to develop a 'virtual' road toll system. ARMAS is a system that uses in-vehicle black boxes and global satellite positioning (GPS) data to help determine the exact route a driver has travelled, so that a fair and precise toll can be calculated after each journey. The system calculates the cars position in real time and sends data about location and journey length to a control centre allowing drivers to be charged for the section of roadway they travelled on.

Electronic tolling based on satellite technology is good news for both motorists and traffic managers. Eliminating the need to stop at tollbooths will dramatically cut traffic tailbacks and significantly reduce the requirement for costly and ugly roadside infrastructure. The in-car unit can also be used give motorist early warnings about hazards or major traffic delays ahead. The satellite system offers increased flexibility to traffic managers who can use the technology to manage congestion with variable toll charges based on time of day, levels of congestion, or even location of road works. This means that consumers travelling at off peak time could be rewarded with reduced charges.

Dublin based Mapflow has worked with the European Space Agency on the application of space technology to road tolling since 2003 when they carried out a pan-european investigation into the feasibility of using satellite technology for virtual tolling. "Mapflow has developed significant experience and knowledge about the application of satellite technology to various aspects of road tolling through participation in ESA projects such as ARMAS. Improving this technology and using it, especially in built-up areas, has taken substantial investment in technology by Mapflow. We are excited to see them extend these technology trials to Dublin." remarked Rafael Lucas Rodriguez, Head of Navigation Applications and User Services Office at ESA.

Mapflow has completed trials on satellite technology in a number of urban areas, including London, where they evaluated GPS accuracy in the greater London area for Traffic for London, the organisation that manages the London congestion charge. "The built environment in London creates significant challenges for monitoring road usage by satellite. We believe that the low-rise nature of buildings in Dublin will make it significantly easier to track cars in Dublin, and that this technology will eventually lead to the elimination of toll booths in Ireland," explained Harvey Appelbe, Mapflow CTO.

John Henry, CEO, Dublin Transportation Office welcomed the feasibility study as a potential first step towards radically overhauling the way the road tolls are collected in Ireland. "The use of satellite technology to track road usage makes it possible for us to greatly improve the way that the road tolling system currently operates. The satellite system is perhaps the most innovative way of collecting tolls without impeding motorists. I'm sure that the benefits of not having to filter through toll plazas and of being able to automatically pay roads tolls would be widely recognised by motorists were the available technology to be used to that end".

ARMAS is a system for monitoring vehicles via satellite based on EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service). EGNOS works by enhancing the data provided by the US GPS system, offering greater precision and signal continuity. Still under development, the ARMAS system uses in-vehicle black boxes and global satellite positioning data to help determine the exact route a driver has travelled, so that a fair and precise toll can be calculated at the end of each journey.

The feasibility study will take place over two months from August to September 2005. It is expected that the study take more than a million GPS samples and monitory approximately 6,000 journeys. 10 satellite devices will be tested.

Mapflow specialises in applying GIS and location technology to complex business problems. We combine deep domain knowledge with our product suite to deploy solutions for the Telecom, Insurance, and Transport industries. Mapflow's customers include O2, BT, BT Ireland, Vodafone, Allied Irish Bank, Transport for London, Hibernian Insurance, the European Space Agency and the AA. For more information visit or contact

CONTACT: Iseult White +353 1 634 1430
Marketing Director, Mapflow

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