Operation & Maintenance
Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)
Japan’s ETC system uses two-way communication between roadside devices and on-board units (OBU) to facilitate nearly instant, reliable, mass data transmission that enables tolls to be adjusted according to traffic volume. In Japan, more than 90% of tolls are paid using ETC.
Multiple and Integrated Toll Collection Machines (MIC)
MIC’s user-friendly interface enables drivers to choose their toll payment method - cash or credit card.
Smart ICs are the simplified interchanges. Since Smart ICs accept vehicles with OBU only, they don’t require generally used tollgates, resulting in lower construction and maintenance costs. Smart ICs play a vital role in providing convenience, and they support revitalization of local communities and their economies. Currently (as of April 2016) 22 Smart ICs operate on our expressways.
Flow of Traffic Control Operations
Our Traffic Control Centers feature state-of-the-art traffic and facilities control technologies. These centers collect information about roadway conditions and disseminate it to drivers. Once an accident happens, our staff coordinate with expressway traffic police units and fire departments to ensure fast accident clearance and traffic flow recovery.
Road Maintenance and Asset Management
Comprehensive Asset Management
Our comprehensive operation and maintenance (O&M) system ensures safe, high-quality road maintenance as well as prompt and appropriate emergency and incident response that enables reliable, around-the-clock service.
Orchestrating all of these tasks requires the expert skills and experience that we have accumulated in every field to optimize operational and economic efficiency.
Today, we are facing several pressing issues like aging structures and severe weather conditions. In order to ensure the reliable expressway systems in the future, we pursue consistent and effective O&M system and continuously improve that.
Proactive Asset Management
Our long-term proactive asset maintenance plans allow more optimum and efficient management, enhancing the overall soundness of our roadway assets, and reducing their lifecycle costs. These plans provide guidance based on past experience and accumulated data that allows us to quantitatively evaluate structures; the progress of structural deterioration, and the proactive maintenance needed to prevent serious structural damage.
Japan’s bridges are aging, and the cost of their maintenance is increasing. Our proactive asset management system enables us to be better able to control and reduce bridge maintenance costs.
Effective Bridge Maintenance Management
To maintain and improve safe and comfortable driving conditions, we carry out routine, periodic, comprehensive road structure and facilities inspections.
Intensive Maintenance Operations
Since 1998, we have reduced incidents of traffic congestion by more than two thirds through the use of intensive maintenance during which segments of expressway are limited and comprehensive renovation is carried out.
Rope Access Inspections
Rope access techniques enable our inspectors to check the state of deterioration on portions of our expressway systems that were previously difficult for close visual inspection.
On-Site Information Reporting and Sharing System (ORSS)
For effective road management, sharing and organizing information is essential. Our ORSS allows the input of information and images collected by unmanned aerial vehicle (UAM) and rope access inspections into a smartphone App, then shares and organizes that information into a database that guides our road management efforts. This data is registered as GIS information and available for search and output. The system helps us identify deterioration and stay on top of local complaints, enabling efficient road management.