Toll Booth is a SNAP!®
roads and bridges have been in use in the United States since before revolutionary times.
Many states and other jurisdictions see toll roads as a method of funding highways without
increasing local or state taxes. Toll roads and bridges now exist in a majority of states.
For toll roads to be effective, they must collect tolls. New technologies have made this
easier for drivers. Transducers and other electronic devices mounted in vehicles allow for
rapid egress to toll roads. With rapid access however often comes fraud. Since many toll
roads no longer use gates to physically block vehicles that do not pay the toll, toll
violations are up in many jurisdictions.
The purpose of
automated photo enforcement of tolls is to reduce toll fraud by providing a certainty of
detection and fine through the use of photographs of offending vehicles. Some of these
enforcement systems also include automatic plate reading and verification. Companies such
as Alphatech, Computer Recognition Systems (CRS System shown at left), and Hughes provide license plate recognition
systems. According to CRS, "CRS actually designed, built, and installed the world's
first real time license plate reading system in 1979, and installed the first high
performance video detector (Traffic Analysis System) in 1986.
The figure at the top of the page from Alphatech shows a photograph of a
violation and the plate number which has been obtained by scanning the photograph through
a technique known as optical character recognition (OCR). OCR depends on the digital
signal processors usually mounted in a PC. Theses systems are usually very sophisticated
and require significant computing resources. The Hughes systems, for example, uses a
"programmable Very-Large-Scale-Integration (VLSI) chip originally created for missile
tracker applications (Alves, n.p)."
An OCR system from Optasia
called IMPS, claims to be, "a high performing robust system that gives consistent
results under all weather conditions both day and night. Using advanced image processing
and artificial intelligent techniques such as an integrated multiple pass algorithm,
neural network recognizers, connected components, fuzzy logic and an arsenal of image
processing tools, it automatically locates vehicle license plates and reads the numbers
accurately each time every time."
They claim to be able to
read Broken Plates, Characters Slightly Merged, Dirty Plates, Black Characters, Headlight
Glare, Retroreflective Characters, Poor Contrast, Merged by Border, Slanted, Bent Plates,
Indeterminate Change in Background color, Merged EC, Poor Contrast, White Characters on
Red Background, Poor Sharpness, and plates with Poor Ambient Lighting.
California State Road 91 currently uses
For information of specific products please see Products.
Visit ETTM, a site devoted to electronic toll collection.http://www.ettm.com
Enabling legislation in Missouri: http://www.senate.state.mo.us/summs/tat/SB067.htm
If you have
found your way to this page, it is likely that you are interested
in innovative transportation technologies. The SR91 toll lanes are
the world's first fully automated privately operated toll lanes.
The California State Route
(SR) 91 express lane facility is located between the SR 91/55
junction in Anaheim and the Orange/Riverside County Line. The
facility provides two extra lanes in each direction, and
incorporates a number of innovative features which make it one of
the most interesting and important practical experiments in
highway transportation for quite some time.
- Tolls which vary by time of
day based on expected congestion in the corridor.
- The requirement that all
users be registered customers and carry identifying
- The use of discount pricing
as an incentive to high occupancy vehicles.
- Photo-enforcement of toll
- The facility was developed
and is operated by a private company for profit.