(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,195,019 Bi
Nagura (45) Date of Patent: Feb. 27,2001
(54) VEHICLE CLASSIFYING APPARATUS AND A TOLL SYSTEM
(75) Inventor: Michinaga Nagura, Kariya (JP)
(73) Assignee: Denso Corporation, Aichi-ken (JP)
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term ol this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 09/233,471
(22) Filed: Jan. 20, 1999
(51) Int. C I. G08G 1 00
(52) U.S. CI 340/928; 340/933; 340/937;
235/384; 356/376; 356/398; 701/117
(58) Field of Search 340/928, 933,
340/937, 942, 825.31; 235/384, 375; 356/376, 4.01, 398; 701/117, 13, 32
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
5,451,758 * 9/1995 Jesadanont 325/384
5,546,188 * 8/1996 Wangler et al 356/376
5,757,472 * 5/1998 Wangler et al 356/4.01
5,793,491 * 8/1998 Wangler et al 356/376
5,839,085 * 11/1998 Yshikawa et al 701/117
5,963,149 * 10/1999 Nagura et al 340/933
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
53-41249 4/1978 (JP) .
8-30893 2/1996 (JP) . 8-293080 11/1996 (JP) .
A class of a vehicle (VHC) is judged from distance data obtained by scanning on a lane with at least a laser beam in the longitudinal direction LD of the lane, wherein the scanning line may be inclined. Distance data may be further obtained in the width direction to provide more accurate judgement. The LD measurement unit may be swinged with the VHC position in the width direction. The outline of the VHC is detected by obtaining characteristic points from the distance data. The number of axles may be detected by slantwise scanning from an upper right or left position above the lane. Successive partial distance images with offsets can be combined to provide combined outline of the VHC to detect the class. A communication (COMM) unit may be provided to receive ID data, class data of VHC, owner data from the removable VHC COMM unit mounted on the VHC. Correspondence between the VHC COMM unit and the VHC is judged when the start timing of COMM with the COMM unit agrees with a timing predicted from the front shield glass position from the detected shape of the VHC and the speed. Unrighteous travelling is judged when the judged class disagrees with the class data from the COMM unit. A toll system for requesting the toll determined according to the determined class is also disclosed.
38 Claims, 45 Drawing Sheets