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Integrated devices and software for shared transportation, including vehicle occupancy congestion based road use pricing, passenger cost sharing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000227769D
Publication Date: 2013-May-15
Document File: 6 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This article describes a system and integrated devices for congestion pricing of roadway usage based not just on the class of vehicle, congestion, time of day and environmental conditions, but also based on the number of passengers in the vehicle at any time.

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Integrated devices and software for shared transportation , including vehicle occupancy congestion based road use pricing, passenger cost sharing

This article describes a system and integrated devices for congestion pricing of roadway usage based not just on the class of vehicle, congestion, time of day and environmental conditions, but also based on the number of passengers in the vehicle at any time.

Prior art exists for transponders that may be turned off to allow for free passage through toll enforcement points, especially when a user meets some HOV or carpooling requirement. When a certain number of passengers are in the vehicle the user may disable the transponder in these prior inventions. It is difficult to detect if the transponder is disabled appropriately. Has the user disabled a transponder because they have enough passengers in he vehicle, has forgotten to enable it, or is trying to game the system? Enforcement today largely relies on visual inspection of the number of passengers in the vehicle by law enforcement. Manual enablement of a transponder is prone to user error, making large fines impractical and rarely enforced.

Another possible, perhaps more obvious solution to the general problem of passenger detection is to use GPS on mobile devices to directly send passenger data to a central authority. This is more similar to existing GNSS systems already in place for roadway billing, but suffers from a number of drawbacks, notably the need for battery intensive use of GPS on the mobile device, the need for the mobile device to be able to connect directly to the billing authority and the problem of associating a user with a particular vehicle especially when multiple vehicles may be traveling together. Prior solutions with GNSS or GPS also do not allow cost sharing among passengers.

Another system (http://www.google.com/patents/US20110137773) proposes location awareness using near field communication to identify drivers and passengers. This system primarily focuses on identifying the driver and passengers of the vehicle based on the physical location of mobile devices in the vehicle and direct communication with
a central billing authority. This suffers from a number of drawbacks. Mobile devices may be physically passed between occupants. Passengers may use the mobile device of the driver to navigate or the driver may place their mobile device in a glove box or other area of the vehicle. If a mobile device is off or a battery is dead, this prior invention uses secondary measures, including weight and biometrics. Weight measurement is both unreliable and complex to implement (requiring modifications to the vehicle) and biometrics are both complex to implement and biometric devices are prone to breakage and environmental problems (dirt on fingerprint sensors), particularly in a vehicle. This prior system identifies the passenger with "MSISDN, IMSI, MAC address, etc". Users with multiple devices may fool, or even unintent...