Automated Toll Gates

Topics: Toll road, Electronic toll collection, Road Pages: 24 (7608 words) Published: December 24, 2006


The automated toll gates are the application of both the concepts of road pricing and intelligent transport system.Earlier motorists used to wait at a toll booth or a plaza to pay a machine or a collector for using a particular toll road.But it is not so in the case of a automated toll gate.Here the motorists need not stop or even reduce the speed of their vehicle.The whole process is completely automated.Road pricing is a type of tax sought by revenue starved governments because in most cases it is virtually impossible to create a market for roadway services.It is a type of public-private cost recovery partnership.


Intelligent transport system is a broad range of diverse technologies applied to transportation to make systems safer, more efficient, more reliable and more environmental friendly without necessarily having to physically alter existing infrastructure. The technologies involved in Intelligent transport system are

•Sensor and Control technology
•Communications and computer informatics.

Intelligent transport system makes it possible to implement a number of government regulations and processes like toll collections, customs immigration & clearance and transport safety compliance.


Automated toll gates (or) Electronic toll collection (ETC), an adaptation of aircraft "identification friend or foe" technology, aims to eliminate the delay on toll roads. It is a technological implementation of a road pricing concept. It determines whether the cars passing are enrolled in the program, alerts enforcers for those that are not, and debits electronically the accounts of registered cars without their stopping, or even opening a window.


In some urban settings, automated gates are in use in electronic-toll lanes, with 5 mph (8 km/h) legal limits on speed (and 2 to 3 times that as practical limits even with practice and extreme concentration); in other settings, 20 mph (35 km/h) legal limits are not uncommon. However, in other areas such as Houston, Texas, cars do go through electronic lanes at full speed. Enforcement is accomplished by a camera which takes a picture of the car and sends a fine to cars that pass through without paying a toll.

Factors impeding full-speed electronic collection include:

1) Significant non-participation, entailing lines in manual lanes and disorderly traffic patterns as the electronic- and manual- collection cars "sort themselves out" into their respective lanes. 2) Problems with pursuing toll evaders.

3) Need, in at least some current systems, to confine vehicles in lanes, while interacting with the collection devices, and the dangers of high-speed collisions with the confinement structures. 4) Vehicle hazards to toll employees present in some electronic-collection areas. 5) In some areas at some times, lines even to pass through the electronic-collection lanes

Even if line lengths are the same in electronic lanes as in manual ones, electronic tolls save registered cars time: eliminating the stop at a window or toll machine, between successive cars passing the collection machine, means a fixed-length stretch of their journey past it is travelled at a higher average speed, and in a lower time. This is at least a psychological improvement, even if the length of the lines in automated lanes is sufficient to make the no-stop-to-pay savings insignificant compared to time still lost due waiting in line to pass the toll gate.

Despite these limitations, however, it is important to recognize that throughput increases if delay at the toll gate is reduced (i.e. if the tollbooth can serve more vehicles per hour). The greater the throughput of any...
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