Preparations for a GNSS-Based Tolling System in Lithuania

An overview of the plans in Lithuania for procuring a nationwide tolling system.

26 July 2021 (updated from the original article from 10 March 2021)

The Lithuanian Road Administration issued a tender for the “Development of the Electronic Road Toll Information System” on March 4th, 2021. The original deadline for submitting bids to this tender was April 12th, 2021. Due to legal claims made by potential suppliers, the tendering process has been interrupted. Depending on the ongoing legal procedures, the new submission date could be sometime in Q4/2021.

The tender documentation can be downloaded here:

  1. Main parts of the tolling system
  2. Enforcement part of the tolling system

Lithuania will replace its current time-based vignette system with a distance-based electronic charging system that is more equitable. This makes Lithuania the next country in the European Union to introduce a satellite-based nationwide tolling scheme. Other countries that have successfully deployed GNSS-based tolling solutions are Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria. In 2021, Poland replaces its microwave-based system with a satellite-based solution. More about the new system in Poland is described here.

The new nationwide tolling system in Lithuania will rely on the full interoperability with the European Electronic Toll Service (EETS) from the very beginning, as was the case when Belgium launched its toll system in 2016. This enables toll road users to “bring their own device,” meaning that authorized European Toll Service Providers can use the same EETS-compliant On Board Units (OBUs) in Lithuania that they already use in other toll domains, and trucks using these EETS-OBUs would not need to make any special registration before traveling into Lithuania.

The procurement for the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) System includes these elements:

  • development and implementation services of the ETC System.
  • ETC System functionality and maintenance services for 5 years.
  • consulting services for ETC functionality.

The tolled road network includes all major highways, having a total of 1,700km. A map of the road network is provided below. The time provided for system implementation is unlikely to exceed 12 months.

The new distance-based tolling scheme will apply to all freight vehicles – even those below 3.5 tons – as well as buses having more than 8 passenger seats. In all European nationwide tolling systems until now, distance-based fees apply only to Heavy Goods Vehicles above 3.5 tons (or higher).

The tender focuses on On Board Equipment software requirements, rather than on OBU hardware requirements. Not only will On Board Equipment from EETS providers be accepted from the system launch, but a major focus of the tender is the use of smartphones and tablets. This is a significant step in the evolution of GNSS-based tolling systems!

Smartphones will play a central role in detecting and declaring the use of the tolled road network. This could be the first nationwide tolling system that relies on smartphones as On Board Equipment. Poland has already announced its plans to use smartphones when it replaces its DSRC-based tolling system with a GNSS-based tolling system, but it is not yet clear when this would be implemented.

At the core of the procured system is a Customer Service Module that administers the road users, the equipment used for charging (mobile phones, tablets telematics devices, OBUs), bill payment methods, invoices, reports, and the routes travelled by the vehicles on the tolled road network. Here is a diagram of the possible module connections as published in the tender:

A possible functional model of the new E-Tolling Information System has also been illustrated in the tender:

The new toll system in Lithuania implements the relevant European directives and regulations:

If you would like to request more details about the procurement of the GNSS-based in Lithuania, contact Norbert Schindler: norbert(at)gnss-consulting.com

Map of the tolled road network in the Lithuanian ETC System