US20090292596A1 - System, method and computer readable medium for toll service activation and billing - Google Patents

System, method and computer readable medium for toll service activation and billing Download PDF

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US20090292596A1
US20090292596A1 US12/433,954 US43395409A US2009292596A1 US 20090292596 A1 US20090292596 A1 US 20090292596A1 US 43395409 A US43395409 A US 43395409A US 2009292596 A1 US2009292596 A1 US 2009292596A1
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Prior art keywords
toll
service
opt
service request
entity
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Abandoned
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US12/433,954
Inventor
Benjamin P. Robinson
Debbie Lemon
Sarath K. Balachandran
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Rent A Toll Ltd
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Rent A Toll Ltd
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Priority to US72630005P priority Critical
Priority to US75993706P priority
Priority to US76309706P priority
Priority to US11/580,528 priority patent/US20070124199A1/en
Application filed by Rent A Toll Ltd filed Critical Rent A Toll Ltd
Priority to US12/433,954 priority patent/US20090292596A1/en
Assigned to RENT A TOLL, LTD. reassignment RENT A TOLL, LTD. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: LEMON, DEBBIE, BALACHANDRAN, SARATH K., ROBINSON, BENJAMIN P.
Publication of US20090292596A1 publication Critical patent/US20090292596A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • G06Q30/0283Price estimation or determination
    • G06Q30/0284Time or distance, e.g. usage of parking meters or taximeters
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/08Payment architectures
    • G06Q20/10Payment architectures specially adapted for electronic funds transfer [EFT] systems; specially adapted for home banking systems
    • G06Q20/102Bill distribution or payments
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/08Payment architectures
    • G06Q20/14Payment architectures specially adapted for billing systems
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q20/00Payment architectures, schemes or protocols
    • G06Q20/22Payment schemes or models
    • G06Q20/28Pre-payment schemes, e.g. "pay before"
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/04Billing or invoicing, e.g. tax processing in connection with a sale
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07BTICKET-ISSUING APPARATUS; FARE-REGISTERING APPARATUS; FRANKING APPARATUS
    • G07B15/00Arrangements or apparatus for collecting fares, tolls or entrance fees at one or more control points
    • G07B15/02Arrangements or apparatus for collecting fares, tolls or entrance fees at one or more control points taking into account a variable factor such as distance or time, e.g. for passenger transport, parking systems or car rental systems

Abstract

A system, method, and computer readable medium for toll service activation and billing, comprises receiving fleet information at a toll authority via a toll rental entity, receiving a service request at the toll rental entity, sending toll usage data related to the service request to a third party entity, receiving a payment at the toll rental entity based on the service request, and sending a payment to the toll authority based on the toll usage data.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This patent application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/580,528, filed on Oct. 13, 2006. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/580,528 claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/726,300, titled Toll Fee System And Method Using Prepaid Toll Pass, filed on Oct. 13, 2005, U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/759,937, titled Business Process For Toll Fee System And Method For Vehicle Registration, Invoicing, Opt-In Services, And Toll Violations, filed on Jan. 18, 2006, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/763,097 titled Method And System For Toll Collection With Optional Service Capabilities, filed on Jan. 27, 2006. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/580,528, U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/726,300, U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/759,937, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/763,097 are incorporated herein by reference. U.S. Pat. No. 7,407,097, titled Toll Fee System And Method, U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application No. 11/516,376, titled System, Method, And Computer Readable Medium For Billing, filed on Sep. 6, 2006, and U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application No. 11/516,380, titled System, Method, And Computer Readable Medium For Billing Tolls, filed on Sep. 6, 2006, are incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to toll systems and methods and, more particularly, but not by way of limitation, to systems, methods, and computer readable media for guaranteed preauthorized toll service activation and billing for third party renters and a toll collection entities.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention incorporates by reference various information including: toll fee tracking systems and methods for automatic, non-contact, high-speed toll fee tracking and payment of vehicular tolls using a Pre-authorized Toll Pass, business processes for toll fee system and method for vehicle registration, invoicing, opt-in services, and toll violations, and to toll service systems and methods adapted to provide toll service to third party entity vehicles without having to stop at a toll authority. In such a scenario, a toll rental entity gathers all third party entity vehicle information such as, for example, license plate number, vehicle registration state, vehicle make, vehicle model and the like from third party entities to provide toll service to the third party entity vehicles. When a third party entity customer rents a third party entity vehicle with the toll rental service option, the toll rental entity receives such notification as opt-in service transaction from the third party entity and communicates the information back to the toll authority/toll collection entity to support the service for the third party entity vehicle.
  • The third party entity also transfers opt-out service information to the toll rental entity in the event the customer decided to change his/her mind to use the toll service. In the preauthorized toll service model, the toll rental entity guarantees payment to the toll authority for the toll service. The toll rental entity may provide the toll usage such as, vehicle information, transponder information, location information, time stamp, and vehicle picture. The toll rental entity might all send the third party renter information on demand for any future references.
  • If the customer is not opted for this service and violated the toll authority/toll collection entity by not paying at the toll authority/toll collection entity, then the toll authority/toll collection entity identifies third party vehicles by license plate number. The toll rental entity will then communicate with the third party entity to obtain rental violator information for later violation processing. Instead of charging the customer by toll usage, embodiments of the present invention charge the customer by the rental period.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, a method for toll service activation and billing, comprises receiving fleet information at a toll authority via a toll rental entity, receiving a service request at the toll rental entity, sending toll usage data related to the service request to a third party entity, receiving a payment at the toll rental entity based on the service request, and sending a payment to the toll authority based on the toll usage data.
  • In another embodiment of the present invention, a method for toll service activation and billing, comprises receiving fleet information at a toll authority via a toll rental entity, receiving a service request at the toll rental entity, if the service request consists of an opt-in for service, sending a payment to the toll authority (or authorities) based on the service request, and if the service request consists of an opt-out for service, sending a payment to the toll authority if the toll rental entity receives a valid toll usage during the opt-out for service.
  • In a further embodiment of the present invention, a method for toll service activation and billing, comprises receiving a service request at the toll rental entity, if the service request consists of an opt-in for service, sending a payment to a toll authority (or authorities) based on the service request, and if the service request consists of an opt-out for service, sending a payment to the toll authority if the toll rental entity receives a valid toll usage during the opt-out period for service, receiving toll usage data at the toll rental entity, matching the toll usage data with information related to the opt-in for service and the opt-out for service, and sending a payment related to the matched toll usage data.
  • In yet another embodiment of the present invention, a computer readable medium comprises instructions for: receiving fleet information, receiving a service request related to the fleet information, sending toll usage data related to the service request, receiving a payment from a first entity based on the sent service request, and sending a payment to a second entity based on the toll usage data.
  • In yet a further embodiment of the present invention, a computer readable medium comprises instructions for: receiving fleet information, receiving a service request related to the fleet information, and sending a payment based on the service request if the service request consists of an opt-in for service.
  • In yet another embodiment of the present invention, a computer readable medium comprises instructions for: receiving a service request, if the service request consists of an opt-in for service, sending a payment based on the service request, and if the service request consists of an opt-out for service, sending a payment based on a valid toll usage during the opt-out for service.
  • In yet a further embodiment of the present invention, a system for toll service activation and billing, comprises a toll rental entity that: receives fleet information, receives service requests, receives payments based on the service requests, sends toll usage data related to the service requests to a first non-toll rental entity, and sends a payment to a second non-toll rental entity based on the toll usage data.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • For a more complete understanding of the present invention and for further objects and advantages thereof, reference may now be had to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a first flow diagram depicting messages sent between a third party entity, a toll rental entity, and a toll authority in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a second flow diagram depicting messages sent between a third party entity, a toll rental entity, and a toll authority in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a third flow diagram depicting messages sent between a third party entity, a toll rental entity, and a toll authority in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating service activation in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 is a flow chart illustrating service cancellation in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating an opt-in and an opt-out process in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Embodiment(s) of the invention will now be described more fully with reference to the accompanying Drawings. The invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiment(s) set forth herein. The invention should only be considered limited by the claims as they now exist and the equivalents thereof.
  • Referring now to FIG. 1, a flow diagram 100 is illustrated. The depicted messages are sent and received by a number of entities or modules including a third party entity 102 (such as a rent-a-car or other transport rental company), a toll rental entity 104, and a toll authority 106. The diagram 100 describes a fleet based data exchange where charges provided by the toll authority 106 are based on transactions and charges provided by the toll rental entity 104 are based on duration.
  • At step 110, the third party entity 102 sends fleet information to the toll rental entity 104 which can store the information in a database 111 and/or send the information 112 to the toll authority 106 which can store it in a database 114. At this point both the third party entity and the toll authority can initiate their processes in parallel. The third party entity 102 sends a service request 116 to the toll rental entity 104 indicating an opt-in or an opt-out of service for utilizing a toll tag or a toll reader device in a rented transport (or for utilizing a license plate). The toll rental entity 104 can store this information in an opt-in and/or opt-out database 117.
  • The toll authority 106 sets up a toll rental entity account 108 with an account balance. This action may occur at any time in this process. As a transport with a toll tag (whose information is stored in a tag database 113) utilizes the toll authorities' toll booth(s), toll data is gathered (and stored in toll data database 121) and matched 122 against the fleet information with license plate number or by transponder. The tag database 113, the fleet database 114, and the toll data database 121 may be the same database. The toll authority 106 detects the matched toll data and charges 124 the toll rental entity account.
  • The toll authority sends 126 the matched toll data (including, for example, a photograph of the transport or other proof of the transport utilizing the toll booth or other toll authority structure) and an invoice to the toll rental entity 104 which sends 118 the toll data and the invoice (for example, periodically) to the third party entity 100 for preauthorized toll service. The third party entity 102 may also send payments 120 (for example, periodically) to the toll rental entity 104 which deposits 117 capital in the toll rental entity account. The toll authority 106 may also send 128 the toll rental entity 104 an invoice which can be paid 130. These steps may be performed in various orders. For example, the depicted payments can occur before or after other depicted actions.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, a method for toll service activation and billing, comprises receiving fleet information at a toll authority via a toll rental entity, receiving a service request at the toll rental entity, sending toll usage data related to the service request to a third party entity, receiving a payment at the toll rental entity based on the service request, and sending a payment to the toll authority based on the toll usage data. The method also comprises sending an invoice to the third party entity by the toll rental entity, wherein the payment is sent during at least one of: consistently, periodically, gradually, completely, wherein the fleet information comprises at least one of a license plate number, a license plate state, a license state type, an RFID transponder identification, a vehicle identification number, a vehicle owner, a vehicle make, a vehicle model, and a vehicle color, wherein the service request comprises at lease one of: a transaction based service request, a location based service request, a frequency based service request, and an occupancy based service request, wherein the receiving of the fleet information and the receiving of the service request occur during at least one of: at different times, at the same time, in real-time, in near real-time, in batch mode, serially, and in parallel, and wherein the service request comprises at least one of: an opt-in for the service, an opt-out for the service, a late opt-in for the service, and a late opt-out for the service.
  • Referring now to FIG. 2, a flow diagram 200 is illustrated. The depicted messages are sent and received by a number of entities or modules including a third party entity 102 (such as a rent-a-car or other transport rental company), a toll rental entity 104, and a toll authority 106. The diagram 200 describes an opt-in (for service) based data exchange where charges provided by the toll authority 106 are based on duration and charges provided by the toll rental entity 104 are also based on duration.
  • At step 202, the third party entity 102 sends fleet information to the toll rental entity 104 which can store the information in a database 203 and/or send the information 204 to the toll authority 106 which can store it in a database 205. The third party entity 102 sends a service request 206 to the toll rental entity 104 indicating an opt-in or an opt-out of service for utilizing a toll tag or toll reader device in a rented transport. The toll rental entity 104 can store this information in an opt-in or an opt-out database 207.
  • The toll rental entity 104 sends 208 a deposit to the toll authority 106 for preauthorized toll service. Deposits are based on the service period mostly by duration. Deposits may be a flat fee for the toll authority. In this model, irrespective of the toll usage, the toll rental entity might pay the toll authority by the service period. Deposits can be sent real time or by batch. This deposit is stored and is managed in a deposit database 209. As a transport with a toll tag (whose information is stored in a tag database 201) utilizes the toll authorities' toll booth(s), toll data is gathered (and stored in toll data database 224) and matched 214 against the deposits and/or the fleet information. The fleet database 205, the tag database 201, the deposit database 209, and the toll data database 224 may be the same database. If the toll authority 106 detects the matched toll data the deposit account or another account is charged. Toll tag and license plate recognition can be used.
  • The toll authority preferably sends 216 the toll data daily that is unmatched in the deposit database 209 to the toll rental entity 104, but may send such data at any time or at various times. The toll rental entity 104 checks 218 the opt-in or opt-out database 207 in order to rectify the unmatched data. The toll rental entity 104 sends 220 a response to the toll authority 106 with at least one of: an opt-in for service, an opt-in on demand for service (whereby a customer that initially opted out and then changed his/her might to opt-in later), opt-out service or vehicle data not found. If the toll rental entity 104 determines that an opt-in for service, or an opt-in on demand for service is found, a payment is sent 222 to the toll authority 106. These steps may be performed in various orders. For example, the third party entity 102 sending payments 212 can occur before or after the third party entity sends a service request 206.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, a method for toll service activation and billing, comprises receiving fleet information at a toll authority via a toll rental entity, receiving a service request at the toll rental entity, if the service request consists of an opt-in for service, sending a payment to the toll authority based on the service request, and if the service request consists of an opt-out for service, sending a payment to the toll authority if the toll rental entity receives a valid toll usage during the opt-out for service. The sending of the payment to the toll authority based on the service request occurs irrespective of toll usage data.
  • Referring now to FIG. 3, a flow diagram 300 is illustrated. The depicted messages are sent and received by a number of entities or modules including a third party entity 102 (such as a rent-a-car or other transport rental company), a toll rental entity 104, and a toll authority 106. The diagram 300 describes an opt-in (for service) based data exchange where charges provided by the toll authority 320 are duration and transaction based, and charges provided by the toll rental entity 310 are duration based. The third party entity 102 sends 302 opt-in and opt-out information to the toll rental entity 104 which stores such information in a database 303. The toll authority 106 captures the toll data, which can be received 304 via a number of sources such as OCR, RFID, and GPS, and stores the toll data in a database 305. This information is sent or is downloaded to database 307.
  • The toll rental entity 104 sends 314 an invoice to the third party entity 102 based on the individuals or entities opting-in, and sends 308 an opt-in, an opt-in on demand, or data not found to the toll authority 106. Third party entity receives all the rental agreements/service requests from the third party entity and later matches the toll data from the toll authority. The toll rental entity also maintains a queue in the event the toll data comes before the third party service request. The toll rental entity maps toll data with the service request and sends the invoice to the third party entity periodically based on opt-in, opt-out or late/early opt-in and out-out. The third party entity 102 sends 316 payments to the toll rental entity 104, receives 310 an invoice(s) based on opt-ins or by the transactions noted above and sends 312 payments to the toll authority 106 based on these invoices.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, a method for toll service activation and billing, comprises receiving a service request at the toll rental entity, if the service request consists of an opt-in for service, sending a payment to a toll authority based on the service request, and if the service request consists of an opt-out for service, sending a payment to the toll authority if the toll rental entity receives a valid toll usage during the opt-out for service, receiving toll usage data at the toll rental entity, matching the toll usage data with information related to the opt-in for service and the opt-out for service, and sending a payment related to the matched toll usage data. The payment is sent to at least one of: the toll authority, and a third party entity.
  • Referring now to FIG. 4, a flow chart 400 illustrating service activation is depicted. At step 402, user information, vehicle information and service information is collected, at step 404, users and vehicle information is transferred to activate service, at step 406, information is received at a toll rental entity for service usage, at step 408, information validation is performed for service usage, and transaction Identification and a tracking number is assigned at step 410. The flow chart further discloses vehicle information and transaction information that is transferred or sent to a toll authority at step 412, a received request by the toll authority to activate service at step 414, and to update a toll authority database and a toll rental entity database at steps 416 and 418 respectively.
  • Referring now to FIG. 5, a flow chart 500 illustrating service cancellation is depicted. At step 502 a customer contacts (via phone, computer, or any device) a third party entity. A vehicle is identified at step 504 and a check is made to determine if a service agreement for the customer and the vehicle is complete at step 506. If it is not, further steps must be taken (for example, customer information or payment information must be received) in order to complete the service agreement. If it is, a toll rental entity is notified to cancel the service at step 508 and the cancellation is received at step 510. A check for the completed cancellation request is made at step 512. If it is, the cancellation is then send to a toll authority at step 514, which checks for toll usage by the vehicle at step 516. If no toll usage has occurred, the toll authority database is updated at step 518, the transaction is acknowledged at step 520 and the toll rental entities database is updated at step 522. If toll usage has already occurred, verified at step 524, a third party entity database is updated at step 530. If the check for the completed cancellation request made at step 512 is not complete, toll usage may be checked at step 526. If is not, the request for service cancellation is performed at step 528, and the third party entity database is updated at step 530. The flow chart ends at step 532.
  • FIG. 6 is a flow chart 600 illustrating an opt-in and an opt-out process. As a vehicle passes a toll gate at step 602, vehicle information (and optionally driver and/or passenger information) is captured at step 604. At step 606, a determination is made whether the vehicle information is associated with a toll rental entity. If it is not, a toll violation is performed at step 608 and the process ends at step 626. If it is, at step 610, a determination is made if the vehicle and/or the customer/driver or an entity has opted-in to the service. If the customer has opted-in and the deposit is received for the transaction, the toll rental entity is updated for the toll usage. If the toll authority could not match the deposit, the toll authority marks the transaction unmatched and sends it to the toll authority for the disposition status. The toll rental entity may pay the toll authority by transaction for the unmatched usage or it may be grouped with the OPT-IN or OPT-OUT or OPT-IN on demand and provide the payment accordingly.
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, a computer readable medium, or software of the present invention, comprises instructions for receiving fleet information, receiving a service request related to the fleet information, and sending a payment based on the service request if the service request consists of an opt-in for service. The computer readable medium further comprises instructions for sending a payment if a transport rental entity receives a valid toll usage during an opt-out for service, and sending the payment irrespective of toll usage data.
  • If the unmatched transaction is an opt-out process step 614, the third party entity and the customer are notified of the process at step 616 and a third party entity database is updated at step 618. If no opt-in for the service has occurred at step 610, the toll usage is sent to the toll rental entity at step 620, an invalid transaction is removed at step 622, and a toll rental entity database is updated at step 624
  • In another embodiment of the present invention, a computer readable medium comprises instructions for receiving a service request, if the service request consists of an opt-in for service, sending a payment based on the service request, and if the service request consists of an opt-out for service, sending a payment based on a valid toll usage during the opt-out for service. The computer readable medium further comprises instructions for receiving toll usage data and matching the toll usage data with information related to the opt-in for service and the opt-out for service, sending a payment related to the matched toll usage data, and sending the payment to a toll authority.
  • FIG. 7 is a block diagram of a system 700 that comprises a third party entity 708, a toll authority 710, and a toll rental entity 716 and 722. These elements include an on-line or graphical user interface (GUI) via a third party entity agent GUI 704, a toll authority agent GUI 706, and a toll rental entity site 702. The third party entity 708 and the toll authority 710 are connected to respective gateways 712 and 714. In alternate embodiments, these connections may be wireless and may be made to other elements that connect to the toll rental entity 716 and 722. The toll rental entity business services module 716 receives the rental agreements from the third party entity and toll usages from the toll authority/toll collection entity processes the information based on the matched or unmatched and also opt-in, opt-out, late opt-in/opt-out, early opt-in/opt-out of the transactions. The toll rental entity business services module 716 utilizes the event queue 718 and the toll rental entity data services module 722 for queuing the data persistence. The workflow engine 720 gets the notification from the event queue and based on the event queue business process will be executed. The workflow engine 720 uses billing system 726, a contract management module 728, a third party entity management system 730, a toll authority management system 732, a usage management system 734 and a collection agency module 736 for process execution. One or more of these elements may be positioned in different areas within the system and the functionality provided by two or more of these elements may be provided by one of these elements. Components 716, 720, and 722 use billing system 726, contract management module 728, the third party entity management system 730, the toll authority management system 732, the usage management system 734 and the collection agency module 736 for the business process implementation and execution.
  • Although an exemplary embodiment of the system of the present invention has been illustrated in the accompanied drawings and described in the foregoing detailed description, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiments disclosed, but is capable of numerous rearrangements, modifications, and substitutions without departing from the spirit of the invention as set forth and defined by the following claims. For example, the capabilities of the invention can be performed fully and/or partially by one or more of the described or depicted elements. Also, these capabilities may be performed in the current manner or in a distributed manner and on, or via, any device able to provide and/or receive information. Further, although depicted in a particular manner, various modules or blocks may be repositioned without departing from the scope of the current invention. For example, information being sent to the toll rental entity can be sent to the third party entity or to multiple third party entities or may be sent to one of the entities in lieu of the other. Still further, although depicted in a particular manner, a greater or lesser number of elements and connections can be utilized with the present invention in order to accomplish the present invention, to provide additional known features to the present invention, and/or to make the present invention more efficient. For example, a cellular phone, RFID chip or other electronic device can be used to send, receive, and/or store any of the data described or depicted herein. Also, the information sent between various elements described or depicted herein, can be sent via a wireless source and/or a wired source and via a plurality of protocols.
  • Embodiment(s) of the invention will now be described more fully with reference to the accompanying Drawings. The invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiment(s) set forth herein. The invention should only be considered limited by the claims as they now exist and the equivalents thereof.

Claims (10)

1. A method for toll service activation and billing, comprising:
receiving fleet information at a toll authority via a toll rental entity;
receiving a service request at the toll rental entity;
sending toll usage data related to the service request to a third party entity;
receiving a payment at the toll rental entity based on the service request; and
sending a payment to the toll authority based on the toll usage data.
2. The method of claim 1 comprising sending an invoice to the third party entity by the toll rental entity.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the payment is sent during at least one of: consistently, periodically, gradually, completely.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein the fleet information comprises at least one of a license plate number, a license plate state, a license state type, an RFID transponder identification, a vehicle identification number, a vehicle owner, a vehicle make, a vehicle model, and a vehicle color.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the service request comprises at lease one of a transaction based service request, a location based service request, a frequency based service request, and an occupancy based service request.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the receiving of the fleet information and the receiving of the service request occur during at least one of at different times, at the same time, in real-time, in near real-time, in batch mode, serially, and in parallel.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein the service request comprises at least one of: an opt-in for the service, an opt-out for the service, a late opt-in for the service, and a late opt-out for the service.
8. A method for toll service activation and billing, comprising:
receiving a service request at the toll rental entity;
if the service request consists of an opt-in for service, sending a payment to a toll authority based on the service request; and
if the service request consists of an opt-out for service, sending a payment to the toll authority if the toll rental entity receives a valid toll usage during the opt-out for service;
receiving toll usage data at the toll rental entity;
matching the toll usage data with information related to the opt-in for service and the opt-out for service; and
sending a payment related to the matched toll usage data.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the payment is sent to at least one of: the toll authority, and a third party entity.
10. A system for toll service activation and billing, comprising:
a toll rental entity that:
receives fleet information;
receives service requests;
receives payments based on the service requests;
sends toll usage data related to the service requests to a first non-toll rental entity; and
sends a payment to a second non-toll rental entity based on the toll usage data.
US12/433,954 2005-10-13 2009-05-01 System, method and computer readable medium for toll service activation and billing Abandoned US20090292596A1 (en)

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US12/433,954 US20090292596A1 (en) 2005-10-13 2009-05-01 System, method and computer readable medium for toll service activation and billing

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US11/580,527 Active 2029-12-09 US8195506B2 (en) 2005-10-13 2006-10-13 System, method and computer readable medium for billing based on a duration of a service period
US12/433,954 Abandoned US20090292596A1 (en) 2005-10-13 2009-05-01 System, method and computer readable medium for toll service activation and billing
US12/437,621 Active 2028-07-12 US8374909B2 (en) 2005-10-13 2009-05-08 System, method and computer readable medium for billing based on a duration of a service period
US13/737,272 Active 2027-01-24 US9715703B2 (en) 2005-10-13 2013-01-09 System, method and computer readable medium for billing based on a duration of service period
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US15/616,816 Pending US20170337598A1 (en) 2005-10-13 2017-06-07 System, method and computer readable medium for billing based on a duration of a service period

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