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Germany

Road Toll System Passes Preliminary Tests

A general test on a satellite-guided toll system for German highways has proceeded without significant problems, according to the consortium which has developed it, Toll Collect. Because of the success of the tests, the consortium said a slimmed-down version of the road toll system could go into operation on January 1, with the full version going online in 2006. Due to technical problems with the original system, which was due to begin collecting tolls last year, the start date was pushed back two years. The latest trial began in mid September and the consortium is due to deliver its final report at the end of November. Because of the problems with the original toll system, the Toll Collect consortium, which includes German industrial giants DaimlerChrysler and Deutsche Telekom, will have to pay the federal government around €4.5 billion ($5.8 billion) in damages.