Volunteers are needed for a pilot program to help University of Washington researchers design a smartphone-based solution to test an option to replace the current gas tax. There has been a lot of talk nationwide in recent years of going from a gas tax to a pay-by-the-mile system as the gas tax is not able to keep up with funding needs to repair and maintain the current road system. With cars being more fuel efficient, more alternative-fuel vehicles on the roadway and many people driving less miles, less tax money is coming in.

Last year, Oregon did a pilot program to test how a pay-by-the-mile system would work and now Washington legislators are looking into something similar, called a “road usage charge” (RUC) system, partnering with the University of Washington. Student research teams at UW are developing ways a driver’s smartphone could be used to report mileage.

Teams from the Human Centered Design Engineering department, one team from the Electrical Engineering department, and one team from the Information School are each developing approaches to smartphone apps that give drivers more convenience and control over their mileage reporting.

They need volunteers though to provide feedback on what drivers might want to see in a smartphone application. If interested, click here for more information on how to volunteer.

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