With a key focus on road-user charging market, CS offers high-end tolling technologies and dedicated back office solution, which are able to cope with the challenges in operation of the front office – for example the receipt of invoices. Despite the limited number of ETC projects that have been available so far, CS deserves recognition among its competitors in terms of the extended list of implemented projects and services it has provided to the customers.
Rapid rise in traffic volumes coupled with increasing concerns over environmental pollution, congestion and longer travel time have highlighted the benefits of ETC solutions. These effective and reliable systems also offer an additional source of revenue to implement further development projects. The implementation of ETC systems has opened a new stage in the operation, servicing and maintenance of traffic communication, and facilitates the control of the road network and interoperability between countries. The key challenge for the market concerns availability of ample investment. New installations of ETC systems require heavy up front investments and in a market where there are political uncertainties, justifying the need for investment can be difficult.
"CS, however, demonstrates dedication and a strong determination to establish itself as a key road-user charging provider, which has resulted in it becoming one of the leading participants in the intelligent transport systems market," says Frost & Sullivan research analyst Harish Baskar. "One of the first companies to introduce tolling solutions, the company also has the advantage of a very strong global presence."
CS is a key part of the consortium, which along with a strong partner for the operation developed the first Suburban ETC systems worth €113 million in the ring road of Dublin, Ireland in 2008. It is interoperable across Ireland and is a technical exception as there are many service providers in this small country, which has high recorded traffic volumes – approximately 120,000 vehicles per day. CS has established its technological leadership and installation capability by installing two free flow toll gantries, which integrate roadside solutions for vehicle detection and enforcement.
Following CS's successful venture on the A1 highway in October, 2008, it won a second contract in Poland. This new project confirms CS as a reliable end-to-end solution provider in intelligent transportation systems. Its strong presence in the Eastern Europe is advantageous as the industry is expected to see strong growth in this region.
In 2009, CS designed and supplied turnkey toll collection system for the A6 highway section in Croatia through its subsidiary ECSAT. The system includes fast ETC lanes for all vehicle classes, automatic toll lanes for small and heavy vehicles and during peak traffic periods operators are equipped with wireless PDAs to increase the capacity of their toll plaza. Alongside the notable technological achievements in this state-of-the-art system, the project was competed in only 5 months, which included all activities from the design to deployment. Installation time was 2 weeks!
Besides its strong capability to provide turnkey solutions, CS can also handle projects that are extremely complex. CS completed a large, rare and complex closed tolling project mixed with urban road and standard tolling system on the South Bay Expressway in San Diego (CA) in 2007 (this system is capable of processing more than 50 million transactions a year) and designed and supplied a turnkey free-flow system on the Golden Ears Bridge in Vancouver (opening in 2009). These projects have been contracted by CS subsidiary in US named Intrans Group.
CS was one of the first to develop dedicated short range communication (DSRC) technology, with complete back office software that takes care of CRM, billing, transaction management, open interoperable solutions and enforcement as back office solutions in one product. CS offers an ERP solution dedicated to tolling that is completely different to SAP, which is only adapted for tolling.
CS continues to establish its technological leadership and further positions itself as a major player for prospective projects, as for instance the Truck Charging System in France.
In addition, the company is currently developing a cutting edge on-board unit (OBU) for satellite tolling with enhanced power saving capability. Its patented algorithm to save the power on its global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) OBU is very innovative as many of its competitors have their OBU connected to permanent power supply in their vehicles.
"CS is aiming to produce an OBU, which is self powered, reliable, robust and comes with a highly competitive price," notes Baskar. "Currently GNSS OBU's are in the range 120 to 130 Euros."
Further, CS is working to use the enhanced GPS technology called EGNOS developed by ESA. This is a major step forward in CS's GNSS technology because when it comes to collecting tags or toll payments, there is a need to have a third party to ensure that the position of the vehicle is correct. Most GPS technologies offered do not have sufficient precision and certification, but by partnering with EGNOS experts, CS has a strategic competitive advantage over its competitors.
CS is also actively working on new ways to enhance video tolling technology, classifying the vehicle based on vehicle biometrics. Features such as vehicle recognition by the top of a vehicle's license plate, vehicles make and model characteristics are the future. CS's new camera technology also studies small but complex image processing capabilities that would make overhead gantries very light. This is useful in cities, where installing a large number of vehicle classification devices such as lasers and antennas are difficult.
Overall, CS has exhibited strong growth with its robust technology and continuous focus on innovation. These achievements make it the worthy recipient of the 2009 European Frost & Sullivan Award for Market Penetration Leadership in the ETC market. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has demonstrated excellence in capturing the fastest measured rate of change of market share within its industry. The award recognizes how fast a company increases its penetration of a market, in terms of revenues or units as specified.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
CS has been in the tolling arena for over 40 years. CS design integrates and operates innovative turnkey systems for tolling. CS expertise in mission critical applications and systems makes it the partner of choice in major economic sectors, such as defense, space & security, aeronautics, transportation, energy and industry. The company in the transportation area offers toll collection systems, MLFF systems, traffic safety and congestion charging, fleet management and public transport information systems.
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