TollSpot – Toll Management and Rebilling for the Sharing Economy by Jacob Thomas

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TollSpot’s solution is twofold, involving software and hardware that detects toll-road usage in real time and then bills renters or riders automatically, at the end of the trip.

This streamlined toll charge detection, and billing process eliminates revenue loss and improves customer experience.

Prototype of the TollSpot hardware device.

 

Video showing the TollSpot in real-world use.

 

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Founder(s)

Jacob Thomas

Details on the founders(s):

Jacob Thomas, TollSpot’s founder, has 16+ years of experience in the tech industry. He has worked for large enterprises building distributed systems, as well as for startups, bringing early-stage ideas to production.

What fundamental problem does your product solve?

The method of paying toll fees varies broadly by toll operators. Historically, a user has stopped and paid the appropriate toll fees at a toll booth or gate. But to increase safety, reduce cost and congestion, toll roads have implemented electronic mechanisms for billing and receiving toll payments automatically.

 

For private drivers, electronic transponders mounted in a vehicle allow for easy billing; the toll system registers the vehicle’s passage, and the driver is billed accordingly.

 

However, all-electronic tolling introduces challenges for fleet operators like rental car companies, short-term lessors and rideshare companies because automated tolling assumes the vehicle owner is driving the car and using the toll road. Therefore, the vehicle owner must rebill their customer in turn.

 

Customer rebilling gets even more challenging as there are delays in getting the list of toll transactions. The delays are due to any number of reasons from improperly mounted transponders to data sharing challenges among the 130 toll operators in the US.

 

Potential customers polled say that up to 20% of toll fees are lost due to the delays and credit card related issues like declines, disputes, etc.

 

Tollspot solves these issues real time tolling and charging the customer for tolls before the customer leaves.

Market description:

TollSpot is designed for rental car companies, dealerships, car shares, rideshare and vehicle subscription companies.

Market and competitive research:

Competitors include traditional toll payment providers, smart phone apps and GPS trackers.

Current project status:

After designing and testing several device prototypes, TollSpot’s technology is up and running. Our first unit is on track to endure customer evaluation trials in Summer 2022.

 

As for our SaaS software, TollSpot’s unique billing system is online and ready for customers to use immediately.

Customer research:

We have interviewed several potential customers who fit our target market (fleet operators). The data indicates that their needs for real-time billing are urgent and important.

 

Those interviewed emphasized the need for an affordable and cost-effective solution for both their agencies and their customers.

 

Toll operators surveyed provided positive feedback to TollSpot’s model, emphasizing the market’s need for streamlined toll payment technology.

Pitches to investors, pitch competitions, accelerators:

Yes, informally.

Key technologies and/or components used in product:

Tollspot utilizes the following technologies and components:

 

• Privacy centric in vehicle cellular device with GNSS, IMUs and proprietary Sensor.

 

• Computer Vision

 

• A backend system that integrates into various APIs from toll authorities to billing providers.

 

• iOS app

Suggested retail price:

While we cannot provide a definitive price range at this time, we expect to charge our customers a flat monthly fee for the use of our device and software.

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Seeking outside funding?

While we are not actively seeking outside funding now, we are open to discussions to scale up next year.

Patent status:

Tollspot currently holds a provisional patent for our real-time toll-tracking hardware and software.



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