The CARDME system is independent of hardware and is suitable for open and closed systems with free flow multi-lane operation as well as for single lane operation with or without barriers. It is a central account system and users receive a single monthly invoice for all the transactions whether in their home region or while travelling outside their own region or country.
An essential feature of the CARDME concept is that the interoperable application can be added to any existing local applications and only those users who wish to take advantage of cross-border interoperability need to have the application installed in their OBEs.
In practice this means that the take up among private car users will be greatest in areas where cross border travel is frequent. For freight hauliers the advantages are generally greater and a much higher level of installation may be expected.
The CARDME project has addressed these concerns and with active co-operation among emerging projects over the past several years this is now a real possibility and the alignment of the approaches of CARDME and CESARE, in conformity with the revised Standard EN ISO 14906 will present a powerful force in favour of universal adoption of interoperable systems.
CARDME defines the framework for an interoperable European EFC service based on central account.
This service is intended for use in addition to existing local EFC services. All procedures of existing systems shall remain as they are today.
Users that want to have the convenience of an interoperable service are offered the option to have an on-board equipment and an associated contract that enables them to travel through all concession areas that support the CARDME-Concept.
For users that do not want or need the CARDME roaming service nothing changes – they keep their local on-board equipments and contracts.
In addition, the CARDME service is defined in such a way that it may also serve as a template for concessions or countries that newly introduce an EFC service. The CARDME-Concept can be used to introduce EFC services that are designed for interoperability from the very beginning and enjoy maximum industry support. The CARDME transaction is easily tuned to match local requirements.
The CARDME-Concept enables the operator
- the option to introduce an interoperable service on top of existing installations
- to enter agreements with other operators while keeping full control over the local system
- to procure equipment at prices that benefit from true mass production.
The CARDME-Concept offers to the user
- the convenience of a seamless non-stop EFC service across concession areas or countries
- the comfort of having a single invoice for all tolls
- the choice to obtain the basic local or the enhanced interoperable equipment as suits his needs.
The CARDME-Concept has the technical features
- extension of the scope of the local payment means into a Europe-wide payment service
- full support for all vehicle types and for all classification schemes
- separated local and roaming security domains which gives the operator full control and flexibility.
The CARDME-Concept is based upon
- direct input from operators, from national EFC Projects, and from previous EC research projects
- the set of CEN DSRC standards
- available mature industrial products from several supplier.