September 26, 2019
Azuga, the leading global provider of connected vehicle and fleet technologies, announced that it has been selected as the exclusive technology provider for the second phase of the Hawaii Road Usage Charge (HiRUC) Demonstration Project. For Part 2 of the HiRUC demonstration, up to 2,000 participants are expected to sign up for the latter 9-month portion of the 18-month study, which is designed to research the viability of road usage charging as an alternative infrastructure funding system for the state. Part 2 of the HiRUC demonstration project is expected to launch Spring 2020 and will include research from participants using Azuga’s in-vehicle plug-and-play technology when driving on public roads throughout the counties of Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai.
The need for alternative funding arises from the decreasing transportation funds, which have been predominantly provided by revenue from a per-gallon gas tax. As more and more vehicles on the road are fuel-efficient and fuel-independent, the state funds used to build, maintain, and improve public roads have flattened and will decline. Many state governments are seeking revenue alternatives as a means to protect their infrastructure investment, and some are investigating road usage charging (RUC) as a promising solution. RUC pilots have been completed across the United States and are currently active on the East Coast and in Oregon. Recently, the legislators of the State of Utah signed RUC into mandate as a long-term funding system solution.
"We look forward to bringing our secure, driver-centric approach to the residents of Hawaii and to assisting HDOT in assessing possible future funding systems for the unique needs of the state.”
In Hawaii, each county has its own gas tax in addition to the state gas tax. Furthermore, the state is sustainability minded. "Hawaii and its counties have a commitment to a clean energy future, including transforming Hawaii’s ground transportation to 100-percent renewable fuel sources by 2045," said Ging Ging Fernandez, the HiRUC Project Manager with D’Artagnan Consulting, a specialized firm hired by the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) to manage the project. “HiRUC is an opportunity to advance the state-of-the-practice of road usage charging policy and technology possibilities.”
Part 2 of the HiRUC demonstration will evaluate methods of mileage collection and, unique to other RUC programs, it will utilize Azuga’s advanced public versus private road differentiation for accurate assessment of only public road use. Charges will be simulated for the project, and no real money will be collected. Azuga will provide three mileage reporting methods (MRMs) including location-enabled and non-location enabled OBDII devices, which can be plugged into most vehicles’ diagnostics port under the dashboard. Participants utilizing these devices may also opt in to Azuga’s convenient, premium services such as diagnostic trouble code alerts, battery voltage alerts, and driver scores. The third MRM is Vehcon’s OdoPhoto, a non-location image capture solution embedded within Azuga’s smartphone app that allows participants to periodically snap a photo of their odometer and remotely submit it for mileage processing.
“Azuga has been specializing in and innovating road usage charging technology since its inception in the U.S., and both our clients and users continually praise Azuga Insight’s ease of use, accuracy, and convenient services,” said Nate Bryer, Vice President of Innovation at Azuga. “We look forward to bringing our secure, driver-centric approach to the residents of Hawaii and to assisting HDOT in assessing possible future funding systems for the unique needs of the state.”
HiRUC Part 2 follows the launch of Part 1, which is a manual demonstration that uses the odometer readings taken during Hawaii drivers’ regular, mandated safety inspections. Owners of vehicles will begin receiving driving reports in late 2019 with annual, simulated road usage charges. Part 2 of the demonstration will analyze the mileage collection process via other technologies.
Original news item appeared in: www.prweb.com