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Publication numberUS3231854 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 25, 1966
Filing dateFeb 18, 1963
Publication numberUS 3231854 A, US 3231854A, US-A-3231854, US3231854 A, US3231854A
InventorsE. Gran
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toll gate actuatin g device
US 3231854 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 25, 1966 E. GRAN TOLL GATE ACTUATING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 18, 1963 INVENTOR [M m 5 612,

,47V'0eA/EYS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 E. GRAN Jan. 25, 1966 TOLL GATE AGTUATING DEVICE Filed Feb. 18, 1963 W K R g F W \k M I N VEN TOR. f/w/zf Gran u 47' 7'0 ems Y5 United States Patent 3,231,854 Patented Jan. 25, 1966 3,231,854 TOLL GATE ACTUATIN G DEVICE Emile Gran, 1363 Findlay Ave., Bronx 56, N.Y. Filed Feb. 18, 1963, Set. No. 259,322

9 Claims. (Cl. 340-32) This invention relates to a toll gate actuating system and more particularly to automatic means for controlling the trafiic light of a toll gate by a beam actuated from a vehicle.

Modern superhighways often have toll gates spaced along the length thereof for collecting a suitable amount of money as payment by a motorist for the privilege of using a particular length of the high-way. Various bridges and tunnels likewise require the payment of a toll for use of these facilities. In up to date trafiic control procedures, various means have been provided for automatically actuatingthe toll gate such as by collection of a token or coin which is placed in a chute. However, the prior art automatic toll gate collecting devices have proven to be unsatisfactory because they presuppose that the motorist has the correct token or fee. Further, the vehicle must come to a stop and the motorist must then carefully toss acoin into the chute. At various times, the motorist will fail to deposit the coin properly within the chute, thus re quiringthe motorist to leave the vehicle, locate the fallen coin and manually deposite the coin again in the chute. This is often time consuming and is hazardous for the motorist.

I It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide means for automatically actuating the traflic control device of a toll gate so as to permit a vehicle to properly pass through the toll gate without requiring the use of a token or coin.

* It is a further object of the invention to provide a toll gate actuating system for automatically collecting a fee from a vehicle which includes a beam-emitting device actuated by a switch which is coupled to a counter. The counter is adap ted to be preset so as to permit the actuation' of the beam-emitting device a predetermined number of times. Hence, upon prepayment of a cummulative fee, the toll gate actuating system may be utilized a number o'f'times by 'a vehicle along stretches of a toll highway, through bridges and tunnels, eliminating the necessity of use of coins ortokens, thereby speeding up traflic and eliminating delay.

A further object of the invention resides in the provision ofja toll gate actuating device which is simple in construction, capable of being installed on various existing makes and models of vehicles, and which is adapted to be installed on all new vehicle models, which is capable of being preset by the proper authorities for emitting a signal which may be either coded or oriented for selective reception and for allowing for prepayment of a predetermined fee, and which is inexpensive to manufacture thereby permitting wide use and distribution.

In accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the invention, this toll gate actuating system controls a traffic light while automatically collecting a fee from a vehicle about to pass through the toll gate, and comprises a beamemitting device on a vehicle. A switch is provided for selectively actuating the beam-emitting device and is connected thereto. A counter is coupled to the switch for counting the number of times the switch is actuated. At the toll gate there is provided a beam receiver and there is means connecting the receiver to the traflic light for actuating the trafiic light upon reception of the receiver of a signal from the beam-emitting device.

These, together with the various ancillary objects and features of the invention, which will become apparent as the following description proceeds, are attained by this toll gate actuating device, a preferred embodiment of which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, by way of example only, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the toll gate actuating system comprising an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view, with-a portion broken away, of the beam-emitting device mounted on the dashboard or in another desirable location on a vehicle;

FIG. 3 is another perspective view in an enlarged scale, illustrating in particular the switch, counter, and beamemitting device, and showing the switch coupled to the counter and beam-emitting device;

FIG. 4 is a schematic line diagram of the receiver, an associated transducer and relay for controlling the traflic light; and

FIG. 5 is a schematic wiring diagram of the transmitter and associated switch and counter.

With continuing reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate similar parts throughout the various views, reference numeral 10 is used to generally designate the toll gate actuating system which comprises the present invention. This system 10 includes two major parts. There is a beam-emitting device, generally indicated at 12, mounted on any suitable portion of a vehicle 14, such as on the dashboard, along the side or front window of the vehicle, or just behind the grill work of the vehicle. The other important part of the invention includes a beam receiver 16 mounted within the toll booth 18 and adapted to control a traffic light 20,-

which is of otherwise conventional construction. The traffic light 20 has a red lamp 22 and a green lamp 24 mounted one above the other in the normal, well recognized, positions.

As is usual in toll gate constructions as provided on modern superhighways, the toll booths 18 are mounted on islands 26 between which there is a path 28 over which the vehicle 14 can travel to pass between the booths and islands. Suitable lane markings 30, extending across the path 28, may be provided for indicating the location where the beam-emitting device should be actuated.

In an illustrative embodiment of the beam-emitting device 12, as shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5, the beam-emit ting device 12 is enclosed in a suitable casing 34, mounted in any convenient position, such as below the dashboard 36 of the vehicle 14. In this arrangement, the dashboard 36 can be provided with an opening 38 through which the actuating plunger 40' for the beam-emitting device can extend to form a push-button type actuator which can be pressed for operating the beam-emitting device 12. In lie-u of the location as shown in FIG. 2, the beam-emitting device can be mounted along the side window of the vehicle or in any other convenient location on the vehicle and may be remotely actuated if so desired.

The casing 34 is provided with a door 32 which has a key actuated lock 44 for safeguarding the contents of the casing 34. Mounted within the casing is a counter 36 which is of generally conventional construction having an indicator dial 48 and mechanical means within the counter for counting the number of times the plunger 40 is depressed. The counter 46 may be provided with a resetting lock arrangement 50, actuated by a key 52, for permitting the setting on the counter of a specified number of times that the plunger 40 can be depressed. A counter of this nature is well known in the art and is similar in type to a conventional postage meter which permits the purchaser to prepay the desired amount of postage frankage to be used in the future. In like manner, the owner of the transmitter can purchase from the authorities the right todepress the plunger 40 a certain predetermined number of times thus prepaying tolls for the later use. Each actuation of the plunger is of a value corresponding to a particular toll rate.

Coupled to the plunger through a coupling bar 52 is a switch 54 for actuating the transmitter 56. The transmitter 56 is preferably in the form of an ultrasonic generator, including a pair of transistors 60 and 62, connected as shown in FIG. 5 to provide an electrical signal at a predetermined frequency for application upon a transducer 64 which changes the electrical signal into an ultrasonic signalat a predetermined frequency. The transducer 64 may be oriented in any particular plane as desired.

The ultransonic receiver 16 includes a transducer 66 oriented in any desired plane and adapted to convert the ultrasonic siganl received from the transducer 64 to an electrical signal which is then amplified by the five transistor amplifier 68, including transistors 70, 72, '74, 76 and 78. The amplifier circuit includes a resonant circuit generally indicated at 79 tuned to the ultransonic frequency to thus minimize extraneous pickup. There is a sensitive relay 84), connected to the last amplifier stage. The relay 80 controls the traffic light 20.

In operation, after the owner of the vehicle has had the counter 46 set at a predetermined number of permitted actuations of the switch by the plunger 40, upon prepayment of the tolls, the vehicle 14 is driven to a position where in is in alignment with the preselected markings 30 on the pavent of the path 28. Then, the plunger 40 is depressed, actuating the transmitter and reducing the prepaid number of operations as indicated by the counter 48, from, for example, 312 to 311. Upon operation of the plunger 40, an ultrasonic beam is transmitted by the transmitter 56 and picked up by the receiver 16, causing the relay 80 to change the traffic light 20 from the red stop light 22 being lit, to the green go light 24 being lit.

Each of the prepaid items, as preset on the counter 46 is of a given value, as for example 25. The highways, tunnels, bridges and other toll gate protected areas have a predetermined value placed on the use of facilities. For example, the cost of using the facility is 25, the plunger need be depressed but once. On the other hand, if, for exmaple, the right to pass through the toll gate is predicated on the payment of a toll, then, the plunger 40 is depressed twice. Of course, it is much simpler to depress the plunger 40 than it is to provide the necessary coins for depositing in an automatic toll collector, or for passing through a toll booth where a guard or official must make change.

Further, the use of this device assures that the requisite fee can be in the hands of the user of the toll gate protecting facilities.

In lieu of ultrasonic beam projectors, the entire band of frequencies may be employed such that other types of beams may be transmitted. However, it is .possible to shield and to protect the receiver 16 from actuation by a car other than in the pathway 28 when ultrasonic beam transmission is employed and the booth 18 may be suitably shielded so that the receiver 16 can only be actuated by a transmitter 12 in the proper location. Further, the distance from the receiver at which the receiver is effectively operable can be controlled and predetermined.

A latitude of modification, substitution and change is intended in the foregoing disclosure and in some instances some features will be employed without the corresponding use of other features. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of this invention.

1 claim:

1. A toll gate actuating system for control of a traffic light in said toll gate system andror automatically collecting a fee from a vehicle about to pass through said toll gate comprising a beam-emitting device on a vehicle, a switch for selectively actuating said beam-emitting device connected thereto, a counter coupled to said switch for counting the number of times said switch is actuated, a beam receiver at said toll gate, and means connected to said receiver and to said trafiic light for actuating said traffic light upon reception by said receiver of a signal from said beam-emitting device.

2. A toll gate actuating sytem for control of a trafiic light in said toll gate system and for automatically collecting a fee from a vehicle about to pass through said toll gate comprising an ultrasonic beam-emitting transmitter on a vehicle, a switch for selectively actuating said beam-emitting device connected thereto, a counter coupled to said switch for counting the number of times said switch is actuated, an ultrasonic beam receiver at said toll gate, and means connected to said receiver and to said traflic light for actuating said trafiic light upon reception by said receiver of a signal from said beam-emitting device.

3. An actuating system according to claim 2, wherein said transmitter includes an ultrasonic generator for generating a signal at a preselected frequency, and an emitting transducer for transmitting said signal at said frequency, said receiver including a receiving transducer, an amplifier connected to said receiving transducer, said amplifier including a resonant circuit tuned to said frequency.

4. An actuating system according to claim 3, including shielding means for said receiving transducer for preventing reception thereby except when said emitting transducer is within a predetermined location.

5. An actuating system according to claim 2, wherein said transmitter includes an ultrasonic generator for gena erating a signal at a preselected frequency, and an emitting transducer for transmitting said signal at said frequency, said receiver including a receiving transducer, an amplifier connected to said receiving transducer, said amplifier including a resonant circuit tuned to said frequency, said amplifier including a collector circuit having a relay therein, said relay being connected to and controlling said trafiic light.

6. In a tool gate actuating system for control of a traffic light in said tol-l gate system and for automatically collecting a fee from a vehicle about to pass through said toll gate and including a receiver for actuating said traffic light, a beam-emitting device on a vehicle and comprising an ultrasonic generator for generating a signal at a predetermined frequency, a switch for selectively actuating said generator connected thereto, a counter coupled to said switch for counting the number of times said switch is actuated, and a transducer for emitting said signal at said frequency.

7. A device according to claim 6, including lock means for safeguarding a preselected setting on said counter for permitting said switch to be actuated at a predetermined number of times.

8. A beam-emitting device for use in a toll gate system comprising a beam generator for generating a signal at a predetermined frequency, a transducer for emitting said signal, a switch for selectively actuating said generator connected thereto, and a counter coupled to said switch for counting the number of times said switch is actuated. I

9. A beam-emitting device for use in a toll gate system comprising a beam generator for generating a signal at a predetermined frequency, a transducer for emitting said signal, a switch 'for selectively actuating said generator connected thereto, a counter coupled to said switch for counting the number of times said switch is actuated, and lock means for safeguarding a preselected setting on said counter for permitting said switch and hence said generator to be actuated a predetermined number of times.

No references cited.

NEIL C. READ, Primary Examiner.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3516384 *Dec 7, 1966Jun 23, 1970George A WillUltrasonic warning system
US3886515 *May 24, 1973May 27, 1975Thomson CsfAutomatic vehicle-monitoring system
US4665395 *Dec 14, 1984May 12, 1987Ness Bradford O VanAutomatic access control system for vehicles
US5675494 *Jul 18, 1995Oct 7, 1997Nippondenso Co., Ltd.Vehicle-mounted unit for an automatic toll collection system that prevents double toll charging
US5864831 *Feb 17, 1994Jan 26, 1999Daimler Benz AgDevice for determining road tolls
US6127938 *Feb 12, 1999Oct 3, 2000Privacy Shield L.L.C.Adjustable shield for vehicle mounted toll collection identifier
US8076593Mar 28, 2008Dec 13, 2011David CentnerApparatus and method for supporting and shielding a wireless device
US8514059Aug 6, 2010Aug 20, 2013Highway Toll Administration, LlcTransponder holder for controlling the operation of a transponder
US8829363Dec 9, 2011Sep 9, 2014David CentnerApparatus for supporting and shielding a wireless device
US20090248500 *Mar 28, 2008Oct 1, 2009Highway Toll Administration, Llc.Apparatus and method for supporting and shielding a wireless device
US20100232132 *Sep 16, 2010Highway Toll Administration, LlcFlexible Transponder Holder
US20110050398 *Mar 3, 2011Highway Toll Administration, LlcTransponder holder for controlling the operation of a transponder
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/928, 361/182, 367/133, 246/125
Cooperative ClassificationG08G1/017