Responding to toll authorities' desire to make electronic toll collection (ETC) even more convenient and accessible, TransCore announces the development of an ATM-like machine that dispenses radio frequency identification (RFID) transponder tags and provides customers with automated account management functions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Christened the TagTeller, the patented machine is a self-service unit that accepts credit cards, debit cards and cash payment and allows users to open a new account, receive a programmed tag, replenish an existing account, change account information, obtain a statement or balance, pay violations and perform various routine account management tasks.
TransCore will provide several configurations of the machine for indoor, outdoor, drive-up, walk-up and in-lane use, depending on the toll authority's needs. The back office network supporting the machines will also enable a range of temporary and permanent account formats, both pre-paid and auto-replenishing. Based on the authority's selection, the machine can dispense various types of tags including a low-cost, paper-thin transponder tag, such as the eGo self-adhesive windshield sticker tags. Toll authorities will be able to integrate these machines under their own brands, impacting customer loyalty and satisfaction by making customer service more accessible in more locations. The TagTeller concept also helps authorities control costs through increased automation. Like ATMs, these machines will enable universal worldwide currency acceptance, support multiple languages, offer easy restocking and servicing and include security provisions.
"TagTeller exemplifies our commitment to invest R&D resources to help our customers better serve their customers," said John Worthington, TransCore's president and chief executive officer.
Though the tag-dispensing kiosk will be integral to the TagTeller concept, robust back office systems and networking will make benefits available in many locations. For instance, the system can be configured so customers can access accounts they open with TagTeller at kiosks, over the Web, by telephone or with a customer service representative. In order to leverage the existing financial infrastructure, certain types of accounts will allow customers to add value to pre-paid tags using existing banking networks or through cash, credit card or debit card payments to merchant clerks.
TransCore even envisions a unique way of handling business travelers as well as toll violations with TagTeller. For example, if an individual traveling on a business trip to Dallas wanted to buy a temporary transponder tag to use on area toll roads, there could be a standard tag available from the machine for a flat rate. If the patron used the toll road frequently and got into a negative balance, the individual would have 24 hours to use the TagTeller system to replenish the account before a violation citation would be issued.
The TagTeller concept is the latest innovation from TransCore designed to boost ETC use. Long known as a technology pioneer, TransCore's Amtech technology offered the first electronic toll collection technology, the first paper-thin windshield sticker tag, the first electronic vehicle registration tag, as well as extending the success in electronic toll collection to other market applications such as parking, homeland security border crossing applications and access control. TransCore has also recently spearheaded statewide interoperability technologies, allowing users in one toll authority's system to enjoy the benefits in other geographical areas.
TransCore has extensive experience in electronic toll collection, customer service and violation processing is extensive, including projects with some of the largest toll authorities in the world, including Hong Kong, Malaysia , Puerto Rico, and in the United States the Delaware Department of Transportation, Denver's E-470 Public Highway Authority, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, Houston's Harris County Toll Road Authority, the North Texas Tollway Authority, Florida Department of Transportation, Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, Pennsylvania Turnpike, Virginia Department of Transportation and the New York City Department of Transportation. TransCore maintains 65 percent of the ETC lanes in the United States and its systems collect and account for 80 percent of toll transactions in the United States.