How to plan a fully automatic toll collection control system of parking lot?

Generally, the collection manner of parking fees can be divided into manual charging, semi-automatic charging, and fully automatic charging. In terms of manual charging, the initial investment is the least, but it requires a lot of manpower management, and it takes up human resources and is not easy to operate 24 hours. Such parking lots are generally only used for short-term temporary parking lots. Both parking fees of semi-automatic and fully automatic charging are automatically calculated by computer, and the main difference between the two is the demand for manpower. The parking fee of the former is completely collected manually, requiring more management personnel, and the operating cost and management efficiency are not good. The latter is equipped with an unattended parking gate system and an automatic toll collection machine to minimize the number of engaged staff; almost unmanned. Automatic toll management has the best operating efficiency, but its shortcoming is that the initial investment costs relatively high. However, from the perspective of large-scale parking lots and long-term business, fully automatic toll management is the best choice. (Extended reading: How to choose an automatic license plate recognition (ALPR/ANPR) system?)


The composition of fully automatic toll management for the parking lot

It can be roughly divided into four parts, including Auto License Plate Number Recognition (ALPR / ANPR) or Card and ticket validator、Entrance/Exit parking barrier gates system、Automatic toll collection station、Management system.

1. Card and ticket validator
It can be divided into three types, magnetic ticket, Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) and Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR or ANPR).
a. Magnetic ticket:
Plastic-type magnetic ticket: There are card or coin shapes. This kind of production cost is relatively expensive. Most of the tickets in the form of a magnetic card are self-use or long-term rental car spaces. The self-use is mostly combined with the employee ID. Generally, government organizations, large companies, and building parking lots with private parking spaces are all of this type. The chief defects of magnetic card tickets are prone to forgery or inside job.
Paper type magnetic card: Paper magnetic card: Its production cost is lower and is used for temporary parking needs, but it is easy to cause environmental problems after the ticket is checked out. Therefore, the ticket is usually collected by the automatic ticket gate.
b. Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)
The user needs to attach an electronic ticket to the vehicle. It is only suitable for self-use parking users, such as government organizations, large companies and private building parking lots. The electronic toll collection is also more convenient than the magnetic card ticket, but it is susceptible to interference and misjudgment.
c. Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR)
Due to the rapid progress of chips and algorithms, the speed and accuracy of license plate recognition have been greatly improved and the price has entered a stage of rationalization. Automatic license plate recognition should be the most economical verification method on the market. However, if the license plate is severely stained or too skewed, it will easily lead to failure; but this problem has been greatly improved. For reducing vehicle theft, statistical analysis of vehicles, overnight parking management, etc., the automatic license plate recognition system is a very good option. (Extended reading: Dual recognition car park management system)

2. Entrance/Exit parking barrier gates system
The entrance and exit control equipment is different due to different card and ticket validators; however, automatic barrier gate, vehicle detectors, and induction coils are basic equipment, while the emergency intercom system is an auxiliary one. The equipment requirements for a different card and ticket validators are as follows:
a. Magnetic ticket: Ticket or card reader.
b. Electronic Toll Collection (ETC): RFID long-range wireless reader.
c. Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR): Camera、Light、License plate LED display (not necessary)
d. Automatic barrier gate: Installed at the entrance and exit of the parking lot, and its boom barrier will control the lane. When a qualified vehicle is identified, the boom barrier can automatically raise or lower to control the passage of the vehicle. The boom barrier can be manually controlled when the power is off.
e. Vehicle detector: Installed in automatic barrier gate, and work with the induction coil. Its sensitivity can be adjusted to detect the vehicle.
f. Induction coil or Infrared sensor: Induction coils are buried under the road at the entrance and exit lanes, and infrared sensors are installed on both sides of the lane; they have to use with vehicle detectors.
g. Emergency intercom system: Set at the side of the entrance and exit lanes near the driver’s seat, and used to notify management personnel of emergencies (such as the boom barrier cannot open normally)Basic equipment for the entrance and exit control system

3. Automatic toll collection station
It is usually installed in places where people often come and go, such as stairs or pedestrian passages. However, because the automatic toll collection machine is relatively large, to avoid obstructing traffic after installation, space should be considered in the design. The main functions are responsible for parking fee pricing, charging, and receipt printing. Charging manners are as follows:
a. Charge by cash: the coin machine、the billing machine and change machine must be built-in.
b. Charge by credit card: It requires a credit card reader and internet connection.
c. Charge by prepaid card: Prepaid card reader.
d. Charge by mobile phone: QR code reader.
Owners sometimes consider the cell phone signal to be poor in the basement and will set up an emergency intercom system to deal with customers’ emergencies; for example: unable to change, paper money or credit card get stuck, the credit card cannot correctly read, etc.

4. Management system.
It is composed of computer equipment, network equipment, management software, charging software, and accounting software. All these related equipment is installed in the management room to provide management personnel to monitor and manage the operation of the parking lot. In addition to monitoring the operation of the computer equipment in the management room, the management personnel can quickly reach the scene to solve the problem when there is an emergency at the entrance or exit or the toll machine. Therefore, the ideal location of the management room should be near the entrance and exit of the vehicle.

Why use a fully automatic toll collection control system in the parking lot?

The higher the paid parking demand, the higher the city develops, which means the higher the relative salary costs. Besides the basic salary, related personnel expenses such as insurance, labor pension, or severance must be paid. As the labor cost and consumer price index increase year by year, these personnel costs are gradually increasing. What’s more important is that it is not easy to find the operating staff. Meanwhile, staff training, fraud prevention, and auditing are also a burden that should be considered. As far as employees are concerned, repetitive actions that do not require technology or experience, such as issuing parking tickets, collecting payments, and checking tickets, will lead to a high turnover rate of employees; and even affect service quality. The above are all factors that are detrimental to the business model of labor charges. Although the fully automatic charging system requires a relatively high amount of investment in the initial stage, compared with the personnel and management costs, it can be recovered in a short time, especially for the 24-hour parking lot.

What are the advantages of the fully automatic toll collection control system?

It is expensive to invest in a fully charging system of the parking lot. In addition to understanding the functions of the system before investing, you should also know the advantages of the system and the benefits that can be generated from the investment; the following explanations can help you understand in depth.

1. Save a lot of manpower
Usually, it is not necessary to have resident staff at Parking lots with a fully automatic charging system. The only manpower you need for emergency handling and basic maintenance of the machine; that is, as long as an emergency occurs, employees can reach there and deal with it as soon as possible. In this way, it is not difficult for such employees to manage multiple parking lots. Compared with manual charging, it can save at least 95% of manpower expenditure.

2. Reduce errors and avoid disputes
The error rate will increase proportionally with the extension of working hours, especially for long-term repetitive and monotonous work. The average error caused by humans is about 1/2000 to 1/4000 (occurring in thousands of repetitive tasks), but well-maintained electronic equipment can indeed keep the error rate below one in 100,000. Mistakes caused by work usually result in lost revenue, as well as customer complaints and dissatisfaction.

3. Prevent an inside job
Fraud is a problem that can occur in nearly any workplace; the parking lot with manned toll collecting is one of the places prone to occur. The most common situation is that the toll administrator can offer customers two different parking rates, one is high, which requires an official receipt; the other is low, which does not require an official receipt. Customers who are greedy for cheap have the opportunity to choose a lower parking rate. Without any receipt, employees can privately own the parking fees.

4. Marginal benefit
The automatic toll collection system can collect and analyze a large amount of customer parking information, and provide business owners with parking rate formulation and management decision-making reference. For example, it can provide irregular discounts for old customers to retain them. Secondly, the system equipment can quickly and accurately process large amounts of data, shorten the waiting and payment time for entering and exiting vehicles, reducing disputes, increasing the turnover rate of parking spaces, and making parking more enjoyable for customers. At the same time, it avoids parking delays, affects the passage of surrounding roads, reduces public dissatisfaction, and affects the corporate image. The owner has also created higher profits due to the increase in parking turnover rate and income; it is an investment for mutual benefit between users and business owners. (Extended reading: Parking Guidance System)

2 replies on “How to plan a fully automatic toll collection control system of parking lot?


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