Road Charge Projects

California Four Phase Demonstration

A key recommendation from the 2017 pilot was to explore whether paying at the pump could work for a road charge just like it does for the gas tax. How could the user experience be as easy as possible? With support from a federal Surface Transportation Funding Alternative grant, California will test how road charge can work with four technologies: usage-based insurance, ridesharing, electric vehicle charging stations/pay-at-the-pump systems, and autonomous vehicles.

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Person using RFID card to pay at a charging station

Demonstration Phases

Pay-at-the-Pump

Currently, Californians pay the gas tax when they buy gas. It's so easy you don't even realize that you are doing it. Could a road charge be collected in the same easy way? The purpose of this phase is to test how Californians could pay their road charge user fees when they fill up at the gas station. In addition, this project will test how a road charge could be collected at a charging station for electric vehicles.

Electric car using a charging station

Usage-Based Insurance

As technology advances, many industries are adapting to provide better service to their customers. The auto insurance industry is now offering potential lower insurance rates if customers share more detailed driving information, including the number of miles driven. If an individual has already provided an insurance company with their mileage numbers, why not have the insurance company calculate the road charge and just add it to the bill? This phase will demonstrate how the State could partner with auto insurance companies to serve as account managers that can easily, accurately, and securely calculate and collect road charge payments.

Vehicles on an interstate

Transportation Network Companies

One growing shift in California's transportation system is the use of ride hailing services. These transportation network companies are now common in most of the state's urban communities. The mileage for each ride is captured as the basis of the trip's cost, so why not calculate a road charge at the same time? This phase will explore the viability of collecting a road charge using technology already incorporated in real-time ridesharing vehicles and applications.

Cityscape with sunrise and cars driving on interstate

Autonomous Vehicles

As we look toward the future of transportation, autonomous vehicles loom large on the horizon. The technology in these vehicles collects and analyzes a multitude of information, including the number of miles the vehicle has traversed. The purpose of this phase is to work with an autonomous vehicle operator to demonstrate how to collect vehicle and occupancy data from autonomous vehicles for a road charge system.

Man riding in autonomous vehicle