What is an on-board unit and how to use it

What is an on-board unit and how to use it

Author: Shutterstock

  • An on-board unit (OBU) is of the latest generation device based on satellite technology
  • The use of the paid road network will be monitored in real time

Vehicles with a total weight exceeding 3.5 tons must have electronic on-board units to record the distance traveled.

In order to receive on-board units, the users or owners of these vehicles will have to conclude a contract with the National Toll Service Provider. This modern and convenient, for each customer, service will be provided by ITS AD (Intelligent Traffic Systems AD) on the territory of Bulgaria.

The on-board units to be used for the purpose of the Bulgarian toll system are of the latest generation and are based on the GNSS technology (Global Navigation Satellite System).

The vehicle's data are stored in the device's memory - category, license plate number, number of axles, emission class, etc. For this purpose, the user or owner should provide correct data from the vehicle’s registration certificate.

The on-board unit is placed in a precise location on the windscreen and is powered by the cigarette lighter of the vehicle. Vehicle data are loaded into the device's memory for several minutes via a mobile internet connection.

The on-board unit has buttons and a display or a mobile application (depending on the device model). Through the buttons or the application the driver of the vehicle can enter the number of axles by himself, thus the reporting system receives information for altering the tariff to calculate the toll tax.

It is very important that all input data are correct. Otherwise, this fee will be calculated incorrectly and the vehicle will be registered as violator.

Upon moving off, the on-board unit begins to transmit GPS positions and vehicle data which are encrypted. The data are received in the system of the National Toll Service Provider (Intelligent Traffic Systems). The system checks and converts the information into an appropriate format for calculating the due fee.

The use of the paid road network by the vehicles that have to pay toll fee will be monitored in real time. This will be done through the installed on-board units and by detecting the license plate numbers by stationary and mobile cameras.

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