Toll industry technology is constantly evolving and changing the way we collect tolls. An Independent Engineer (IE) works with and oversees the system integrator to ensure system development is consistent with the requirements established by the agency. By having the IE serve in this role, the agency no longer has to rely on the integrator as the single point of technical support for system knowledge. The IE can also use this information to participate in the operational training.

An IE has four main responsibilities when assisting a toll agency in opening a new toll facility.

1. Provide technical knowledge and oversight of the system integrator.

The integrator demonstrates through a series of tests that the system is in compliance with the requirements set forth in the contract and its functionality complies with the operational requirements. Where possible, tests are conducted in an “end-to-end” manner so that results can be tracked through each possible level of the system. The IE reports on system impacts and parameter changes observed in the behavior of the lane systems. This provides the agency with a conceptual view of how requirements are being met and gives the agency the opportunity to address concerns before the final design is in place.

2. Ensure the system meets the agencies established performance requirements.

While the agency is focused on the facility’s construction and contract management, the IE works with the integrator to ensure compliance with the established performance requirements, including those that deal with interoperability and the reconciliation of revenue with Interoperable Authorities. The first step in this performance review is the review of the integrator’s detailed design document. As part of this review, the IE meets with the integrator to review the site installation drawings and discusses the system design plan.

3. Act as the agency’s eyes and ears during implementations.

The System Installation Plan includes the subsystem and component installation sequencing, the system commissioning process, a detailed schedule, and costs. The IE provides the eyes and ears to the agency to ensure that the plan evolves from the paper to the installation and that the system processes data so that the required reporting provides the management information the client expects.

4. Validate the functionality of the system interfaces.

The IE is on the ground during construction alongside the integrator. During the System Acceptance Test (SAT) at each tolling point, the IE oversees and validates the demonstration of the roadside system functionality. This includes how the system recognizes the type of vehicle, the speed and movement of the vehicles through the toll zone (left to right, straddling lanes, and mix of vehicles with and without tags) in creating accurate transactions. The IE looks to ensures that the each toll point transmits data to the system host and interfaces in accordance system requirements.

It’s important for the IE to provide agency with the assurance that system performs as expected and to confirm that the performance has not deviated from the agency expectations. RS&H has the capability to provide the technical assurance that the agency will receive the appropriate revenue and is able to provide the management information required to effectively manage their program. The result: customer satisfaction and acceptance.

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About the author

Rick Hurst
Rick Hurst
As an industry leader in Toll Systems and Operations, Rick continues to focus on ensuring clients maximize system expenditures and operational cost control. He has more than 30 years of transportation experience, including serving as a Project Manager for the design of customer service centers, toll manuals, transaction processing, and more.