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London Tests Satellite Tracking
10-06-2006, 10:33 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-06-2006, 10:43 PM by ploder.)
London Tests Satellite Tracking
Quote:Transport for London (TfL) has completed a London-wide test of satellite tracking technology with a view to establishing more flexible congestion charge pricing.

Computing has learned that TfL tested a number of devices, including custom-built in-vehicle units and PDAs, to track cars accurately through London streets.

The trials were staged to gather route data and overcome common problems such as loss of signal when a vehicle enters a tunnel, or passes through a dense block of tall buildings.

TfL is expected to release the results of the new in-car trials this week, after earlier tests did not prove to be sufficiently accurate.

The organisation last year invited suppliers to demonstrate the latest technology after the previous trial determined that vehicles up to 60 metres outside the charging zone could be deemed to be inside, a miscalculation that extended up to 250 metres in some areas.

Experts say the trial is likely to have resolved some of the potential problems, as developments now enable satellite tracking technology to determine where a signal should be if it is lost, or use other networks.

Tim Hockney, transport spokesman for business group London First, says satellite tracking will offer greater flexibility in congestion charge payment if TfL overcomes issues of accuracy and the cost to drivers of installing in-vehicle units.

‘One of the biggest concerns for businesses is that the charge has always been a pig to pay,’ he said.

‘Anything that makes it easier is welcome, and satellite tracking enables new initiatives such as pre-payment of the charge or monthly instalments. It can also provide real-time monitoring of traffic conditions and can advise drivers of exact journey times.’

Frost & Sullivan analyst Malavika Srinath says it is just a matter of time until satellite tracking is used to calculate congestion charges. ‘It is still a developing technology, and one of the big issues will be interoperability with other countries investing in satellite tracking,’ she said.

‘But if successful, it will almost certainly be applied to a nationwide road user charging scheme.’
Dave Friedlos, Computing, 05 Oct 2006

I always knew they wouldn't stop with the 'congestion charging' ring in London. Notice how first it was sold to us on the basis of congestion only in London. Here we see the beginnings of the spin that the whole country is gridlocked by nasty polluting drivers and therefore all vehicles need to be monitored. I told as many people as would listen in the UK that all vehicles would be tracked. Most people said I was just being paranoid. Well now it looks set to go ahead and if anyone mentions the privacy implications they'll come up with some nonsense about safety/global warming and say to you: 'you're not against safer driving are you?' or 'Do you not care about the environment?'. Thus all our freedoms will be lost one by one.
&A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.& - Bertrand de Jouvenel

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