ViaToll is the name of the electronic road toll collection system operating in Poland. ViaToll payments are obligatory for vehicles with a weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes, including buses and coaches. As of 1 October 2014, the toll road system covered about 3.000 km of motorways and expressways and a network of national trunk roads of other types.
The viaTOLL system is based on a dedicated short-range wireless communication technology (DSRC). It consists of two elements:
The on-bard unit, or OBU, is a device of the size of a mobile phone, fitted to a vehicle’s windscreen. The device encodes information about the vehicle. When the vehicle approaches a toll collection area, viaBOX communicates with antennae mounted on gantries, sending vehicle’s data which are later transferred to a payment processing centre. The centre issues an invoice based on the data received.
A viaBOX device is rented from the system’s operator against a refundable deposit of PLN 120. The device may be ordered from, e.g. DKV Card operator and collected at a customer service point.
Gantries are located at each toll road entry or exit point. When a vehicle equipped with a viaBOX passes under a gantry, the toll is charged automatically. As the charge is being registered, the driver hears a single sound from the device. The driver does not have to stop the vehicle to make the payment.
DSRC is the communication technology used to calculate viaTOLL road tolls. The technology has been employed for this purpose also in many other countries such as Austria, the Czech Republic or Slovakia. DSRC stand for “dedicated short-range communication”. In short, it sometimes is being referred to as the “microwave technology”.
DSRC is based on the two types of cooperating devices:
In Europe, the microwave DSRC system is considered the most cost-effective and convenient method of electronic collection of road tolls.