Method and device for registering the outer characteristics of a vehicle in a road toll unit

  • US 6,538,580 B2
  • Filed: 06/08/1999
  • Issued: 03/25/2003
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/03/1996
  • Status: Expired due to Term
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First Claim
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1. A method for determining a toll fee of a vehicle in a road toll unit, comprising:

  • registering an identification characteristic on a fixed position of the vehicle by means of image processing of video recordings of the vehicle;

    determining in the road toll unit whether a toll fee can be paid by means of remote communication between a receiver and transmitter device provided in the road toll unit and a device provided in the vehicle when there is a free flow of traffic, wherein said determining step is determined by receiving signals from said vehicle device;

    successively tracking the outer characteristics of the vehicle by said image processing means as the vehicle passes an entry position of the road toll unit and at least until the identification characteristic is registered;

    connecting a marker and a time to the recorded image of the outer characteristics of the vehicle and connecting the marker to the recording of the identification characteristic of the vehicle;

    correlating at least one image of the outer characteristics of the vehicle to the recording of the identification characteristic, such that the tracking of the vehicle is based on the recording of the identification characteristic and the associated image of the outer characteristics of the vehicle which are matched by means of the marker;

    determining the class of the vehicle and the toll fee, in accordance with a vehicle outer characteristics classification scheme, from the image of the outer characteristics of the vehicle;

    checking that the toll fee found in the step of determining the class of the vehicle corresponds with the toll fee found in the step of determining in the road toll unit whether a toll fee can be paid; and

    if incorrect payment of the toll fee has been established in the checking step or no remote communication occurs, subsequently charging the vehicle a toll fee on the basis of the correlated identification characteristic and outer characteristics of the vehicle.

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