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Avis Budget Group Plans to Put Interoperable Toll Transponders on the Road

The car and truck rental agency would be the first to install TransCore's eZGo Anywhere transponders, which are interoperable with most toll-collection systems.
By Claire Swedberg
The tag, approximately 4 inches long by 3 inches wide by a half-inch thick, can be attached on the inside of a vehicle's windshield. Because it is weatherproof, however, it can also be affixed outside the vehicle, such as on a license plate in the case of a vehicle with metalized glass windshields to reduce sun-glare, which inhibit RF transmissions. But in the case of Avis Budget vehicles, Caron says, all tags can be attached to the windshield's interior.

HTA, already the service provider to Avis Budget Group's eToll system, began discussions in the fall of this year regarding the deployment of the eZGo Anywhere transponder system for Avis Budget Group between the vehicle rental company and TransCore, according to David Centner, HTA's president and chief executive officer.


David Centner
"Besides the obvious benefits to Avis and its customers," Centner says, "drivers who pay for tolls electronically cause less pollution, and traffic congestion can be mitigated [by speeding the passage of rental vehicles through tolls]. Another benefit is a reduction in transaction costs incurred by the toll road agency, which include the cost of employing personnel to collect cash from drivers. It is significantly more expensive to process a toll transaction manually than through automated electronic means."

Avis Budget also eventually hopes to employ RFID technology to track its vehicles around the various rental agency lots, Caron says, though he does not expect the company to accomplish that goal with the eZGo transponders. "I don't see this technology allowing me to track vehicles around the lot," he states, noting that "The benefits would be outweighed by the cost" of deploying the necessary readers throughout all of the lots.

In order to have the eZGo Anywhere system operating in Avis Budget vehicles, all tolling agencies will be required to sign on to the new system, something Caron expects to be fairly straightforward. "The work that needs to be done is minimal," he says, since it would not be necessary to replace or modify the readers, and because the agencies already send all billing data directly to HTA, which, in turn, invoices the customer.

"The key to the whole piece," Caron says, "is the ability of the transponder to be read across various toll readers, and that is already very doable." He says he plans to replace his vehicles' E-ZPass and other local toll transponders with the eZGo devices, and also begin deployment in the Northeast, then move south and west to other geographical regions in the United States. The eZGo tag, however, will not work with the tolling systems in the states of Colorado, California and Washington.

Eventually, Centner says, HTA "would like to see this technology deployed by all rental agencies and fleet operators."

Caron agrees, noting, "Twenty years down the road, I think we will see vehicles coming off the assembly line with this [technology]."

USER COMMENTS

Reader 2010-04-30 04:21:33 AM
Transponder It suggests the multiprocessing transponder is being rolled out now. However a roll-out requires a transponder to be tested and accepted by toll authorities, and this has not occurred. Huge number of toll authorities are very interested in this multiprocessing transponder and that the agreement with HTA and Avis-Budget is an effort to move toward interoperability. From a technical standpoint it virtually solves the problem of national interoperability. || Fox Car Rental

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