The Smart Tachograph – Individual Accounting of Traffic Costs and Its Implications

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3968)


Today, several costs caused by road traffic may either be only roughly approximated, or cannot be clearly assigned to the drivers causing them, or both. They are typically distributed evenly among a large fraction of drivers, which is both unfair and economically inefficient. We have built a prototypical platform, called the “Smart Tachograph”, that allows us to measure traffic-related costs on an individual basis, thus supporting a more fine-granular charging of the responsible parties. Sensors observe the manner and circumstances in which a vehicle is driven, while several accounting authorities can evaluate this information and charge motorists on a pay-per-use basis. The Smart Tachograph offers valuable insights for the deployment of future ubiquitous computing services in general: its implementation has obvious requirements in terms of security and privacy; its deployment model is realistic through the strong economic incentives it offers; and its usage directly affects core societal values such as fairness and trust. This paper summarizes our design considerations and discusses the feasibility and wider economic and societal implications of fielding such a system.


Insurance Rate Speed Limit Ubiquitous Computing Road Price Individual Account 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Akerlof, G.: The Market for Lemons: Qualitative Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 84(3), 488–500 (1970)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Coroama, V., Höckl, N.: Pervasive Insurance Markets and their Consequences. In: First Int. Workshop on Sustainable Pervasive Computing at Pervasive 2004 (April 2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Coroama, V., Langheinrich, M.: Personalized Vehicle Insurance Rates – A Case for Client-Side Personalization in Ubiquitous Computing. In: Workshop on Privacy-Enhanced Personalization. CHI 2006 (April 2005)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Coroama, V., Langheinrich, M.: The Smart Tachograph. In: Video submission abstract. Adjunct Proceedings of UbiComp 2005 (September 2005)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dey, A.: Providing Architectural Support for Building Context-Aware Applications. PhD thesis, College of Computing, Georgia Tech (December 2000)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Eliasson, J., Lundberg, M.: Road Pricing in Urban Areas (January 2003),
  7. 7.
    Filipova, L., Welzel, P.: Reducing Asymmetric Information in Insurance Markets: Cars with Black Boxes. In: Proceedings of the 32nd Conference of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics (EARIE) (September 2005)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kindberg, T., Barton, J., Morgan, J., Becker, G., Caswell, D., Debaty, P., Gopal, G., Frid, M., Krishnan, V., Morris, H., Schettino, J., Serra, B., Spasojevic, M.: People, Places, Things: Web Presence for the Real World. Mobile Networks and Applications 7, 365–376 (2002)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Litman, T.: Distance-based vehicle insurance. Victoria Transport Policy Institute (2003)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Oberholzer, M.: Strategische Implikationen des Ubiquitous Computing für das Nichtleben-Geschäft im Privatkundensegment der Assekuranz. PhD thesis, Basel University, Switzerland (2003)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rey, L.: Publifocus – Road Pricing. Technical report, TA-Swiss (July 2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    “Der Standard” staff: Wien droht doppelt so viel Autoverkehr. Der Standard – Austrian daily newspaper, April 24-25 (2004)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    The Economist staff: Driven to radicalism. The Economist, pp. 33–34 June 11 (2005)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    The Economist staff: Jam yesterday. The Economist, p. 14, June 11 (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Pervasive ComputingETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations