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Publication numberUS2769165 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 30, 1956
Filing dateApr 23, 1954
Priority dateApr 23, 1954
Publication numberUS 2769165 A, US 2769165A, US-A-2769165, US2769165 A, US2769165A
InventorsClyde S Bower
Original AssigneeClyde S Bower
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic toll collection system
US 2769165 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 30, 1956 c. s. BOWER AUTOMATIC TOLL' COLLECTION SYSTEM 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 23, 1954 INVENTOR. CLYDE S. BOWER ATTORNEY-5 Oct. 30, 1956 c. s. BOWER 2,769,165

AUTOMATIC TOLL COLLECTION SYSTEM Filed April 23, 1954 7 s Sheets-Sheet s IN V EN TOR.

ATZ'URNE Y5 CLYDE S. BOWER M M l E? W P SE34 25205 $1.24. m m 23.

x wM M H mm A aw United States Patent AUTOMATIC TOLL COLLECTION SYSTEM Clyde 5. Bower, Philadelphia, Pa.

Application April 23, 1954, Serial No. 425L289 14 Claims. (Cl. 340-213) The present invention relates generally to toll-collection techniques and systems and more particularly to an automatic toll-collection system for vehicles adapted to operate without an attendant and provided with security means to counteract non-payment of the required toll.

The construction and maintenance of modern highways, turnpikes, bridges and tunnels involves vast financial expenditures. To defray the cost of such operations, the present practice is to exact a toll from those who make use of the facility, this being accomplished by installing toll-stations at the entrance of the bridge or tunnel or at various locations along the road.

Payment for the use of the facility is generally in the form of a coin or token, though in some instances where the toll depends on the mileage traversed by the vehicle, punch-cards are employed in conjunction with computing machines to determine the proper charge. 011 the other hand, where commutation books or cards are issued for the weekly or monthly use of the facility, each time the driver passes through the toll-station he will be called upon to surrender a ticket from the book or to permit his car to be punched or otherwise cancelled.

The collection of tolls presents many problems from the standpoint of operating efliciency and expense. Where, for example, a toll-station is installed at a point along a highway, it may take the form of an array of collection booths separated by suitable vehicle lanes, some of which are restricted to traflic in one direction and the remainder of which are restricted to tratfic in the opposing direction. Each booth usually contains a coin-box and is manned by an attendant whose function it is to collect the toll from the driver and to deposit it in the box. Considering that as many as ten booths may be deployed across a broad highway or the entrance of a bridge, one must provide a large staff of collecting agents; and as roads and bridges are customarily open both day and night, staff requirements for toll-stations represent a considerable expense and tend, therefore, to offset materially the revenue obtained. Moreover, the time consumed in receiving money from a driver, making change-where necessary, and then depositing a coin in the box may lead to a line-up of cars at the toll-booth and give rise to serious trafiic delays, particularly when traffic conditions are heavy. Experience has also shown that, in some instances, collection agents will embezzle coins intended for the box, and substantial losses in revenue may result from this cause. To curtail such practices, inspectors and auditors must be provided, thereby further augmenting staff requirements.

In view of the foregoing, the principal object of the invention is to afiord a fool-proof, automatic toll-collecting Patented Oct. 30, 1956 ice method and apparatus adapted to operate without collection agents.

More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide an automatic, toll-collecting system, provided with safety and warning devices to prevent non-payment of the toll or to so record such non-payment as to enable apprehension of the guilty driver.

A further object of this invention is to provide an automatic toll-collecting and traflic regulating system providing an expeditious flow of trafiic through the toll anes.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a system of the above-described type wherein non-payment of the toll by the driver of a vehicle passing through a given lane sets ofii warning light signals and alarm bell, to facilitate interception of the non-paying driver.

A further object of the invention is to provide a system of the above-described type wherein the vehicle of a driver guilty of non-payment is identified by a camera trained on the license plate of the violator as well as on a sign indicating the time and place of the violation, the camera being rendered operative upon departure of the violator.

It is also an object of the invention to provide a system of the above-described type wherein the payments of tolls and the arrival of vehicles at the toll-booth are independently counted, to alford a double-check of the moneys collected.

It is a further object of the invention to provide an automatic system of the above-described type which is eflicient and reliable in operation and which may be inexpensively installed.

Briefly stated, a technique and system in accordance with the invention comprises detection of the arrival of a vehicle at the toll-station, registration of the payment of the required toll followed by indication of the departure of the vehicle. The arrangement is such that toll registration and subsequent indication of departure are a condition precedent to clearance of the vehicle through the toll-station, but in the absence of registration, a violation condition is created and the subsequent indication of departure sets off a series of security devices to call attention to the unauthorized departure of a toll violator and to secure his identification.

For a better understanding of the invention as Well as other objects and further features thereof, reference is made to the following detailed description of the invention to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like components in the several views are identified by like reference numerals.

In the drawings:

Fig. 1 is an elevational view of a toll-station as seen from the entrance thereto having an automatic toll collection installation in accordance with the invention.

Fig. 2 is a side elevational view, showing the installation in one lane of said toll-station.

Fig. 3 is a separate view of a panel sign employed in conjunction with the invention.

Fig. 4 is a plan view of said station.

Fig. 5 is a schematic circuit diagram of a preferred embodiment of apparatus for realizing a system in accordance with the invention.

Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to Figs. 1 to 4, there is shown a toll-station installation in accordance with the invention, which station, for purpose of illustration, includes two lanes A and B operating in the same direction. These lanes are defined by three equi-spaced islands 10, 11 and 12. The islands are bridged by a roof 13 having an observation tower 14 positioned at one end thereon, the roof being supported by columns 15 and 16 on islands and 12, respectively. A single supervisor for the entire system may be stationed in the observation tower.

Projected across each lane is a directional light-beam L; and, as shown in connection with lane A, the light emanates from a lamp 17 supported on a suitable vertical post "on island 11. Beam L impinges on a light-sensitive detector 18, such as a photocell, vertically supported on a suitable post above island it). Also installed on island 10' adjacent detector 18 is a coin-box'l9 and abutting said box'is a vertical panel 20, the panel carrying a sign 21 facing the entrance to the station. As shown separately in Fig. 3, the sign 21 bears indicia giving the day, time, station location and lane direction. Obviously, additional data may be'furnished if desired.

Mounted below roof 13 is a camera 22, the camera being adapted and oriented to photograph, when triggered, a view encompassing the license plate 23 of a vehicle as wellas sign 21', the camera film being automatically advanced after each exposure. Also .prov'ided'is a warning gong or bell 24 mounted on the underside of roof 13, and selectively-operated green and red traflic'lights 25 and 26, respectively, whose rays are directedtoward approaching vehicles in the lane to control traflic feeding into the lane. the roof inan upright position is a flasher or blinker lamp 27 'whichmay readily be viewed by the supervisor in the observation-tower 14, a separate flasher lamp being provided in conjunction with each lane. Mounted on a pole 28, forwardly of the exit side of the toll-station, are selectively-operated green and red trafiic lights 29 and 30, respectively to control traflic exiting from the respective lanes. Obviously, while only two lanes have been illustrated, a greater number may be employed, each lane being provided with an automatic toll system, as herein described.

Operation of system In general the operation of the toll-station is as follows:

Let us first assume a condition, such as shown in lane B of Fig; 1 wherein the lane is free and the light beam L is unbroken, whereby the light-detector 18 is activated by the beam impinging thereon. In thi condition, the system operateswith green lights 25 and 29 on thereby providing a go-ahead signal to oncoming cars. The system is otherwise quiescent. Letus now assume that a vehicle arrives at the tollstation, as shown in Fig. 4 (lane A), the vehicle stopping at a point at which the driver may from his seat conveniently drop a'coin, such as a dime, in coin-box 19. In this position, the fore part of the car will intercept the beam L and thereby deactivate light-detector 18. Deactivation of the light-detector 18 functions to precondition the system for the next phase of operation but will have no immediate effect on the lights, the camera or the gong.

The subsequent phase of operation involves two possibilities,,namely, clearance or violation, which possibilities will be discussed in the order named. To attain clearance, the driver must deposit a coin of the proper character in the box, whereby a registration action is effected. The driver then proceeds onward so that the light beam L is restored and the light-detector 13 reactivated as the car departs from the station. The reactivation of the detector upon departure of the car constitutes a final indication. In this event, the deposit of the coin with'its concomitant registration action, followed by the reactivation of the light-detector produces a clearance condition which returns the system to its initial status without any other effect; that is to say, the lights remain Supported above green and the gong and camera remain undisturbed. It is to be understood that while a coin-box has been disclosed, that should punch cards or commutation tickets be used in lieu of coins or tokens, a suitable device for accepting these tickets or cards may be employed whereby a registration action will occur upon receipt thereof. Such devices, therefore, are the full equivalent of a coinbox within the context of the automatic toll system disclosed herein.

Let us now consider the behavior of the system when a violation occurs. Should a vehicle be driven through the lane and the driver fail to deposit a coin in the box, then as the car is driven through the station, the beam is first intercepted by the vehicle and then reconstituted, as in the case of clearance operation. Thus, both detection marking arrival of the vehicle and final indication marking departure thereof is effected. However, the restoration of the beam is not preceded by the coin registration action, hence a violation condition is created so that at the moment the car moves out of the path of the beam, as shown in Fig 4 (lane B), the resultant reactivation of the light-detector which produces a final indication, brings about energization of red lights 26 and 30 and simultaneously energizes flasher light 27 and alarm gong 24. Concurrently therewith, the shutter of camera 22 is triggered to obtain a photograph both of the license plate 23 and of the sign 21. Thus 'recorded by the camera are the license number of the'violator and the date, time and place of the violation. The type of vehicle driven by the violator may also be identified from the rear view thereof.

The driver of the vehicle who has failed to pay the toll will, upon leaving the station, be confronted by a red signal from light 30 and, in addition, will hear the Warning gong 24. At the same time, the supervisor in the observation tower '14 will observe the flasher light 27 above the appropriate lane. Red light 26, on the other hand, will warn an approaching driver to avoid the lane in Which a violation has just occurred. The driver guilty of the violation has still an opportunity to back up into the station to pay the required tool, whereupon clearance will be given upon departure. However, should he ignore the warning and pass through red light 30, notification of-this event may be given by the supervisor in the observation tower 14 via telephone or other means to a supervisor at the next tool-station on the highway or to the local police. Of course, the photograph of the license plate of the violator will'expedite apprehension of the violator. It will be seen that the need for a collection agent at each lane of the station is eliminated, and yet expeditious passage through the lane is made possible. The coin box is preferably provided with an extension having a coin slot at the end thereof at a position which is convenient to the driver. While the driver must possess a coin of the proper value to clear through the station, automatic change facilities may be provided in a side lane a short distance ahead of the toll-station for "those drivers who lack the proper coin. Some of the lanes could of course be equipped with card punching devices to cancel commutation tickets, and others may contain the conventional coin'boxes. Suitable signs at the entrance to the lanemay be employed to channel trafiic into the appropriate lanes.

T he circuit arrangement Referring now to Fig. '5, it will be seen that the lightbeam L projected from lamp 17 is picked up by alightdetector in the form of a photocell 18, preferably of the photovoltaic type. 'The circuit further comprises alternating-current relays 31 to 36 whose windings are energized from the secondary of a voltage step-down transformer 37, the primary of which is connected via a master switch 38 to power input terminals 39; The alternatingcurrent power line applied to terminals .39 may be a con Ventional 110 volt line, while the transformer 37 may be designed to provide a 6-v0lt output between the upper terminal and the lower terminal Y of the secondary winding.

Obviously, a direct-current source in connection with direct-current relays may be used in lieu of the alternating-current arrangement illustrated herein. It is also to be understood that while a light beam in conjunction with a light-detector has been disclosed herein, any suitable form of radiation such as ultra-violet or infra-red may be used to provide a beam in conic-n ion with detectors sensitive to radiant energy of the type employed. It is also to be understood that the arrival and departure of the car may be detected by mechanical means such as a brush device operative to control an electrical switch.

Coin-box 19 may be of any known construction pro vided with coin-registration means in the form of a switch 40 having a movable arm p which at rest normally engages a contact 12, but which when a coin is deposited is shifted to engage momentarily a contact a. In observation tower 14, there is provided a reset switch 41 having a movable arm p which at rest normally engages a con tact b and which is depressible to engage momentarily a contact a. Also situated in the observation tower are green and red pilot lights 42 and 43, respectively.

In Fig. 5, the relays 31 to 36 are shown in the armature position they will normally occupy before the arrival of a vehicle interscepting beam L. The winding of relay 31 is connected directly to the output of photocell 18, the output of the cell being suificient to energize the relay when light impinges thereon. It is to be understood, however, that the relay 31 may be energized via an amplifier coupled to cell 13. Relay 31, which acts as the detector relay, is provided with an armature p engaging a contact a when the relay is energized and a contact b when de-energized.

Relay 32 serves to mark the arrival and departure of a vehicle and has an armature p which engages contacts a, and (1,, when the relay is energized, and an armature p which engages contacts a, and (1 also when the relay is energized, all contacts being disengaged when the relay is inactive. One end of the winding of relay 32 is connected directly to terminal Y of the transformer secondary, and the other end. is connected via contact I) and armature p of relay 3]. to terminal X. Thus, relay 32 will be energized only when relay 31 is tie-energized, so that relay 32 upon arrival of a car is energized and upon departure thereof is de-energized.

Relay 33 functions in conjunction with coin-box switch 4%) as a coil registration device and has a single armature p engaging contacts a, and a, when energized and contacts b1 and [1 when tie-energized. One end of the winding of registration relay 33 is connected to secondary terminal Y via contact a armature p and contact Q of detector relay 32, the other end of the winding connecting to terminal X via contact a and arm p of switch 4%). Thus, to energize registration relay 33, arrival-departure relay 32 must be energized (arrival) and switch 40 must be shifted momentarily to its contact a position by the deposit of a coin. When registration relay 33 is actuated, it completes its own holding circuit to the X terminal via armature p and contacts a, and a Relay 34 serves to indicate violation and has an armature p engaging a contact a when energized and an abutment a when tie-energized. One end of the winding of relay 34 is connected to terminal X via arm p and contact I; of reset switch in series with contact b and arm 12 of coin-box switch 49. The other end of the winding is connected to terminal Y via contact b armature p and contact 15, of relay 33, in series with contact a,,, armature p and contact a, of relay 32. Thus, to energize violation relay 34, relay 3?. must be energized, thereby indicating an arrival, registration relay 33 must be de-energized and coin-box switch 40 must occupy its contact 12 position thereby indicating non-deposit, and reset switch 41 must occupy its rest (contact b) positlon.

Energization of violation relay 34 causes its armature p to engage contact a, thereby eifecting a connection to terminal Y, which completes a holding circuit for relay 34. Therefore, relay 34 will remain energized even though relay 32 becomes de-energized to indicate departure. This holding circuit may, however, be released by opening momentarily reset switch 41 which breaks the connection to terminal Y. It is important to note that violation relay 34 will not be actuated unless registration relay 33 remains unenergized.

Relay 35 has an armature p engaging a contact [2 when inactive and an abutment a when energized. One end of the winding of relay 35 is connected via contact a armature p and contact (1 of arrival-departure relay 32 to terminal Y, the other end connecting directly to terminal X. Thus, to energize relay 35, relay 32 must first be energized to indicate departure. Relay 35 serves to communicate the status of arrival-departure relay 32 to relay 36, which functions as a selective-signal relay, as will be explained hereinafter.

Relay 36 has an armature p engaging a contact a when energized and a contact b when inactive. One end of the windin of relay 36 is connected via armature p and contact b of status relay 35 in series with contact a and armature p of violation relay 34 to terminal Y, the other end of the Winding connecting directly to terminal X. A condenser 44 is shunted between armature p and contact a of relay 36 to minimize arcing. Thus, to energize selective signal relay 36, status relay 35 must first be de-energized to indicate departure, and relay 34- must be energized to indicate a violation. t is important to note that relay 36 cannot be energized unless violation relay 34 is first energized.

The green signal lamps 25 and 23, as well as the green pilot light 42, are connected via contact b and armature p of relay 36 to power input terminals 39. On the other hand, the red signal lamps 26 and 39, as well as the red pilot light 43, flasher 27, camera 22 and alarm gong 24 are connected via contact a and armature p of relay 36 to power-input terminal 3?. Thus, when selective signal relay 36 is inactive, only the green lamps in the associated lane are illuminated, this ondition being evidenced in the observation tower by th green pilot light 42.

When selective signal relay 3-5 is actuated, the green lights are replaced by red lights 25 and 33, the flasher 27 proceeds to blink to report a violation to the tower supervisor, alarm gong 24 sounds a warning to the violator and camera. 22 snaps a photograph of the violators license-plates as well as si 21 (Fig. 3). The camera for r. this purpose may be any conventional apparatus adapted to be electrically triggered, whereby actuation of relay 36 trips the camera shutter and if desired also switches on suitable lamps for illuminating the scene. When relay 36 reverts to its de-energized position, the camera mechanism will act to advance the film for a new exposure. It is to be understood that the specific constructural details of the automatic camera form no part of the present invention. A preferred form of camera is the socalled Polaroid Land camera which afiords a direct positive print after each exposure. This camera may be arranged to be triggered in the manner above described.

Coin-box 19 is also provided with a conventional mechanical counter 45 affording a numerical count of the toll collection. In order independently to check the toll count, an electrical impulse counter 46 of any standard design is provided, the counter being connected in series with a battery 46 between armature p and contact a of detector relay 31. Thus, for each car arriving in the lane, an electrical impulse is generated. Assuming that each car pays the required toll, the counts recorded by counter 46 will correspond to that of coin counter 45. By giving different inspectors exclusive access to counters 45 and 46 and taking into account the number of violators,

a security check may be had with respect to the toll revenue.

To assist in understanding the behavior of the circuit, the following is a summary of the conditions precedent to the energization of each relay:

Relay Number Gonditions ior Energization 1. Detector relay 31. 1. Light beam L must impinge on detector 18. 2. Arrival-Departure Relay 2. Detector relay 31 must be de- 32. energized. 3. Registration relay 33. 3. (a) Initially, relay 32 must be Violation Relay34n 4.

. Status Relay 35. 5.

. Selective Signal Relay 6.

Operational sequence A. Pre-arrzvaL-Prior to the arrival of a car in the toll lane, beam L is uninterrupted, hence detector relay 31 is energized and all other relays are inactive. By reason of the inaction of selective signal relay 36, green signal lamps 25 and 26 and pilot light 42 are operative, the system otherwise being quiescent.

B. Arrival.When a vehicle arrives, beam L is intercepted, thereby de-energizing detector relay 3'1 and energizing relay 32 to mark arrival. As a consequence, status relay 35 is energized to preclude energization of selective-signal relay 36.

C. Violation r clearance registration-The momentary actuation of switch 40 upon deposit of a coin effects energization of registration relay 33, which energization is maintained by the related holding circuit. Energization of registration relay 33 precludes actuation of violation relay 34, thereby giving clearance when the driver departs.

In the event a proper coin is not deposited, the energization of relay 32 to mark arrival is not followed by actuation of registration relay 33; hence, violation relay 34 is energized.

D. Departure.-l. Let us first assume the clearance condition wherein registration relay 33 is energized and violation relay 34 is de-energized. When the vehicle leaves the station, beam L is restored, relay 32 is deenergized to mark departure, and status relay 35 is likewise de-energized. Inasmuch as violation relay 34 is deenergized, selective-signal relay 36 remains de-energized and the green signal lights are maintained operative to permit the car to clear through the lane.

2. Let us now assume the violation condition wherein registration relay 33 is de-energized and violation relay 34 energized. In this condition, when status relay 35 is de-energized upon the departure of the vehicle, the iconcurrence of a de-energized relay 35 and an energized violation relay 34 renders selective-signal relay 36 operative, thereby switching on the red signal and pilot lights, the flasher, gong and camera to counteract the escape of the violator.

While the apparatus has been described as normally providing a green clearance light which is switched out to a red warning light in response to a violation, it is to be understood that it is within the contemplation of the invention to set olf a yellow caution light in response to the detection of car arrival, a green clearance light in response to coin registration followed by indication of 8. departure and a red stop light in response to indication in the absence of precedent registration.

While there has been shown what at present is considered to be a preferred embodiment of apparatus for the realization of a system in accordance with the in vention, it is to be understood that changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the essential spirit of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A system for automatically collecting tolls at a lane installation provided with a box at the side of said lane to receive payment, comprising means to project a light beam across said lane at a point in advance of said box, detection means at said side of the lane to pick up said beam and to produce upon interception thereof by an arriving vehicle a first switching action and to produce upon restoration of said beam following departure of said vehicle a second switching action, a clearance signal element, a violation signal element, switching means selec tively to activate said elements, said switching means normally activating said clearance signal element, means rendered operative by said first switching action to register receipt of a toll in said box to produce a third switching action, said third switching action being absent in the event of non-payment of said toll and means coupled to said selective switching means and responsive to said second switching action in the absence of said third action to activate said violation signal element.

2. A system for automatically collecting tolls at a lane installation provided with a box at one side of the lane to receive payment, comprising means to project a light beam across said lane at a point adjacent said box, detection means at said side of the lane to pick up said beam and to produce upon interception thereof by an arriving vehicle a first switching action and to produce upon restoration of said beams following departure of said vehicle a second switching action, green clearance lights disposed at the entrance and exit of said station respectively, red violation lights disposed at the entrance and exit of said station respectively, a warning gong, switching means selectively in one position to activate said green lights and in another position to activate said red lights and said gong, said switching means normally occupying said one position, means rendered operative by said first switching action to register receipt of a toll in said box to produce a third switching action, said third switching action being absent in the event of non-payment of said toll and means responsive to said second switching action in the absence of said third action and coupled to said switching means to render same operative to assume said other position.

3. A system for automatically collecting tolls at a lane installation provided with a box to receive payment, comprising means to project a light beam across said lane at a point adjacent said box, detection means at one side of the lane to pick up said beam to produce upon interception thereof by an arriving vehicle a first switching action and to produce upon restoration of said beam following departure of said vehicle a second switching action, a camera at said station trained to photograph the rear license-plate of a vehicle in the lane, means rendered operative by said first switching action to register recepit of a toll in said box to produce a third switching action, said third switching action being absent in the event of non-payment of said toll and means responsive to said second switching action in the absence of said third action to trigger said camera.

4. In a system for automatically collecting tolls at a toll-station provided with a plurality of parallel lanes, a roof bridging said lanes, an observation tower mounted above said roof at one end thereof and a toll-collecting installation disposed adjacent each lane below said roof, said installation comprising means to project a light-beam across the associated lane, means including a photocell in the path of said beam to produce upon interception thereof by an arriving vehicle a first switching action and upon departure of said vehicle and the resultant restoration of said beam a second switching action, green and red traffic lights mounted below said roof at the entrance of said lane, a light flasher mounted above said roof at a position corresponding to said lane and visible from said tower, a coin-box disposed in advance of said beam with espect to the entrance to said installation, a sign positioned above said box and facing said entrance to provide indicia of time and place, a camera mounted below said roof and trained to photograph both the rear of said vehicle and said sign, means rendered operative by said first switching action to register receipt of a toll in said box to produce a third switching action, said register being unactuated in the event of non-payment of said toll means including a selective switching device coupled to said lights, said flasher and said camera alternatively to activate said green light in one position thereof and jointly to activate said red light, said flasher and said camera in a second position thereof, said device normally occupying said first position, and means responsive to said second action in the absence of said third action to render said device operative to assume said second position.

5. An installation, as set forth in claim 4, wherein said coin-box is provided with a switch momentarily actuated by the deposit of a coin, and wherein said registration means comprises a relay and means responsive to said first switching action followed by the momentary actuation of said switch to energize said relay, and further including a holding circuit to maintain energization of said relay.

6. An installation, as set forth in claim 4, further including additional green and red lights electrically coupled to said green and red traffic lights, respectively, and positioned at the exit side of said installation to provide clearance and violation signals to an exiting vehicle.

7. An installation, as set forth in claim 4, further including a numerical counter in said coin-box to count said toll payments and an impulse counter responsive to said first switching action to count vehicular traffic through said lane.

8 In an automatic toll-collection installation, marking means operative upon the arrival of a vehicle at said installation, indicating means operative upon the departure of said vehicle, a coin-box provided with a normally open first switch adapted for momentary closure upon deposit of a coin, a registration relay having a winding and a normally closed second switch adapted to be opened upon energization of said relay, means coupled to the winding of said registration relay and responsive to the marking operation efifected at the arrival of a vehicle at the installation succeeded by closure of said first switch to energize said winding whereby said second switch is opened, a holding circuit coupled to said registration relay to maintain energization thereof, a violation relay having a winding and a normally open third switch which is closed upon energization thereof, means including said second switch to energize said violation relay whereby said violation relay becomes deenergized upon energization of said registration relay, a holding circuit coupled to said violation relay to maintain energization thereof, violation signal means, and means coupled to said signal means and responsive to the indication operation efI'ected at departure of a vehicle in the condition where said third switch is closed to activate said signal means.

9. Apparatus adapted automatically to collect tolls at a lane installation comprising means marking the arrival of a vehicle at said installation, means indicating the subsequent departure of said vehicle, means rendered operable by said marking means for registering the payment of a toll at said installation, said registering means being actuated only upon payment of said toll and being quiescent in the event of non-payment, means responsive to successive events of marking, registration and indication to provide go-ahead signals for a toll-paying vehicle and vehicles approaching said installation in said lane, and means responsive to successive events of marking, quiescent registration and indication to provide stop signals for a non-paying vehicle and vehicles approaching said installation in said lane.

10. Apparatus adapted automatically to collect tolls at a lane installation comprising means marking the arrival of a vehicle at said installation, means indicating the subsequent departure of said vehicle, means rendered operable by said marking means for registering the payment of a toll at said installation, said registering means being actuated only upon payment of said toll and being quiescent in the event of non-payment, means responsive to successive events of marking, registration and indication to provide go-ahead signals for a toll-paying vehicle and vehicles approaching said installation in said lane, and means responsive to successive events of marking, quiescent registration and indication to provide visual and sonic stop signals for a non-paying vehicle and vehicles approaching said installation in said lane to arrest the continued departure of said non-paying vehicle and to halt oncoming traffic.

11. Apparatus adapted automatically to collect tolls at a lane installation provided with a device to receive a toll payment directly from a driver of a vehicle comprising means to project a light beam across the lane at the position of the installation, means to mark the interception of said beam by an arriving vehicle in the lane, means indicating the restoration of said beam upon departure of said vehicle, means rendered operable by said marking means to register the receipt of a toll payment in said device, said register means being actuated only upon payment of said toll and being quiescent in the event of non-payment, signal means responsive to the successive event of marking, registration and indication to provide a clearance signal for said toll-paying vehicle and vehicles approaching said installation in said lane, and signal means responsive to the successive events of marking, quiescent registration and indication to provide a stop signal for said non-paying vehicle and vehicles approaching said installation in said lane.

12. Apparatus adapted automatically to collect tolls at a lane installation comprising means marking the arrival of a vehicle at said installation, said vehicle having a license plate, means indicating the subsequent departure of said vehicle, means rendered operative by said marking means for registering the payment of a toll at said installation, said registering means being quiescent in the event of non-payment, means at said installation providing indicia of time and place, a camera trained to photograph the license plate of said vehicle, and means responsive to successive events of marking, quiescent registration and indication to activate said camera to photograph said license plate and simultaneously to record said indicia.

13. The system of automatically collecting tolls at a lane station provided with a box to receive payment comprising means to mark the arrival of a vehicle at said station, means rendered operable by said mark means to register the payment of a toll in said box, said registering means being actuated only upon payment of said toll and being unactuated in the absence of said payment, means to indicate the departure of said vehicle from said station, means responsive to successive events of marking, registration and indication to maintain a clearance signal in said lane, and means responsive to the successive events of marking unactuated registration and indication to activate a violation signal.

14. In a system for automatically collecting tolls at a lane station, the combination comprising means to mark the arrival of a vehicle at said station, means rendered operable by said mark means to register the payment of a 1 1 toll, said registering means being actuated only upon payment of said toll and being unactuated in the absence of said payment, means to indicate the departure of said vehicle from said station, and means responsive to the successive events of marking unactuated registration and 5 indication to actuate a violation signal.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,818,162 Robbins t a1 Aug. 11, 1931 12 Duany et a1 Mar. 16, 1937 Hunter Sept. 28, 1937 Halliday Apr. 25, 1944 Scherer Nov. 7, 1950 Allstadt Dec. 30, 1952 Stovall July 21, 1953

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Classifications
U.S. Classification340/937, 194/901, 340/942, 340/556, 235/33, 235/99.00R, 346/107.2, 340/928
International ClassificationG07F17/14
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/145, Y10S194/901
European ClassificationG07F17/14B