Advancing Road Safety through Space Technology

Advancing Road Safety through Space Technology

The ARMAS (Active Road Management Assisted by Satellite) project aimed to leverage space technology, specifically the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), to enhance road safety and management.


The ARMAS project consisted of two key phases:

  • Phase I: Definition of ARMAS Prototype
    Defined critical aspects, including institutional, legal, and safety considerations.
  • Phase II: Live Demonstrations
    -Conducted live demonstrations showcasing ARMAS concepts in Road Safety, Traffic Management, and Virtual Tolling.
    -Demonstrated Tolling based on Satellite Positioning in Highways and Urban Areas (Zone Tolling).
    -Introduced functionalities such as “Warnings Provision” and “SOS Request.”


ARMAS made notable contributions to the road domain, focusing primarily on tolling based on Satellite Positioning. Key applications included:

  • Virtual Tolling: Enabled remote payment of toll charges, eliminating the need to stop and reducing traffic queues.
  • Safety and Emergency Response: Allowed vehicles to send real-time information about issues while traveling, including an emergency SOS alarm, enabling immediate assistance.
  • Real-Time Traffic Management: Provided drivers with warnings about hazards ahead, facilitating prior alerts and enabling proactive measures to avoid road events.
  • Future Developments: ARMAS laid the groundwork for addressing challenges such as Obstacle Detection & Avoidance and Intelligent Speed Advice & Enforcement.

Technical Information

Real-time tests were conducted on the Vasco Da Gama Bridge above the Tagus, one of Europe’s longest bridges.
In-vehicle receivers calculated real-time positions, enabling communication with a regional control center.
Virtual Tolling ensured seamless passage through tolls, contributing to a Europe-wide electronic tolling system.


  • The ARMAS project was initiated in April 2003, with the preliminary design completed by November 2003.
  • Ongoing system development and testing, with a demonstration held in September 2005.
  • The project concluded in February 2006.


The ARMAS (Active Road Management Assisted by Satellite) project was a collaboration between the European Space Agency and the Portuguese consortium, which included Skysoft Portugal, INOV, Auto-Estradas do Atlântico and Lusoponte, in a study on how space technology can improve road safety.


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