STAR Systems wins award for congestion pricing antenna Vespira

It is the industry’s first curbside antenna specifically designed to address urban congestion problems.

STAR Systems International (SSI) is known as a world leader in Automatic Vehicle Identification Technologies. SSI focuses on providing best-in-class transponders, readers, and professional consulting services for Smart City Initiatives.

Amongst these initiatives are Electronic Tolling (ETC), Congestion/Road Use Charging, Electronic Vehicle Registration (EVR), Express/HOT Lane, Fleet Management, Parking and Secure Access Control applications.

As one of the busiest and most densely populated cities in the world, Hong Kong faces serious traffic congestion problems, especially in the central business districts. Smart Mobility is one of the key initiatives of the government to address the growing needs of motorists and commuters.

Many metropolitan cities worldwide such as London and Singapore, have already implemented various forms of smart congestion charging systems to tackle traffic congestion. Leveraging its years of expertise and implementation experience in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technologies and Antenna Design, SSI developed a new antenna to facilitate the implementation of congestion pricing systems.

SSI’s Vespira antenna is specifically designed to be a curb-side antenna for smart city initiatives such as congestion pricing and traffic monitoring. This invention has been granted a patent by both the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO).

Its patented curved structure antenna design and electrical down-tilt feature allows it to blend seamlessly in with the surrounding urban environment when it is mounted upright and flush on a street or utility pole while providing excellent coverage in the desired downward directions.

Vespira employs unique antenna technology to form a low-profile planar antenna array, also known as a phased array. By controlling the signals (power and phases) of individual antenna elements in the array and element-to-element spacing, the combined radiation pattern can be manipulated to steer the main beam in the desired direction.

Vespira also has a high antenna gain and a wide horizontal beamwidth that can cover multiple lanes of a road. It is available with either linear or circular polarisation for different urban road layouts and complex environments.

For this innovation, SSI was given a Smart City – Technology award from the Hong Kong Business Technology Excellence Awards committee. Now in its fourth-year run, the awards program recognises outstanding companies that have made exceptional contributions in pursuit of technological innovation.

In selecting the winners, it crowns the best first-rate firms with the most innovative and unique solutions contributing to smart city initiatives which push forward business in Hong Kong.

The judging panel took into consideration the major achievements of the company.

SSI was praised for developing a new antenna that is aesthetically pleasing, safe, and high-performing. It is also considered the industry’s first curbside antenna specifically designed to facilitate the implementation of Urban Congestion Pricing Systems.

The panel also took note of how the product was developed by a Hong Kong-trained and educated engineer, Ir. Dr. Alan Chi-Lun Mak, and that this invention received two patents in 2022.

With the deployment of the electronic tolling program in Hong Kong, most vehicles are already equipped with an RFID tag. This makes Vespira an ideal component for Hong Kong’s smart mobility applications, such as congestion pricing and traffic monitoring systems.

The Hong Kong Business Technology Excellence Awards is presented by Hong Kong Business Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2024 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's outstanding contributions in pursuit of technological innovation, please contact Julie Anne Nuñez at [email protected].

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