Tolling systems were not originally designed to interoperate and interfaces have been custom and proprietary based for specific solutions. In order to implement information sharing, agencies have historically developed unique individual data exchanges. These implementation results in large development efforts and costs for each data interface with little reuse from one data exchange interface to the next. Without standards, each interface is unique, costs to implement and maintain remain high, take longer to test and introduce unneeded risk to the project.
The ability to accurately exchange information between agencies is enhanced when a standard format for data exchange exists. The goal in developing standards is to provide a common and efficient way to communicate, particularly in the tolling environment, where terms and codes can vary from one agency to another. A common format for defining and exchanging information will allow for the first steps of interoperability, and for cost-effective interfaces that lead to less risk. In addition, the following benefits can be achieved:
- Improves efficiency by eliminating the need to develop customized solutions and associated documentation and testing.
- Enables the exchange and interoperability between agencies and systems
- Understanding of the interface reduces design time
- Increase the ability to upgrade existing systems with common interfaces
- Establishes and maintains levels of data quality and compatibility
- Steams line data flow to increase timely information transfers
- Cost savings are realized throughout the product lifecycle
- Encourages compatibility for existing or future products and services
- Standardizes testing
As the industry evolves the need for open standards are needed now more then ever to encourage interoperability. Without open standards, the agencies data can realize only a fraction of its value.