Japan’s electronic toll collection system tapped as global standard

TOKYO (March 16) — An electronic toll collection system developed in Japan will become an international standard for Intelligent Transportation Systems projects, a global group of highway systems engineers and bureaucrats decided.

The move was agreed at a recent conference of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and is set to be officially adopted by the ITU in May 2000.

Governments in Japan, North America, and Europe have been pushing to set standards in ITS as more projects move through the development stage.

The Japanese toll system uses electric waves of 5.8 gigahertz and allows the exchange of a large amount of interactive data. It allows both the automatic collection of expressway charges using IC cards and the transmission of transport, weather and other information to moving vehicles.

Systems are due to be introduced on the Tokyo Bay Aqualine expressway and some parts of the Tokyo metropolitan superhighway by the end of 1999.

Major Japanese automakers and electric machinery makers as well as major overseas manufacturers are competing to develop ITS systems.

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