California company to manage Delaware user highway fee pilot

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Azuga, a California-based provider of connected vehicle and fleet technologies, announced that it has been selected by the I-95 Corridor Coalition as the mileage-based user fee technology provider for the first-of-its-kind study.

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The pilot study, led by the I-95 Corridor Coalition in partnership with Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and other regional stakeholders, is designed to research the feasibility of mileage-based user fees to replace the current fuel tax for transportation and infrastructure funding.

Thanks to improved fuel efficiency, fuel tax revenues are expected to decline significantly in the future, which is prompting many states to explore alternative sources to fund road repairs and improvements.

As the first pilot to occur on the East Coast, the F study presents the opportunity to observe unique challenges such as multi-state travel and toll interoperability. Utilizing mileage data collected by technology from Azuga, the coalition aims to gain abetter understanding of how a mileage-based user fee could work throughout the region.

“It’s not unusual for I-95 drivers to pass through two, three or even four states in just one day, which is just one of the unique driving characteristics of the region,” said Patricia Hendren, Executive Director of the I-95 Corridor Coalition. “The mileage-based user fee study will ensure that the voices and specific driving patterns of citizens along the East Coast are included in the national discussion on how to establish a sustainable and equitable transportation funding approach for the future.”

Azuga ’s connected vehicle technology not only provides a means to accurately capture miles driven but also offers functions like subtracting fuel taxes paid at the pump, then, on the state’s behalf, automatically invoicing for the net mileage fee though no actual funds will be transferred as part of the pilot.

Additionally, the study is utilizing Azuga’s geofencing technology to pinpoint exactly when vehicles pass through Delaware’s toll points as an initial proof of concept, which will then appear on drivers’ monthly invoices.

The company ’s solution also provides services to keep drivers engaged, such as Parked Car Locator, Trip Logging, Battery Health and the Check Engine Light Decoder.

Nate Bryer, vice president of innovation at Azuga said, “We’ve been involved in MBUF pilots, known more commonly on the West Coast as Road Usage Charging (RUC), in Oregon, Washington, California and Colorado, and we are excited to be a part of this first-of-its-kind study and look forward to assisting the coalition in its review of a reliable revenue source for future infrastructure investments.”

Results from the first phase of the mileage-based user fee pilot study will be published in late 2018.

The second phase of the study will start in late 2018, which will include a multi-state truck pilot to assess compatibility between commercial vehicle reporting requirements and mileage-based user fees.

As phases are completed, researchers will gather and evaluate participant feedback and vehicle data to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by a per-mile user fee in regions where multi-state travel and tolling are common.

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