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Publication numberUS3158836 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 24, 1964
Filing dateJan 23, 1961
Priority dateJan 23, 1961
Publication numberUS 3158836 A, US 3158836A, US-A-3158836, US3158836 A, US3158836A
InventorsMccauley Donald R
Original AssigneeGen Signal Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic traffic directing system for garages
US 3158836 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 24, 1964 R. M CAULEY 3,158,336

AUTOMATIC TRAFFIC DIRECTING SYSTEM FOR GARAGES Filed Jan. 25; 1961 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. I.

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D. R. MC. CAULEY zmw HIS AT TOR NEY Nov. 24, 1964 D. R. MCCAULEY AUTOMATIC TRAFFIC DIRECTING SYSTEM FOR GARAGES 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 23, 1961 E E 5 Jm-m 5 (3% I TT T.

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JON-P200 INVENTOR. 8ND. R. MQCAULEY HIS ATTORNEY AUTOMATIC TRAFFIC DIRECTING SYSTEM FOR GARAGES Filed Jan. 25, 1961 Nov. 24, 1964 D. R. MCCAULEY 6 SheetsSheet 3 mmH INVEN TOR. D. R. MCCAULEY NmO mmO

7 HIS ATTORNEY 1964 D. R. MQCAULEY 3,158,836

AUTOMATIC TRAFFIC DIRECTING SYSTEM FOR GARAGES Filed Jan. 23, 1961 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 FIG. 4A.

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R. MC. CAULEY 7 HIS ATTORNEY Nov. 24, 1964 cc u 3,158,836

AUTOMATIC TRAFFIC DIRECTING SYSTEM FOR GARAGES Filed Jan. 23, 1961 I 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 LEVEL L2 2s 2s 1T2 0T2 E I CONTROL i3 CONTROL 20 2| APPARATUS 20 2| APPARATUS I\'/2 ov2 ADD I i 1' I20 DC6\ I n9 n LQlilfl i Mm SUBTRACT U 3 I l WI PR2 0 DR. MC. CAULEY hflaw HIS ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,158,$36 AUTOMATIC TRAFFlC DIRECTLQG SYSTEM FOR GARAGES Donald R. McCanley, Rochester, N .Y., assignor to eneral Signal Corporation Filed Jan. 23, 1961, Ser. No. 83,969 6 Claims. (Cl. 340-51) This invention relates to an automatic traflic directing system for garages, and, more particularly, pertains to such a system for effecting the automatic directing of vehicles in a garage to diiferent parking 'areas thereof according to varying degrees of traffic flow occurring there- 1n.

In major cities having rather large populations, it is generally true that increasing numbers of vehicles in relation thereto give rise to problems of trathc congestion. Such problems of trafiic congestion have been partially overcome by the provision of garages of the single or multiple level types so as to accommodate the large number of vehicles travelling in such cities.

It is desirable with such different types of garages to provide the best means available for elfecting efiicient handling of the vehicles which make use thereof and to further maintain the cost of operating such garage at a minimum. One way in which theese problems have been overcome has been to provide a signalling system which is operative according to the presence or absence of vehicles in order that vehicles desiring to park may be routed or directed to the parking areas having unused parking spaces. In general, this signalling system has provided two directing arrows adapted to be illuminated according to a vehicle detection system, one of which is provided for directing traffic into an associated parking area, while the other one is provided for directing trafiic into another parking area in the same level or to the next level according to the type of garage.

This type of signalling system employed for automatically directing or routing traific to different parking areas in a garage has proved to be quite effective under certain traffic flow conditions. That is, as long as the flow of trafiic into a garage, whether it is of the single or multiple level type, is not occurring in a continual manner, but in a more sporadic manner, then the signalling system, as generally described above, is quite effective for the intended purposes. However, when a continual flow of traffic attempts to enter a garage utilizing the type of signalling system described above, undue periods of waiting must necessarily ensue for those vehicles located some distance back in the continual line of vehicles.

Generally speaking, and without making any attempt to define the exact nature or scope of the present invention, it is proposed to provide a system for expediting traffic movement under conditions where the trafiic flow into a garage is exceedingly heavy as well as under normal conditions where the trafiic flow is of a more sporadic nature. More particularly, it is proposed to provide a signalling system employable with a vehicle counting system which is adapted to automatically direct or route vehicles to parking areas having available parking spaces under normal traific flow conditions, while providing that the vehicles appearing at a garage in a continual flow be directed or routed by groups to the various parking areas of the garage having available parking spaces in order to allow ample time for respective groups of vehicles to assume their respective parking positions. It is further proposed in this invention that thevehicles entering a garage, irrespective of the number entering therein in a given time, be counted into and out of the respective parking areas or levels according to the type of garage for controlling a signalling circuit according to a predetermined Patented Nov. 24., 1964 In view of the prior art, the present invention provides certain advantages heretofore unattainable thereby. One of such advantages is to enable more eflicient automatic directing or routing of traffic flow in a garage irrespective of the type thereof when such trailic flow occurs in a contmual manner. Another advantage of this invention is to allow ample time for the vehicles to asume parked positions when the traffic fiow is of a continual nature into the garage. Another advantage of this invention is to provide a signalling system for a multiple level parking garage adapted to be automatically controlled according to the number of vehicles in respective levels of such garage for directing or routing trafiic flow according thereto.

Thus, one object of this invention is to provide a system for expediting parking of vehicles in a garage having a plurality of parking areas irrespective of traffic flow thereto.

Another object of this invention is to provide a system adaptable to a garage having a plurality of parking areas for effecting the automatic routing or directing of vehicles therein which will minimize the required number of operating personnel.

Another object of this invention is to provide a system adapted to route or direct trafiic flow to different parking areas of a multiple parking area garage in groups according to a continual flow of traffic thereto.

Another object of this invention is to provide a signalling system adapted to be controlled according to a vehicle counting system for directing trafiic flow to respective levels of a multiple level parking garage.

Other objects, purposes and characteristic features of the present invention will be in part obvious from the accompanying drawings, and in part pointed out as the description of the invention progresses.

For the purpose of simplifying the illustrations and facilitating in the explanation, the various parts and circuits constituting the embodiments of the invention have been shown diagrammatically and certain conventional illustrations including block diagrams have been employed, the drawings having been made more with the purpose of making it easy to understand the principles and mode of operation rather than with the idea of illustrating the specific construction and arrangement of parts that would be employed in practice. Thus, the various relays and their contacts are illustrated in a conventional man- 7 her, and the symbols (-1-) and are used to indicate connections to the terminals of suitable batteries, or other sources of electric current, instead of showing all of the wiring connections to these terminals.

In describing the invention in detail, reference will be made to the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, and in which:

FIG. 1 shows a typical garage of the single level type adapted to schematically illustrate one embodiment of this invention in relation thereto;

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram showing the circuit organization in detail and partially in block diagram form for one embodiment of this invention as illustrated in FIG. 1;

PEG. 3 shows a typical garage of the multiple level type adapted to schematically illustrate another embodiment of this invention; and

F168. 4A, 4B and 4C are a schematic diagram showing the circuit organization in detail and partially in block diagram form for another embodiment of this invention as illustrated in FIG. 3.

The present invention as disclosed herein shall be described with respect to two basic applications thereof. Firstly, as exemplified by F168. 1 and Z, the present invention will be considered in one application thereof as related to a single level parking garage having a plurality of parking areas. Secondly, as exemplified by FIGS. 3, 4A, 4B and 40, the present invention will be considered in another application thereof as related to a multiple level parking garage having a parking area on each of the respective levels thereof.

SENGLE LEVEL PARKENG GARAGE System Organization With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the present invention will be presently described in relation to a single level parking garage having a plurality of parking areas. in this connection, FIG. 1 is illustrative of the manner in which the present invention may be related to a single level parking garage having a plurality of parking areas. That is, an illustration is shown in PEG. 1 of the relative location of vehicle detecting transducers in relation to each parking area thereof and a single traific lane providing access to each parking area. In addition, the relative location of signal light organizations including arrows for directing or routing tratfic to the different parking areas are shown with respect to each pair of parking areas in the single traific lane. PEG. 2 shows in detail and by block diagram the circuit organizations for a pair of parking areas required to effect the automatic directing or routing of vehicles to the different parking areas.

Referring more particularly to FIG. 1, a single tral'iic lane STL is shown where vehicles may enter one end thereof designated IN and may proceed out of the other end designated OUT. Betwe .1 opposite ends of the single traffic lane STL, a plurality of oppositely positioned parking areas are provided such as areas 3-1 and 3-7.. Each of the parking areas includes a plurality of parking spaces such as, for example, parking spaces 2-7 and as further indicated by dotted lines 8 for area With each of the parking areas, a vehicle detection system is provided, while a signal light organization is provided with each pair of parking areas.

The vehicle detection system included with each parking area includes an in detector'l'l" located at the entrance to the area as well as an Out Detector OT located adjacent the exit of such area. For example, In detector R--lT2 is shown to be located at the entrance to area 13-1, while the Out detector R-OTZZ is shown to be located adjacent the exit of area B-l. The purpose of the In detector R-lTZ is to detect each vehicle entering area 8-1 for counting purposes, while the Out detector R-OTZ is for the purpose of detecting each vehicle which exits from area 3-2 also for counting purposes as will be more fully described hereinafter.

A signal light organization B-SL is disposed adjacent to the entrances to areas 3-1 and B2 so as to direct vehicles into either area Bll or area B2 or to direct such vehicles to proceed on the lane STL to the next parking area in the direction indicated by arrows ill. The signal light organization B-SL includes an arrow designated RA which when illuminated is adapted to automatically direct vehicles into area B1, an arrow designated LA which when illuminated is adapted to automatically direct vehicles into area -2, and an arrow designated YA which when illuminated is adapted to direct vehicles in the direction of arrows 11. over lane STL. he manner in which these arrows RA, LA, and PA are automatically controlled according to the presence of vehicles in areas B1 and 8-2 is shown in FIG. 2. Also, it is to be understood that signal light organization A-SL associated with parsing areas A-1 and A-2 and signal light organiz tion C-SL associated with parking areas C-ll and C4; are similar to that shown in FIG. 2. With the general organization of FIG. 1 in mind, the detailed circuits shown in PEG. 2 will now be described.

Referring to P16. 2, a separate diagrammatical illustration is shown therein for each of the parking areas B-ll and 13-2 and the manner in which each is interconnected with the other to effect the automatic operation of the signal light organization BSL. Each of the areas B1 and 3-?) includes an in detector lT and an detector 0T such as, for example, detector R-l'l'Z and detector R-OTZ for area 34; as mentioned above. Each detector is seen to include a transmitting transducer 2% and a receiving transducer 21 which may be employed respe tively to transmit and receive ultrasonic energy in the form of pulses for operation of the associated control apparatus 23 for further controlling a relay such as relay A description of a system of this type appears in the Patent No. 3,045,909 granted to J. H. Auer, Jr. on fu ly 24, 1962.

Generally speaking, it is considered sufficient for purposes of this disclosure to note that in a system of the type disclosed in the Patent No. 1045309, pulsed electrical energy is supplied to the transmitting transducer fa l from the control apparatus 23. Ultrasonic pulses are thus directed by transducer 2%? toward the floor of the single level garage or a vehicle which appears th reunder, and a portion of each sound pulse is reflected back to the receiving transducer 21 where it is converted by such transducer 21 to a weak electrical signal which is supplied to the control apparatus 23. The received reflection pulses are discriminated on the basis of their roundtrip propagation time which determines whether they are received from the pavement or from the top of a passing vehicle. When a number of vehicle detection pulses have been successively received, relay R-I2 is energized to indicate the presence of a vehicle. In this manner, the vehicles entering or leaving each of the parking areas mentioned above in connection with PEG. 1 are detected.

As shown in FIG. 2, relays R42 and R-O2 both supply inputs to respective input circuits of differential counter DCI thereby providing an accurate count of the vehicles within the area Bl. Each of the differential counters D03 and DC4 employed for the respective parking areas Bl. and 3-2 is of the type which includes an add coil and a subtract coil adapted to be pulsed for adding and subtracting counts which are indicative of vehicles entering or leaving such areas. Each of the parking areas described above in connection with PEG. 1 s a certain vehicle capacity which the respective differential counters are effective to recognize in that a full relay FR associated with each is adapt d to be ener ed according to a read out signal from the respective differential counter when it is operated to display a full count for the respective parking area as vill be more apparent from the following description.

Each operation of relay R-IZ in response to an entering vehicle controls a relay control circuit including relays 35, as, 37, 3t? and 39 which, in turn, controls the signal light organization BfiSL. More particularly, the relays 35, 36, and 37 are adapted to be sequentially energized when three vehicles are detected in close succession by detector RIT2. Each of the relays 35, 36 and 37 is shunted by a series-connected capacitor and resistor such as capacitor 42 and resistor 43 for relay 36. Each such capacitor-resistor combination delays the release of the respective relay following its deenergization. Such timing relationship may be established according to the distance between arriving vehicles appearing under transducer R-ITZ and, accordingly, may be adjusted as desired. Relay 39 is shown to be controlled according to the energization of relay 37 which control is indicative of at least three vehicles appearing in close succession under transducer R 1T2. With relay RFRll adapted to be controlled as generally described above and relay 39 being controlled in the manner generally described, the illumination of arrows RA, LA and FA for signal light organization B-SL may be effected, but according to the operation of similar relays associated with the parking area B-Z.

It is believed that the nature of the invention, its advantages and characteristic features as related to the present application thereof can be best understood with further description being set forth from the standpoint of operation.

Typical Operation will be made in order that typical operations may be described therefor.

Let is be assumed that the parking areas A-1 and A2 are each filled with vehicles to their respective capacities. Further, let it be assumed that neither parking area B-l nor parking area B2 is filled with vehicles to its respective capacity which is assumed to be 50, but have a number of vehicles therein as indicated by counters DOS and DC4. Let it also be assumed that four vehicles have entered the single level parking garage at the entrance designated IN and are proceeding in the direction of arrows 11 over the single traflic lane STL to parking areas B-1 and B-2.

In view of the assumptions made above, the signal light organizations A-SL and B SL are accordingly controlled to automatically direct the assumed four vehicles to available parking spaces. With the parking areas A-1 and R-2 filled with vehicles to their respective capacities, the arrow PA for signal light organization A-SL is illuminated. Although the circuitry therefor is not shown in detail, it is similar to the circuit shown in FIG. 2 for areas B-1 and 13-2 Where both full relays RFRl and LFRI are energized. In FIG. 2, such circuit extends from through front contact 50 of relay RFRl, through front contact 51 of relay LFRl, through the filament of a lamp 52 shown dotted in relationship with arrow PA for signal light organization B-SL to Also, the arrow RA for signal light organization B-SL is effectively illuminated by a'circuit shown in FIG. 2 which extends from through back contact 55 of relay RFRL through back contact 56 of relay 39, through the filament of lamp 57 shown dotted with arrow RA, to

As the vehicles proceed in the direction of arrows 11 over lane STL in approach to the areas B1 and B2, such vehicles are automatically directed according to the controlled illumination of arrows RA and LA. As the first vehicle enters area B-l, In detector R-ITZ energizes relay R-I2. The energization of relay R-I2 causes a count to be added to counter DC3 while also causing relay 35 to be energized. More particularly, a count is effectively registered on counter DC3 according to the completion of a circuit extending from through front contact 6% of relay R-IZ, through the winding of the add coil (not shown) for counter DC3, to The circuit for relay 35 extends from through front contact 61 of relay R-I2., through the winding of relay 35, to A capacitor 64 connected in shunt with relay 35 and provided for the purpose of governing the release of relay 35 is charged by a circuit extending from through front contact 61 of relay R-I2, through the capacitor 64, through resistor 65, to Also, a stick circuit for relay 38 is completed fromthrough front contact 68 of relay R-I2, through front contact 70 of relay 38, through the winding of 38, to

Assuming that the second car is detected by dectector R-ITZ before the deenergization of relay 35, i.e., before capacitor 64 is discharged therethrough, relay 36 will be energized through a circuit including front contact 72 of relay 35. It should be noted that upon the deenergization of relay R-IZ following the passage of the first vehicle, relay 38 is deenergized since the stick circuit completed through front contact 68 of relay R-IZ is disconnected. With relay R-IZ being energized when the second vehicle is detected and relay 38 being now deenergized, relay 36 is energized by a circuit extending from through "back contact 73 of relay 38, through front contact 74 of relay R-IZ, through front contact 72 of relay 35, through the winding of relay 36, to In addition, the caand 3% associated with area 134.

. 3 pacitor 42 connected in shunt with relay 36 is charged through this same circuit and through the resistor 43, to After an interval as determined by the charge on capacitor 6 2, relay 35 drops away. As the vehicles are assumed to appear in immediate succession, the deenergization of relay 35 will not take place prior to the energization of relay 36. With relay 35 being then deenergized and with the deenergization of relay R-IZ, an energizing circuit is completed for relay 38 which extends from through back contact 68 of Rl'2, through back contact 76 of relay 35, through the winding of relay 33, to

When the third vehicle is detected by detector R-ITZ, relay R-IZ is once again energized. Relay 36 is still energized and with the energizing of relay 38 as described above, relay 37 is energized by a circuit extending from through front contact 73 of relay 38, through front contact 73 of relay R-IZ, through front contact 80 of relay 36, through the winding of relay 37, to Also, a capacitor 32 is charged by such circuit through a resistor 83, to With relay 37 now energized, the circuit for energizing relay 39 is completed from through front contact of relay 37, through the windingof relay39,to(-).

The energizaton of relay 39 disconnects the energizing circuit for the lamp 57 associated with arrow RA so as to extinguish the illumination thereof. Arrow LA is illuminated according to the energization of relay 39 by a circuit extending from through back contact 55 of relay RFRl, through front contact 56 of relay 39, through back contact 87 of relay 99 associated with area B-2 and similar to relay 39, through back contact 92 of relay LFRl, to the filament of a lamp 93 included with arrow LA, to The illumination of arrow LA will prevail until the deenergization of relay 39 as determined by the deenergization of relay 37 as well as its slow release characteristics as indicated. With arrow LA illuminated, the fourth vehicle will be directed or routed into parking area B2. Thus, the counters DC3 and DC4 would now respectively display the counts 044 and 038.

It is to be understood that the circuits shown in FIG. 2 have been provided according to an arbitrary selection of three vehicles appearing in immediate succession to either area 13-1 or area B-Z. It is apparent that this circuit arrangement could be explained to permit more or less than three vehicles to enter in immediate succession to either of such areas B-l or B-2 and to appropriately control signal light organization BSL.

If it is assumed that seven vehicles have entered the single level parking garage at the entrance designated IN and are proceeding in the direction of arrows 11 over the single trafic lane STL to parking areas 5-1 and B2, and in view of the above assumptions, the arrows RA, LA and PA for signal light organization BSL are adapted to be successively illuminated according to the present invention.

The first three vehicles proceeding to the parking areas B1 and 13-2 will be directed into parking area B-l according to the illumination of arrow RA by a circuit described above. When the relays 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 are controlled thereby in the manner described above, the energizing circuit for lamp 93 associated with arrow LA is completed as described above. The next three vehicles immediately following the first three vehicles are 'then directed into the parking area B2 according to the illumination of arrow LA. Relays 95, 96, 97, 98 and 9% associated with the parking area B-Z are controlled similar to the respective relays 35, 36, 37, 38 Assuming that the relay 39 associated with are B41 is still energized and relay 3% is new energized according to the similar manner of operation as described above for relay 39, the arrow PA is illuminated according to a circuit completed from through front contact lid of relay 39, through front contact 192 of relay 90, through the filament of lamp 52 associated with arrow PA, to Thus, the seventh vehicle is automatically directed by the illumination of arrow PA to the parking areas C1 and C-2.

To further illustrate the automatic control of each signal light organization SL, and in view of the above assumptions, let it be assumed that one vehicle leaves the parking area A2. As such vehicle leaves area A-Z, detector L*OTl detects such vehicle which causes a relay similar to relay L432 for area 13% to be momentarily energized. This will cause the arrow LA for signal light organization A-SL to be illuminated in lieu of arrow PA as described above. The manner in which this is effected will be explained with respect to PEG. 2 and the circuits shown for areas Bl and B2.

As the relay similar to relay L432 is energized, a circult is completed to the subtract coil of a counter similar to counter D; which extends from through front contact 1&4 of relay L2, through the winding of the subtract coil (not shown) for counter D64, to A relay similar to relay LFRI which has been energized according to a full count on the associated counter for area A-Z as described above is now deencrgized. A circuit similar to the circuit including front contact 51 of relay LRFl as described above is thus disconnected to extinguish the lamp for arrow EPA in signal light organization ASL. A circuit is completed for a lamp similar to lamp $3 associated with the arrow LA through back contact @2 of relay LFRl as described above for causing the illumination of arrow LA for signal light organization A-SL.

If it is now assumed that one vehicle leaves the parking area Al, the arrow LA is extinguished while the arrow RA is illuminated for light signal organization A-SL. The detector R-OT1 detects such vehicle as it leaves area A-l which causes a relay similar to relay R-llZ for area 39-1 to be momentarily energized. A circuit is then completed similar to the circuit extended from through front contact 1% of relay Rtl2, through the subtract coil (not shown) for counter DC3, to Thus, a relay similar to relay RFRl for area A-Z is effectively deenergized whi h causes a similar circuit including back contact 55 of relay RFRl to be completed for energizing a lamp 57 w ich illuminates the arrow RA for signal light organization A-SL similar to that shown in FIG. 2.

In the operation of the signal light organizations A-SL, E-SL and C-SL, similar circuit organizations for that shown in FIG. 2 would provide that the arrow RA for each is normally illuminated according to available parking spaces in the areas Al, B4 and C4. It is apparent and thus should be understood that the circuitry shown in FIG. 2 could be readily reorganized to provide that arrow LA in each instance be normally illuminated.

MULTIPLE LEVEL PARKING GARAGE System Organization With reference to FIGS. 3, 4A, 4B and 4C, the present invention will presently be described in relation to a multiple level parking garage. in this connection, FIG. 3 is illustrative of the manner in which the present invention is related to a multiple level parking garage in that it shows the relative location of vehicle detectors in relation to each level thereof, while also showing the relative location of signal light organizations including arrows for directing or routing trafiic to the respective levels. FIGS. 4A, 4B and 4C show in detm'l how the operation of respective detectors for the different levels according to the presence of vehicles is adapted electronically to control the different signal light organizations for automatically directing such vehicles to the different parking areas.

Referring more particularly to FIG. 3, three levels Ll, L2 and L3 of a multiple level parking garage are illustrated with connecting ramps being shown between levels Ll and L2 and levels L2 and L3 for permitting the entrance of vehicles thereto and the exit of vehicles therefrom. For vehicles entering levels L2 and L3, these In ramps are respectively designated IE2 and IE3, while the Out ranips providing for vehicles exiting from levels L2 and L3 are designated respectively CR2 and CR3. The manner in which vehicles normally travel in a multiple level parking garage of this type for the respective levels is indicated by the arrows designated 9. Although the ilow of tratlic may in some instance differ somewhat from that shown by the arrows 9 for the type of multiple level parking garage illustrated, it is assumed for purposes of explanation herein that vehicles travel in the levels L1, L2 and L3 and therebetween in the manner indicated by the arrows 9. To ensure that the traflic on levels L2 and L3 flows in the manner indicated by arrows 9, a sign 14 is located adjacent the entrance thereto from ramps 1R2 and 1R3 bearing directions such as DO NOT EN- TER. The parking spaces for the respective levels L1, L2 and L3 may be located as shown by the spaces designated The application of the present invention 0 the multiple level parking particularly indicated by the relative location of apparatus for detecting the presence of vehicles as well as apparatus for automatically directing such vehicles to parking areas having available parking spaces or out of the multiple level parking garage. In each of the levels L, L2 and L3, an In detector IT is provided for detecting each vehicle which enters the respective level, wh le an Out detector OT is provided for detecting the presence of each vehicle which exits from the respective level. For example, level L2 has In detector 1T2 shown in relation to the upper portion of in ramp 1R2, while an Gut detector 0T2 is shown in relation to the upper portion of Out ramp ()R2. in addition, each of the levels L1, L2 and L3 includes a signal light organization SL provided for the purpose or" automatically directing tralhc to the respective levels according to the automatic control thereof in respect to the detection of vehicles by the transducers lT and GT. Each of the signal light organizations SL is seen to include three arrows such as arrows UAZ, PAZ and DAZ for signal light organization SL2 for automatically directing trafiic in a manner to be presently described. With respect to the signal light organizations SL and the transducers IT and OT for the respective levels L1, L2 and L3, it is seen that these elements are shown to be connected by dotted lines designated E5 to the ceilings and ramps of the respective levels. For example, signal light organization SL2 is indicated to be connected to the ceiling 17 of level L2, while transducer 1T2. and GT2 are indicate to be connected respectively to the undersides or" ramps IE3 and 0R3. These elements are located in the positions shown in order that a more complete understanding may be had as to the relative location thereof in the illustration of the multiple level parking garage shown in H6. 3.

Referring to FIGS. 4A and 4E and 4C, a separate diagrammatical illustration of circuitry is shown therein for each of the levels Ll, L2 and L3 and the manner in which each is interconnected with the others to ellect the automatic operation of the signal light organizations SL1, SL2 and SL3. In this respect, each of the detectors IT and OT for respective levels L1, L2 and L5 is shown to be similar to that shown in FIG. 2. That is, each includes a transmitting transducer 2-3 and a receiving transducer 2 1 which may be employed respectively to transmit and receive pulsed ultrasonic energy for causing operation of a control apparatus 2.?) according to the nature of the reflected sound pulses for further controlling a relay such as relay 0V2 for level L2. The manner of operation herein is similar to that disclosed in the Patent No. 3,045,909, as mentioned above.

As shown in FIGS. 4A, 4B and 40, the operation of respective relays IV and CV for levels L1, L2 and L3 according to vehicles entering and leaving such levels L1, L2 and L3 is adapted to control differential counters DCS,

garage as generally described above is more,

9 D06 and DC7. Each of such counters DCS, DC6 and D07 includes an add coil and a subtract coil adapted to be pulsed for adding and subtracting counts which are indicative of vehicles entering or leaving such levels for providing an exact count of the vehicles in each level.

Each of the levels shown in FIG. 3 has a certain vehicle capacity which the respective dillerential counters are effective to recognize in that a full relay PR employed with each counter is adapted to be energized according to a read out control from the respective difierential counter when it is operated to display a full count and above for the respective parking level which is similar to that described above for counters D03 and DC4. Also, each such counter is adapted to provide such read out control where a number more than the total capacity of each level is present.

The operation of each relay W1, W2 or 1V3 according to the controlled conditions of respective 1n transducers 1T1, 1T2 and 1T3 is adapted to control a relay control circuit including a plurality of relays such as relays 110, 111, 112, 113 and 114 for level L2 similar to the relays 35, 36, 3'7, 38 and 39 described above. The operation of these. relays for level L2 as well as similar groups of relays for levels L1 and L3 according to the continual appearance of vehicles under respective In transducers 1T2, IT1 and 1T3 is effective to accordingly control the signal light organizations SL1, SL2 and SL3.

With respect to the relay control circuits for each of the levels L1, L2 and L3, each is shown to be similar to that provided for the parking area B1 as shown in FIG. 2. That is, a capacitor-resistor combinationis pro vided for delaying the deenergization of the three relays employed to count successively appearing vehicles such as relays 110, 111, and 112 for level L2 while relay 114 is shown to be a slow release relay. Relay 111 includes, for example, the capacitor-resistor combination of capacitor 115 and resistor 116 connected in shunt therewith.

Each of the signal light organizations SL1, SL2 and SL3 includes three arrows with appropriate indications underneath each arrow provided for facilitating in the interpretation of such arrows. For example, signal light organization SL2 includes an up arrow UAZ, a park arrow PA2 and a down arrow DAZ with the respective indications written thereunder of UP, PARK and DOWN. The illumination of the arrows is shown to be controlled according to the conditions of each full relay PR and the count total relay such as relay 114 for level L2 as well as being controlled according to the operated condition of similar relays for levels L1 and L3. It will be noted that the arrows UAl, PAl and DA1 for signal light organization SL1 are arranged differently as compared to similar arrows for signal light organizations SL2 and SL3. It will be appreciated that the direction in which the vehicles proceed in levels L1, L2 and L3 according to arrows 9 as shown in FIG. 3 is somewhat different.

It is believed that the nature of the invention, its advantages and characteristic features as related to the present application thereof can be best understood with further description being set forth from the standpoint of operation.

Typical Operation In order that the present invention may be more fully understood in its application to a multiple level parking garage as shown in FIGS. 3, 4A, 4B and 40, several assumptions will be made in order that typical operations may be described therefor.

Let itbe assumed that the parking level L1 is filled with vehicles to its respective capacity which is shown in FIG. 3 to be fifty-eight. Further, let it be assumed that neither parking level L2 nor parking level L3 is filled with vehicles to itsrespective capacity which in each case is indicated to be sixty-four according to FIG. 3. Let it flso be assumed that four vehicles have entered 1% level L1 in the direction of arrow 31 at the entrance designated IN as shown in FlG. 3. Such vehicles are assumed to be in immediate succession and are further directed to proceed in the direction of arrows 9.

With reference to FIGS. 3, 4A, 4B and 4C, and in view of the assumptions made above, the signal light organizations SL1, SL2 and SL3 are accordingly controlled to automatically direct the assumed four vehicles to available parking spaces. \Vith the assumption that level L1 is filled to its capacity, full relay PR1 associated with counter DCS is adapted to be energized according to the manner described above. The counter DCS displays the numeral fifty-eight which is indicative of a full count for level L1. In this connection, each of the four vehicles entering level L1 in the direction of arrow 30 will be detected by transducer 1T1 and will thus cause the momentary energization of relay 1V1. This will cause a count to be added to counter DC5 by a circuit extending from through front contact 199 of relay 1V1, through the add coil (not shown) for counter DCS, to As described above, the counter DCS is adapted to maintain relay PR1 energized even though a greater number than the full count is registered on counter DCS.

With relay PR1 being energized, arrow UA1 for signal light organization SL1 will be illuminated according to two circuits controlled by the deenergized condition of the full relay PR2 and PR3 associated respectively with levels L2 and L3. For example, one such circuit extends from through back contact 1% of relay PR2, over wire 105, through front contact 1% of relay PR1, through the filament of lamp 1%? associated with arrow UA1, to Each of the four vehicles are then being directed up the in ramp 1R2.

As the four vehicles arrive in immediate successive under In detector 1T2 on the ramp 1R2, each is detected which causes the momentary energization of relay 1V2. For each energization of relay 1V2, a circuit is completed to the subtract coil (not shown) of counter DCS which extends from through front contact 118 of relay 1V2, over wire 119,'through the subtract coil (not shown) included with counter DC5, to The counter DCd then will return to a display of fifty-eight for level L1. in addition, a circuit will be completed at similar times to cause a similar number of counts to be added to counter DC6 which circuit extends from through front contact 12d of relay 1V2, through the add coil (not shown) included with counter DCd, to

The relays 11% 111, 112 are controlled through contacts 123, 124 and 125 respectively of relay IV2 accordmg to the detection of the first three vehicles similar to that described above for relays 35, 36 and 37. In this connection, the relay 113 is controlled through front and back contact 127 of relay 1V2 in the manner described above for relay 38. energized condition, relay 114 is energized according to the completion of a circuit extending from through front contact 129 of relay 112, through the winding of relay 11 t, .to

Because of the deenergized condition of relay PR2 and the deenergized condition of relay 114 for the first three vehicles, the arrow PAZ for signal light organization SL2 is illuminated according to a circuit completed from through back contact 1% of relay PR2, through back contact 131 of relay 114, through the filament of lamp 132 associated with arrow PAZ, to When relay 1114 becomes energized, however, this circuit is disconnected through back contact 131 of relay 114 vwhich causes the illumination of arrow PAZ to become extinguished. A circuit is then completed through front contact 131 of relay 114 which extends from through back contact 139 of relay PR2, through front contact 131 of relay 114, through the filament of lamp 135 associated with arrow UAZ, to -).v The'fourth vehicle is then directed up ramp 1R3 to level L3.

When such fourth vehicle is detected by transducer As relay 112 is controlled to an- 1T3, relay 1V3 is momentarily energized which causes a count to be subtracted from counter DCd and a similar count to be added to counter DCZ. For counter nos, a circuit is completed from through front contact 13'? of relay 1V3, over wire 13%, through the subtract coil (not shown) included with counter E06, to For counter DCi, a circuit is compl ted from through front contact 139 of relay lVl through the add coil (not shown) included with counter DC7, to in view or" the above assumptions, such fourth vehicle will be directed to park in level L3 since the arrow PA3 for signal light organization SL3 is illuminated according to a circuit completed trom through back contact 146 of relay PR3, through back contact N2 of a relay li l l similar to relays lid, 9% and 39, through the filament of a lamp 145 associated with arrow PAE, to

Let it be assumed that the parking level Lil has less vehicles therein than its toll capacity offifty-eight. Also, let it be assumed that the level L2 now has sixty-two vehicles parked therein, while the level L3 has some hum ber of vehicles less than its capacity of sixty-four. Let it be further assumed that seven vehicles enter level Ll at the entrance designated EN in the direction of arrow 36 with such vehicles appearing in a successive and immediate manner.

In view of the above assumptions, the arrow PAIt for signal light organization SL1 is illuminated according to a circuit completed from through back contact 1 57 of relay PR1, through back contact 143 of relay 1% similar to another count total relay such as relay 39, through the filament of a lamp 151 included with arrow PAL to The arrows PAZ and PA3 for respective signal light organizations SL2 and SL3 are also illuminated according to circuits therefor described above.

As the first three vehicles enter level L1 in the direction of arrow 30 and are detected by In transducer 1T1, the relay 1V1 is momentarily energized accordingly. Relays 153, 154 and 155 are accordingly controlled through front contacts 158, 1.59 and 1.60 of relay PM as relay 1V1 is repeatedly energized. Such relays 153, 154 and 155 are controlled according to the conditions of relay 162 similar to relay 38 described above. A count total relay 15 energized following the detection of the third vehicle and the energization of relay 155 by a circuit extending from through front contact Edi of relay 155, through the winding of relay 150, to causes the illumination of up arrow UAl and the extinguishment of lamp 151 included with arrow PA1 for signal light organization SL. Such circuit for causing the illumination of arrow UAl extends from through back contact 147 of relay FRI, through front contact 148 of relay 1%, through the filament of lamp 107 included with arrow UAl, to Arrow UAl will remain illuminated according to the slow release characteristics of relays 155 and 150 as shown in FIG. 4A and, for purposes of description herein, it will be assumed that the next four vehicles will be directed up ramp 1R2 before the extinguishrnent of arrow UAL As the four vehicles proceed up ramp 1R2, each is detected by In detector 1T2 which causes the momentary energization of relay 1V2 for each such detected vehicle. Relays Hull, 111 and 112- are controlled in the manner described above for relays 35, 36 and 37 with the relay 114 being controlled to an energized condition when relay H2 is energized. The up arrow UAZ for signal light organization SL2 is caused to be illuminated by a different circuit before relay lid is energized. The first two vehicles detected by detector 1T2 causes counts to be added to counter D) which, in view of the assumption made above, causes relay PR2 to be energized. A circuit is then completed for illuminating arrow UAZ of signal light organization SL2 which extends from (-1-), through back contact 165 of relay PR3, over wire 166, through front contact 167 of relay PR2, through the filament of lamp 135 included with arrow UAZ, to The third and i2 fourth vehicles of the four vehicles on ramp 1R2 are then directed up to level L3.

As such two vehicles proceed on ramp IRS to level L3, each is detected by in detector 1T3 which causes the relay IV?) to be accordingly energized in succession. Accordingly, relays 17d and 171 will be sequentially energized, while relays 172 and 14 will remain deenergized. Relay 173 will be controlled similarly to that described above for relay 33.

As the various assumed vehicles enter the levels L1, L2; and L3, counts are added to the counters DCS, DC6 and DC7 in the manner described above. As certain of the vehicles travel up the ramps 1R2 and IRS as described above, counts are subtracted from counters DCS and DC6 so as to provide an exact count of the vehicles on each of the levels L1, L2 and L3. In this connection, as the four vehicles mentioned above are directed up ramp 1R2 and are sequentially detected by transducer 1T2, a circuit is completed to the subtract coil (not shown) of counter DCS as described above for subtracting four counts. Also, as the two vehicles proceeding up ramp 1R3 are sequentially detected by transducer 1T5, a circuit is completed to the subtract coil (not shown) of counter DC6 which causes two counts to be subtracted therefrom as the vehicles enter level L3.

In a similar manner to that described above for counting vehicles traveling from level L1 up to level L3 through level L2 where the counters DCS and D06 and DC] were accordingly controlled to display the proper counts of vehicles on each such level, vehicles which travel on Out ramps CR2 and CR3 causes the counters DC5, D06 and DC? to be operated in a reverse direction.

Let it be assumed that a vehicle leaves level L3 by way of Out ramps CR3 and 0R2 and out of level L1 at the exit designated OUT in the direction of arrow 165. As such vehicle is detected by Out transducer 0T3, relay 6V3 is appropriately controlled for causing a circuit to be completed to the subtract coil (not shown) of counter DC7, to Also, a circuit is completed tothe add coil (not shown) of counter DCfi which extends from through front contact 168 of relay 0V3, over wire 16%, through the add coil (not shown) included with counter DC, to Thus, a count is subtracted from counter D87, while a count is also added to counter DCfi. While such vehicle travels on ramp 0R2 it is detected by transducer 0T2 which causes similar circuits to be completed to the subtract coil (not shown) of counter on and the add coil (not shown) or" counter DCS for, respectively, subtracting and adding a count thereto. As such vehicle proceeds out of level L]. in the direction of arrow and is detected by Out detector 0T1, a circuit is completed to the subtract coil (not shown) of counter DCS which extends from (-1-), through front contact of relay 0V1, through the subtract coil (not shown) included with counter DCS, to

The full relays PR1, PR2 and PR3 adapted to be energized as described above are adapted to control the illumination of down arrows DAZl, DAZ and DA3 so as to obviate unnecessary vehicular trafiic up In ramps 1R2 and LR. For example, when levels L2 and L3 have full capacities of vehicles, a circuit is completed which extends from through front contact 182 of relay PR3, over wire 5.83, through front contact 1% of relay PR2, through the filament of lamp 185 included with arrow DAZ, to Similar circuits may be traced for arrows DAl and DA3.

it will be appreciated that the circuits shown in FIGS. 4A, 4B and 4C can be expanded according to the number of parking levels in a multiple level parking garage. Thus, automatic direction of vehicles as well as an accurate counting of such vehicles for a plurality of parking levels can be effected by the present invention.

SUMMARY In the embodiment of the present invention shown and described, an automatic traific directing system for different types of garages has been presented. More particularly, such system provides that vehicles appearing in the presence of the detecting means in a successive manner and immediately thereto can be effectively directed by signal light organization to parking areas in groups. Also, a novel counting system is shown and described w erein an exact total of the vehicles in each parking area, irrespective of the type of garage, is provided.

In the multiple level type garage, the counting of vehicles entering and leaving each level thereof is required in order to appropriately control the signal light organizations for each such level.

Having described an automatic traffic directing system related to two types of parking garages, as specific embodiments of the present invention, it is desired to be understood that these forms are selected to facilitate in the disclosure of the invention rather than to limit the number of forms which it may assume; and, it is to be further understood that various modifications, adaptations and alterations may be appliedto the specific forms shown to meet the requirements of practice, without in any manner departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention.

What I claim is:

1. In a parking garage having at least two independently accessible parking areas, traffic directing means responsive t the number of vehicles in a first of said parking areas for directing vehicles into said first area only when there are parking spaces available therein but directing vehicles away from said first area to a second of said parking areas when there are no parking spaces available in said first area, means for detecting each vehicle entering said first area, and control means governed by said detecting means and responsive to the entry of a predetermined number of vehicles into said first area within a predetermined time interval for controlling said traffic directing means to direct further vehicles approaching said first area away from said first area and to said second area even though there are available parking spaces remaining in said first area.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1 in which said traific directing means directs said further vehicles away from said first area and to said second area only for a predetermined interval which is selected to provide sulficient time for said predetermined number of vehicles which last entered said first area to all be parked.

3. The invention as claimed in claim 1 in which said garage includes at least three independently accessible parking areas, said traffic directing means beingalso responsive to the number of vehicles in said second parking 1 14 area, said control means controlling said trafiic directing means to direct said further vehicles to said second area only when there are parking spaces available in said second area but controlling said trafiic directing means to direct tnafiic to a third of said areas when said second area has no parking spaces available.

4. In a parking garage having at least two independently accessible parking areas, vehicle detection means for detecting each vehicle entering a first of said areas, control means operatively connected to said detection means and being distinctively responsive when said detection means has detected at least a predetermined number of vehicles within a preselected time interval, trafic directing means, said control means when distinctively responsive acting on said trafiic directing means to direct further vehicles to a second of said areas.

5. The invention of claim 4 wherein said traffic directing means is controlled to direct trafiic away from said first area and to said second area only for a predetermined time interval which is at least of sufiicient duration to permit the vehicles last entering said first area to be all parked, whereby under heavy traffic conditions vehicle congestion in said parking areas is reduced.

6. A trafiic routing system for a parking garage having a plurality of independently accessible parking areas each having at least one entranceway and one exitway, vehicle registering means at each entranceway and each exitway and responsive to each vehicle passing therethrough, differential counting means for each area operatively connected to all the vehicle registering means associated with said area so as to advance a count in one direction for each vehicle entering said area and to advance a count in the opposite direction for each vehicle leaving said area, traffie directing means governed by said differential counting means for directing vehicles into said area only if the number of vehicles already in said area is less than the parking capacity of said area, and auxiliary counting means operatively connected to said vehicle registering means for said entranceways for controlling said trafiic directing means to route trafiic away from said area even though there are available parking spaces therein when a predetermined plurality of closely following vehicles have within a predetermined short time interval been registered as entering said area.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Kearney June 30, 1959

Patent Citations
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US2482610 *Nov 14, 1946Sep 20, 1949Burn Philip HAutomatic traffic directing device for garages
US2644150 *Jun 26, 1948Jun 30, 1953Burn Philip HAutomatic traffic directing device for garages
US2892995 *May 25, 1956Jun 30, 1959John MalaskyAutomatic proportional traffic control device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3240918 *Aug 16, 1962Mar 15, 1966Rotax LtdApparatus for dispensing packaged goods
US3893094 *Oct 29, 1973Jul 1, 1975Bank Of America National TrustCustomer directing system
US3893097 *Jun 3, 1974Jul 1, 1975Electrotec IncDispatching system circuit
US4682170 *Nov 23, 1984Jul 21, 1987Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaApparatus for collecting toll
US5432508 *Sep 17, 1992Jul 11, 1995Jackson; Wayne B.Technique for facilitating and monitoring vehicle parking
US6285297May 3, 1999Sep 4, 2001Jay H. BallDetermining the availability of parking spaces
US7899583Apr 3, 2006Mar 1, 2011Ehud MendelsonSystem and method of detecting and navigating to empty parking spaces
DE3342217A1 *Nov 23, 1983May 30, 1985Nagler Metallbau GmbhArrangement for controlling the occupation of car parks and multistorey car parks
WO2003098371A2 *Mar 31, 2003Nov 27, 2003Michael HartigManagement system for a parking site for vehicles
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/932.2, 377/9, 367/96, 377/45, 340/943, 340/928
International ClassificationG08G1/14
Cooperative ClassificationG08G1/14
European ClassificationG08G1/14