Telenor and Q-Free take the first step to European toll road standard

Q-Free and Telenor were recently chosen as contractors for a new electronic tag system for road toll collection in Norway. The project, called Autopass, will set a new standard for Electronic Fee Collection system (EFC) in Norway. This new tag is the first step towards a common European toll road standard.

Published: 15 October 1999 12:00

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Autopass is bought by the Norwegian Public Road Administration and Directorate of Public Roads. The total value of the contract exceeds 100 million NOK. The contract includes 500 000 electronic tags. In addition to this the Autopass project includes antennas and software plus all the services and equipment needed for operation of these systems.

Norway is a pioneer in the area of a common EFC system based on the new specifications and requirements. This means that Norway can lead the way for other European countries to follow the same standard. The first step in Norway will be the Norwegian tag, which enables car drivers to pass toll points without payment hindrance. In other words can the Norwegian tag be used at all the toll points in Norway in the future regardless of Operation Company. The Autopass system will be set into operation in 2001. The existing 500 000 tags will then be changed with the new and more advanced tags.

Q-free, which has the major part of the contract, delivers tags, software and antennas. Telenor delivers installation services, maintenance and supplementary works, programming and consultancy services. Telenor and Q-free is presently negotiating about the equipment deliveries, which can be taken over by Telenor. The system communicates over a frequency of 5,8 GHz, which is bonded for Road Traffic and Telematics (RTTT). The early systems communicated over the frequency area of 856 MHz.

The project includes deliveries in Oslo, Trondheim, Hvaler and Rennesøy near Stavanger. The major parts are in Trondheim and Oslo. The contract also includes options of delivery for the Oslofjord connection, E18 in Vestfold and Trekantsambandet in Hordaland.

Telenor and Q-free are also developing co-operation in other areas in the transport sector. A system for electronic Fee Collection in public transport has been bought in the counties of Sør-Trøndelag, Nord-Trøndelag and Telemark.

Q-Free is based in Trondheim, which is the main centre for research and development of technology in Norway. The technology that Q-Free has commercialised was first developed at Sintef / NTNU and further developed by Q-Free.