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Publication numberUS3578124 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 11, 1971
Filing dateApr 24, 1969
Priority dateApr 24, 1969
Publication numberUS 3578124 A, US 3578124A, US-A-3578124, US3578124 A, US3578124A
InventorsHerman H Flum
Original AssigneeBunker Ramo
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic fare collecting system
US 3578124 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent AUTOMATIC FARE COLLECTING SYSTEM 22 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.

11.8. C1 194/411 Int. Cl G071 1/06 Field of 194/4;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,087,018 4/1963 Pferd (194/4) 3,221,304 11/1965 Enikeieffet a1. (221/2) 3,379,295 4/ 1968 Varley 194/4 Primary Examiner-Samuel F. Coleman Attorney-Frederick M. Arbuckle 58 WRITE AMPS 54 READ AMPS 92 50 42 MAG HEADS 2 lNSERT 516NAL E RAslNE RETURN ROLLER THERMO- SOL P LASTlG 6o PRlNTER 74 START 6; MOTOR DATA 5113p PROCESSlNG 7 UN RETAlN SOL so RECElPl' DEFECT \ssul N e L\6HT MEA NS PATENTEU m1 1 1911 3,578,124 SHEET 1 [1F 2 Ha fOa.

MAGNET\ C LAYER l3 SUBSTRATE 12 THERMoPLAsTm LAYER l4 Fig.5

PATENTED Hm I m: r 8,578,124

SHEET 2 [1F 2 5o 2O DETECTION AND ENTRANCE T VENDING SR 6A 5 faTATION I I I l I i \o \o 1 [-5 65 M5 5 l RECHPT L J RECEIPT fly. 6

wrzm: AMPS READ 1 AMP& i9 50 -42 MAG HEADS Q NsERT 4 5\6NAL 62 ERAsme 65 v I ROLLER THERMO- Rig/LEN PLASTlC- 6O PRINTER V START v GATE Mo'ro 45 DATA 50L STOP PROCES$H-16 76 RETAM SOL 8O 7g PEQEWT \ssumxe g MEANS M/l/ENTOI? 5:7 7 HERMAN H FLU/V! AUTOMATHC FARE COLLECTING SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to automatic fare collecting systems and to improved means for implementation thereof using a pass of novel construction.

2. Description of the Prior Art Various systems have been devised or proposed in the past for issuing passes, tickets, tokens or the like, for particular goods or services. The earliest systems required a manual operation, such as punching a card. Although such a system obviated the need for counting out change, the manual operation still required too much time to keep up with the traffic, such as on toll roads and bridges, commuter trains and buses, and the like. Accordingly, recently proposed systems have included some means for automatically deducting a charge.

The form most frequently proposed in the prior art for the pass is a magnetically encoded card. In one system proposed for automatically collecting rapid transit fares, the magnetically encoded ticket" could be issued for several trips. A computer-controlled passenger gate actuated by a valid ticket would then deduct one trip and advise the passenger of how many trips he had remaining, using a visual display panel. Since an important objective of such a system is to expedite traffic through the gate, the system would fail to fully meet its objective if too many passengers forget whether or not their tickets have trips remaining. This is necessarily so because, if no trips remain on a ticket, the passenger must be turned back, thereby impeding the natural flow of traffic through the gate.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In contrast to such prior art systems, the present invention is directed to a system employing passes having data recorded in both machine and erasable humanly readable form. Preferably, a system in accordance with the invention also provides a printed receipt of the transaction so that the data recorded on the pass may be corrected in case of error, or so that a record may be retained by the passenger.

Accordingly, the broad object of the present invention is to provide an improved automatic collection system.

A more specific object is to provide an improved automatic collection system employing specially constructed passes on which both machine and humanly readable data may be recorded and erased.

A further object of the invention is to provide a pass of novel construction for use in an automatic collection system.

These and other objects of this invention are achieved in an exemplary automatic collection system employing a pass, preferably in the form of a disc or rectangle. The pass has a construction such that machine readable data can be recorded on one side of the pass, and erasable humanly readable data can be recorded on the other side of the pass. A vending machine may be provided for issuing the passes and for recording on each pass the appropriate data in both machine and erasable humanly readable form, such as the quantity of goods or services purchased or the dollar amount paid. The customer uses the pass by inserting it into a machine which reads the quantity or dollar amount recorded on the machine readable side and deducts the quantity or amount to be charged the user. The previous balance is then erased and the new balance recorded on both sides of the pass, in machine readable form on one side and in erasable humanly readable form on the other side. The machine may also provide a printed receipt summarizing the entire transaction.

An important advantage of recording the humanly readable data on the pass in erasable form is that the entire area of the pass is thereby made available for each recording so as to perrnit the humanly readable data to lye recorded in large, easily readable form.

The specific nature of the invention, as well as other objects, advantages and features of the invention, will be understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FlGS. l and 2 illustrate opposite sides of an exemplary circular pass in accordance with the invention;

Fit]. 3 is a fragmentary crosssectional view of FIG. ll;

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate opposite sides of an exemplary rectangular pass in accordance with the invention;

FIG. t: is a block diagram illustrating an exemplary automatic collecting system in accordance with the invention; and

FIG. 7 is a block and schematic diagram illustrating pertinent portions of the system of FIG. 6.

Like designations refer to like elements throughout the figures of the drawings.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 to 3, a preferred form of pass is illustrated as a disc Ml having a small registration hole 11 in the center. The disc lit) has a substrate 12 of, for example, aluminum. Affixed to one side of the substrate 12 is a layer 13 of magnetic material, and affixed to the other side of the substrate i2 is a layer id of thermoplastic material.

As indicated in FIG. 2, the thermoplastic layer 14 provides for the recording of humanly readable data, for example, the number 19, which is produced by forming an appropriate numerical deprwsion of the number 19 in the thermoplastic layer 14. To aid readability, the surface of the substrate 12 adjacent the thermoplastic layer lid is preferably made of a high contrasting color with respect thereto.

The magnetic layer l3 of the disc 10 may be conventional form for providing a plurality of magnetic data recording tracks 15, a clock track 16 for synchronizing purposes, and an index track 17 for indexing purposes. It will be understood that, if it is desired to eliminate the clock and indexing tracks 16 and 117, self-clocked data recording and indexing may be employed in a conventional manner.

An alternative form of pass is illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 comprising a rectangular card lltla. For ease of comparison, components of the rectangular card 10a having like functions as those of the disc ll of FiG. l have been given corresponding numeral designations, with an a following to permit distinguishing therebetween. Thus, the registration hole of the rectangular card 10a is designated ila, the substrate is designated 1120, the magnetic layer is designated 13a, the thermoplastic layer is designated Ma, the data tracks are designated a, the clock track is designated 16a, and the index or reference track is designated 17a.

An exemplary fare collecting system in accordance with the invention will now be described with reference to FIG. 6. Passes are sold at a vending station Zill, either automatically or under the supervision of an attendant who not only accepts currency, credit cards, and the like, but also operates a keyboard. in either case, a pass ill) is issued by the vending station 2t!) containing both machine and erasable humanly readable data corresponding to the number of fares purchased. More specifically, the vending machine 20 magnetically records the number of fares purchased along with the other desired associated data on the magnetic layer side of the pass, and also records the number of fares purchased on the thermoplastic layer side of the pass by forming a corresponding numerical depression therein. A printed receipt 22 of the transaction is also issued by the vending machine 20.

The passenger makes use of the pass 10 at an entrance gate or tumstile 25, where the pass is suitably deposited in a slot of a detection and updating unit 30 located at the gate 25. In normal operation, when at least one fare remains on the pass, the detection and updating unit 30 detects the magnetically recorded data on the pass 10, derives the updated data which, in the exemplary system being considered, is the number of fares remaining, records the updated data on the magnetic layer of the pass, erases the humanly readable data on the thermoplastic layer of the pass, and then records the updated data on the thermoplastic layer, after which the pass is returned to the passenger along with an appropriate receipt 32, and the passenger gate or turnstile is operated to permit the passenger to pass tl'ierethrough. If no fare remains on the pass, or if the pass is otherwise defective, the entrance gate 25 remains locked. To prevent the use of defective passes or passes having no fares remaining, it is advantageous that the detection and updating unit retain the pass if no more fares remain after updating or if a defective pass is inserted.

FIG. 7 illustrates exemplary means which may be employed in the detection and updating unit 30 in accordance with the invention, and for which it will be assumed for exemplary purposes that the pass W is in the form of a disc, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. After being inserted in the detection and updating unit 30 by par, Qgfiii pass it by conventional means, suitably ca d to transported to a read-writeerase station in 7 and disposed thereat such that the disc ill rests on s or er i i of a rotatable drive shat't which passes through the center hole 11 of the disc ill. The shaft 42 is mapted for rotation by a motor of the type which can rapidly be s irted and stopped in response to appropriate electrical applied to respective start and stop inputs thereof from a processing unit 60.

In order to permit reading and writing on magnetic layer 13 of the disc Iii, the re -write-erase station 40 includes one or more magnetic head ll disposed closely adjacent the magnetic layer 13, as illustrated in FlG. 7. These magnetic heads operate in cooperation with associated read and write amplifiers 54 and :58 and the data processing unit so so as to permit data to be magnetically read from or recorded in one or more tracks of the m retic iayer E3 of the disc it in r conventional manner. Since such magnetic recording v are well known in the art, further details thereof are not presented herein.

In order to provide for erasing and writing on the then moplastic layer M of ":l "'sc it], the read-write-erase station 80 in FIG. 7 further s an erasing roller 62 and a thermoplastic printer as, the operation of which are controlled in response to respective signals from the data processing unit 60. Also included in lFlG. 7 are a return solenoid '72, a gate solenoid '74, a retain solenoid 76, a defect light 78, and a receipt issuing means 30, each being controlled by the data processing unit 60 in response to the updated data derived from the magnetic data from a disc inserted into the detection and updating unit 3b (FIG. 6) by a passenger.

Typically, operation of the structure of FIG. 7 is as follows. A disc 10 inserted in the detection and updating unit 30 {HG 6) by a passenger suitably transported to the read-w erase station 4t"; so as to disposed in the position shown in FIG. 7. For this purpose, the magnetic heads 50 may be adapted for movement away from the disc in order to permit the disc 10 to be properly disposed at the read-write-erase station 40. The insertion of the disc 10 also serves to cause an insert signal to be appiicd to the data processing unit 60. In response to the insert signal, and at an appropriate time sufficient to permit the disc to be properly disposed at the station 40, the data processing unit 60 applies a signal to the start input of the motor 45 to start the disc rotating at constant speed. During this rotation, the magnetic data recorded on the disc is read into the data processing unit 60 in a conventional manner via the magnetic heads 50 and the read amplifiers 54. This recorded magnetic data may typically comprise the number of fares remaining on the inserted disc, and may also include other appropriate data, such as a periodically changeable validating code to prevent counterfeiting.

After reading the magnetically recorded data on the disc, the data processing unit 60 derives the updated data therefrom, which, in the example being assumed, may be accomplished merely by subtracting one from the number of fares read from the disc, thereby obtaining the number of fares remaining. This updated data is then written back on the magnetic layer 13 of the disc in a conventional manner via the write amplifiers 58 and the magnetic heads 50. The data processing unit 60 may also cause new validating data to be written on the disc in place of the previous validating data.

After the above-described magnetic reading and writing operations have been performed, the data processing unit 60 next .s a signal to the stop input of the motor 45 to stop the dis id at a position such that the erasing roller 62 is over the numerical depression in the thermoplastic layer 14. This may be accomplished using the index track 17 (FIG. I) which preierahly has a signal recorded at a position related to the 10- the numerical depression in the thermoplastic layer ecting this index tracit signal along with the clock .c data processing unit so can then apply a signal to L of the motor 45 at a time chosen so that the disc op at the desired position with the erasing roller 62 ssion in the thermoplastic layer 14. been thus positioned, the data bil controls the erasing roller 62 so that it is contact with the thermoplastic layer 14 in smooth out, and thereby erase, the numerithe depressed portions of the therooth Lil. on al depression in. the thermoplastic layer on erased, the processing unit 60 starts the 'n and this time stops the disc 10 so that the therprinter 65 is over the portion of the thermoplastic which is to receive numerical depression coring to the derived 1 data. Again, the magnetic 17 (MG. l) m y be used to stop the disc 10 at the .ion. Ti data pros ing unit 63 then controls the incl" 665 to for n a numerical depression cornich may be accomplished, ed blocks or wheels of metal the acovericsciibed operations on the the data processing unit 60 also aps to the solenoids 72, 74, and 76 in Q LLi receipt issuing means 80 to canoe with the derived up least one fare remains on ocessing unit 60 energizes i. and 74 to return the updated it and open the entrance gate 25 (H6. ti) cage: to therethrough. The data also causes r. ceipt 32 (FIG. 6) summarizto he provided to the passenger by the neans 3G. nthe derived updated data indicates oe disc, the gate solenoid 74 is of the return solenoid solenoid 76 is energized to L iced. by the detection and updating unit if use is detective or otherwise improper (such as having an improper validating code), only the retain solenoid 7t? will be energized so that the entrance gate 25 (FIG. ti) remains locked and he disc retained. Also, the defect light 78 (FIG. 7) is turned on to visibly indicate that the inserted disc is defective.

it is to be understood that the vending station 20 in FIG. 6 may include similar structure to that shown in FIG. 7, with the di ce that the read amplifiers 54 and the erasing member ay omitted. Also, the data processing unit 60 can be simplified, since updating is not required; the data processing unit. need only operate to provide for recording fare data on the magnetic and thermoplastic layers 13 and 14 of the disc 10 in accordance with the number of fares requested by the passenger. The return, gate, and retain solenoids 72, 74, and 76 and the defect light 78 can also be omitted; instead, provision is merely made for vending the newly written disc to the passenger.

it to be understood that the embodiments and descriptions of the invention provided herein are only exemplary and that many variations and modifications can be made in the d use thereof without departing n. As one example of such a mod' ..tlon, it wiil be re cg ed that, instead of applying the invention to r. tare coliecrton system as described herein in 50 cause the c which fare data is recorded on the passes, the invention may also be applied to a more generalized type of system in which a dollar amount is initially recorded on the magnetic and thermoplastic layers of a pass, this amount being decremented each time the pass is used in accordance with the charge applicable to each use.

Accordingly, the present invention is to be considered as including all modifications and variations coming within the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

Iclaim:

1. In an automatic collection system,

a plurality of passes each capable of recording data in both machine and erasable humanly readable form, and

a detection and updating unit to which a pass is applied, said unit including:

means for reading machine readable data from a pass,

updating means for updating the machine readable data read from a pass,

means for recording updated data from said updating means onto a pass in machine readable form,

means for erasing data recorded in humanly readable form on a pass, and

means for recording updated data from said updating means onto a pass on erasable humanly readable form.

2. The invention in accordance with claim I, wherein each of said passes comprises a substrate having a magnetic layer on one side and a thermoplastic layer on the other side.

3. The invention in accordance with claim 2, wherein the means for recording erasable humanly readable data onto a pass includes a printer for forming a depression in said thermoplastic layer representative of the data to be recorded.

4. The invention in accordance with claim 3, wherein the means for erasing data recorded in humanly readable fonn on a pass includes means for smoothing out a depression in said thermoplastic layer.

5. The invention in accordance with claim 3, wherein the means for reading machine readable data and the means for recording updated data from said updating means onto a pass in machine readable form include magnetic reading and recording means.

6. The invention in accordance with claim 1, wherein said detection and updating unit additionally includes means responsive to the updated data derived by said updating means for determining whether a pass applied to said unit is returned or retained.

7. The invention in accordance with claim 1, wherein said detection and updating unit additionally includes receipt issuing means.

8. The invention in accordance with claim I, wherein said automatic collection system includes a pasenger gate operable in response to said detection and updating unit.

9. The invention in accordance with claim 1, wherein said automatic collection system includes a vending machine for vending said passes.

10. A pass for an automatic collection system comprising:

a magnetic material portion for magnetic data reading and recording, and

a thermoplastic material portion for erasable humanly readable data recording, said thermoplastic material portion being defonnable in a manner so as to pennit humanly readable data to be visually indicated thereon while also being heat-responsive so as to permit removal of any such defonnations, whereby different humanly readable data can thereby be repeatably recorded on and erased from said pass.

11. A pass capable of recording both machine readable and erasable humanly readable data comprising:

a substrate,

a magnetic material layer affixed to said substrate, and

a thermoplastic material la er alsoaffixed to said substrate. 12. The invention in accor nce with claim 11, wherein said magnetic material layer is afiixed to one side of the substrate and said thermoplastic material layer is affixed to the other side of the substrate.

13. The invention in accordance with claim 12, wherein said thermoplastic material layer and the side of said substrate to which it is affixed are of highly contrasting colors.

14. The invention is accordance with claim 12, wherein said pass is in the form of a disc.

15. The invention in accordance with claim 14, wherein said disc has a central aperture.

16. The invention in accordance with claim 12, wherein said pass is of rectangular form.

17. The invention in accordance with claim 12, wherein said thennoplastic layer has humanly readable data recorded thereon by a correspondingly shaped depression.

18. A method for automatically collecting charges for goods or services from a customer, said method comprising:

issuing to a customer a pass containing data recorded in machine readable form and also in erasable humanly readable form,

reading the data recorded in machine readable form on a pass each time the pass is used by the customer,

updating the machine readable data read from the pass,

erasing the humanly readable data on said pass, and

recording the updated data on the pass in both machine and erasable humanly readable form.

19. The invention in accordance with claim 18, wherein said method includes issuing a receipt at the time of each use summarizing said updating.

20. The invention in accordance with claim 18, wherein the data recorded on an issued pass corresponds to a quantity, and wherein said updating comprises decrementing said quantity in accordance with the nature of each use.

21. The invention in accordance with claim 20, wherein said method includes returning the pass to a customer when the decremented quantity is greater than zero and retaining the pass otherwise.

22. The invention in accordance with claim 18, wherein the data recorded on an issued pass corresponds to the number of fares for which the pass is issued, and wherein said method also includes:

opening a passenger gate in response to a pass containing at least one fare,

returning a pass to a customer when at least one fare remains after updating, and

retaining a pass when no fares remain on a pass after updating or the pass is defective.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US3221304 *Feb 23, 1961Nov 30, 1965Marquardt CorpElectronic identification system employing a data bearing identification card
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3935933 *Jul 1, 1974Feb 3, 1976Omron Tateisi Electronics Co., Ltd.Automatic article vending machine
US3944039 *Jun 21, 1974Mar 16, 1976Houghtaling John JConsumable card activated apparatus
US4020325 *Apr 2, 1975Apr 26, 1977Service Distributors, Inc.Magnetic card substitute for coins for starting appliances and the like
US4185730 *Apr 6, 1978Jan 29, 1980Cubic Western DataMagnetically encoded token and handling apparatus
US4319674 *Dec 10, 1975Mar 16, 1982Electron, Inc.Automated token system
US4446467 *Feb 9, 1982May 1, 1984Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.Heat-sensitive recording sheet, and a method and device for fixing a recorded information thereon
US5096038 *Aug 13, 1990Mar 17, 1992De La Rue Systems LimitedThread detector assembly
US8167705 *Jan 11, 2006May 1, 2012IgtGaming token having a variable value
US20060128462 *Jan 11, 2006Jun 15, 2006Jorasch James AGaming token having a variable value
EP0023673A2 *Jul 23, 1980Feb 11, 1981Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaDevice for performing a heat-sensitive recording, heat-sensitive recording sheet, and a method for performing a heat-sensitive recording
EP0023673A3 *Jul 23, 1980Dec 16, 1981Tokyo Shibaura Denki Kabushiki KaishaA heat-sensitive recording sheet, and a method and device for fixing a recorded information thereon
EP0060650A1 *Mar 3, 1982Sep 22, 1982Johnson Matthey Public Limited CompanyCredit control systems
EP0172584A2 *Dec 14, 1981Feb 26, 1986SKIDATA COMPUTER GESELLSCHAFT m.b.H.Control system with access card and cancelling apparatus
EP0172584A3 *Dec 14, 1981May 14, 1986Ski-Data Computer-Handelsgesellschaft M.B.H.Apparatus for checking and cancelling access cards and access-card suited therefor
EP0345980A2 *May 26, 1989Dec 13, 1989Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaA portable recording medium on which visible information can be recorded and deleted
EP0345980A3 *May 26, 1989Jun 6, 1990Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaA portable recording medium on which visible information can be recorded and deleted
WO1981003562A1 *Jun 3, 1981Dec 10, 1981K PayneDebit card system
WO1991001538A1 *Jul 18, 1990Feb 7, 1991Cash Card Systems LimitedImprovements in and relating to non-cash payment means
Classifications
U.S. Classification194/210
International ClassificationG07F1/00, G07F7/00, G07F7/02, G06K19/12, G07F1/06
Cooperative ClassificationG07F1/06, G06K19/12, G07F7/02, G06Q20/3433, G06Q20/3437
European ClassificationG06Q20/3433, G06Q20/3437, G07F1/06, G06K19/12, G07F7/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 9, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: EATON CORPORATION AN OH CORP
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ALLIED CORPORATION A NY CORP;REEL/FRAME:004261/0983
Effective date: 19840426
Jun 15, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: ALLIED CORPORATION COLUMBIA ROAD AND PARK AVENUE,
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BUNKER RAMO CORPORATION A CORP. OF DE;REEL/FRAME:004149/0365
Effective date: 19820922