Satellite-based road tax in the Netherlands in 2011
The Netherlands has decided to improve the country's road tax by taxing according to the vehicle type, usage, hour and roads the vehicle is using. The system uses GPS, a car transmitter and a standard cell phone GSM network to send this information to a central computer that processes the information. Once these figures are calculated, the driver is charged. Congestion and the environment are both taken into consideration in the rate scheme. Using a highway that enters a city in peak hours while driving an SUV will be taxed more than driving a small car in a rural area where private vehicles are more of a necessity.
Dutch officials hope the system will reduce CO2 emissions and congestion, because the Dutch government claims that there is no more room to build more roads. Critics say this system is an attack on privacy: a computer will know where and when you've driven, although the company that implements the system guarantees that this information won't be stored once translated into money. The system starts in 2011 for freight transport and will be expanded to include cars in 2012. Full deployment of the system is scheduled to be completed in 2016. A similar system has been under study in the UK.
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