GOOGLE MAPS TOLLS
Over 50% of the United States uses tolls to fund the upkeep of the road system. When driving on unfamiliar routes however, drivers have no way to prepare to pay for tolls, some of which may be cash only.
Eliminate surprise and unknown costs to anyone driving on an unfamiliar route.
Allow Google Maps users access to the exact cost of tolls on their particular route before beginning their trip.
Google Maps will compile known toll information to the driver, so she or he can focus on the trip at hand with less surprises.
Compare and contrast routes based on toll costs.
Avoid unnecessary or expensive routes.
Add your transponder information for accurate toll estimation.
The ability to prepare your toll money in advance.
By redesigning the toll icon to be yellow with a dollar sign, the user can quickly identify any toll road that exists on their route.
It all started when I got tired of guessing the amount of money I had to bring on roadtrips. I took the #1 navigation app in the App Store and reimagined how Google might implement toll pricing transparency.
I decided to do some social listening and went on the world’s largest focus group: Reddit. I even opened a post in r/roadtrip to ask what people usually do.
- Plot route
- Identify tolling agency and facility
- Go to tolling website to see how much it costs
- Check to see if I get discounts with a transponder
- Add it all up
- Repeat 1x for trip back
A couple apps were named such as Toll Calc.
Many of these resources either need too much information (i.e. total weight of car) or calculated tolls on a static map.
This meant I would have to switch back and forth between apps to drive and keep informed.
HOW TO DECIDE TOLL SETTINGS
72% of the U.S. implement tolls. There are currently 17 total toll networks with the largest being E-Z Pass. States are increasingly using tolls to fund transportation improvements.
The amount of the toll usually varies by vehicle type, weight, or number of axles, with freight trucks often charged higher rates than cars.
The most common variable across all 17 toll networks is the number of axles. Most people drive 2-axle cars so that must be chosen as the default.
One of the most common feedback I got was to be able to control time and cost.
“What if the user can set a minimum time the toll would save me?” “What if the user can set a maximum amount of money spent on a toll?
I originally designed to include this only to realize this would be counterproductive if the user were to set a particular time constraint then added a cost constraint. This would eventually conflict and cancel each other out.
Thus, I didn’t include it.