Toll Collect

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Truckers without electronic billing units use a Toll Collect terminal to select a route and pay the appropriate toll

Toll Collect GmbH is a German company that has developed and is running the tolling system for trucks (LKW-Maut) on German motorways.

The company is a consortium led by Daimler AG, Deutsche Telekom, and Cofiroute. It has won a bid for the development of a toll billing system from the German government. The development of the system started in September 2002. The technology is based on the Global Positioning System, and a web application for booking truck routes in advance. Trucks are equipped with embedded systems called "On Board Units" (OBUs). OBUs are used for positioning, monitoring and billing. Additionally the OBUs have infrared interfaces for communicating with stationary control bridges on the motorways.

Since the end of 2002 several hundred engineers and programmers worked on the project. Articles report more than 1000 experts were involved in the project[citation needed]. The rollout was first scheduled for the end of August 2003, but was delayed repeatedly, causing the government to forfeit toll collection on trucks using the Autobahn. The deadline was first shifted by 2 months, then by at least one year. There have been, and still are, considerable disputes between Toll Collect and the German government about damages to be paid by Toll Collect to the Government because of the long delay in the deployment of the system. There were also accusations that during the tender process for the system, non-German companies were not given fair consideration.

The system was opened two years behind schedule on January 1, 2005. The charge per kilometre varies according to the number of axles and the vehicle's emission category and is between 9 and 14 cents per kilometre. This means, that the road tax for e.g. a Hamburg-Munich-trip (776 km) costs between €69.84 and €108.64. It is payable at toll booths if they do not have electronic units that permit automatic billing.

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