Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey on September 28, 1992 · Page 51
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Asbury Park Press from Asbury Park, New Jersey · Page 51

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Asbury Park, New Jersey
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Monday, September 28, 1992
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Page 51
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Asbury Park Press Monday, September 28, 1992 D5 T B1MIM Beat AT&T paving the road to pay tolls with plastic Holmdel researchers work on credit card scanning; states test it By DEBRA DOWLING PRESS BUSINESS WRITER The heavy traffic known to clog New Jersey's toll roads at critical hours might be eased a bit by using technology that encourages drivers to pay for tolls the American way. By charging them. Instead of fumbling for small change or tokens, American Telephone & Telegraph Co. sees the commuter of tomorrow armed instead with a little plastic card used with a gadget on the dashboard that would electronically register the sale. Indeed, there wouldn't even be a need to roll down the window as vehicles cruise the highways. Think of yourself on a giant, moving conveyor like those used in grocery stores at the checkout line. Toll collection areas would be like invisible supermarket cashiers, who scan products at the flick of a wrist. AT&T's research arm, Bell Laboratories in Holmdel Township, is actively working on Intelligent VehicleHighway Systems. IVHS works with a computer scanner that tracks all kinds of information in its database, from the vehicle owner's credit account balance to how up to date his registration and driver's license are. And not only would IVHS ease tie-ups at toll plazas, it could also warn of possible trouble spots in time for the motorist to avoid them. '" ' ' " in ! in n - v k "It seems to be appealing to a great many people," says an enthusiastic Janice Wiggins, AT&T's director of marketing for IVHS. "It has many, many communication abilities that go beyond tolls." Here's how IVHS would work on a typical day. On his way to work, a commuter relies on a small piece of equipment located on the dashboard, called a "transponder." The transponder communicates via towers planted at various checkpoints, mostly at toll areas and other highway stops. Perhaps as he is about to get on a major highway, the driver's transponder alerts him of a traffic jam, giving him enough lead time to take an alternate route. On the alternate highway, the GmmMcawr (908) 566-9660 50 Route 35 North Aberdeen, NJ In New MARK KSENIAKPress lustration driver inserts his card into the transponder as he approaches a toll booth. A simple registering of a "click" assures him the transaction has been completed. He will either be billed at the end of the month for all toll transactions or the amount will be deducted from a running balance. In the first scenario, it would function exactly like a credit card; in the latter, as a debit card similar to an automatic teller machine card. Sounds simple, doesn't it' But there are a few glitches and hurdles to be worked out. Not the least of those is the adapting America's highways for the state-of-the-art equipment. Then there's the issue whether there should even be tolls in the first place. Wouldn't traffic run even RESE OFFIgE-PARTIES & BEAT Don't get caught up in all the last minute arrangements of planning your office Holiday party! Visit Garden Manor and be able to nook the dale you really want, customize your menu and then just sit back and relax. Garden Manor's Catering Specialists will handle the rest and can even recommend entertainment and overnight accommodations for your group of 20-U(X). ..r ,r,noiim,-nt in visit Garden Manor soon so vou can "enjoy" this Holiday season and beat the rush! smoother if those annoying toll booths were simply eliminated? "That's a decision to be made by the proper authorities not us," AT&T's Wiggins duly notes. Wiggins also declines to say how much it would cost to install an IVHS system, noting that the information is proprietary because the concept is competitive. Mark R. Komanecky, IVHS technical project manager, notes other advantages, including the reduction of pollutants in the air and the easing of traffic congestion without having to widen roads. "Eventually they knew they couldn't just build their way out of the problem," says Komanecky, adding that the time to bring high technology to America's roads is now. Dubbed "intelligent highway systems," the aim is to modernize roads many of which were built in the earlier part of the century and based on traffic patterns of the same period through state-of-the-art technology, rather than simply adding more lanes and toll booths. Known as the E-Z Pass system, electronic collection is part of a sweeping project involving a coalition of seven toll authorities in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, which together collect more than a third of the nation's roadway tolls each year. The Garden State Parkway and the New York Thruway are now testing electronic collection systems (AT&T's and several other companies') at two sites, at the Hillsdale toll plaza in Bergen County and the Gov. Thomas E. Dewey Thruway in Spring Valley, N.Y; And the technology is already off and running in certain parts of Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. In New Jersey, the E-Z Pass system will eventually be installed at all toll points on the New Jersey Turnpike, the parkway and the Atlantic City Expressway. Debra Dowling covers the communications industry for the Asbury Park Press. RVNOWQR MTQMf?QQ Calendar From page D4 r Meeting of the Monmouth County Private Industry Council at the Monmouth County Department of Human Services Building, Room 307, Koztoski Road, Freehold, at 10 a.m. For information contact BiU Wood, (908) 775-0400. EEEHE3 Exploring Careers, 1 career fair, sponsored by the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, Brookdale Community College and the Exploring Division of Monmouth Council, Boy Scouts of America, at the Brookdale gymnasium, from noon to S p.m. in addition to exhibition booths, there will be workshops, educational advisers and vocational training representatives available. For information call (908)741-0055. Km lersey Society for Environmental, Economic Development's (Nl SEED) 11th Annual Government Affairs Seminar at the Sands Hotel Casino. The seminar will focus on the economy, health care, government efficiency, housing, and environmental protection. The two day event will also feature an exhibit program, a reception honoring the New Jersey Legislature, and the presentation of NJ SEED'S annual awards for Distinguished Service, Outstanding Senator and Assembly member. Registration is $275 for members and $300 for non-members. For information contact Barbara Morford, (609) 275-8888. Send business-related calendar submissions and photographs to Renee Freeman, Business Department, Asbury Park Press, P.O. Box 1550, Neptune, NJ. 07754, two weeks in advance of the event. Telephone submissions cannot be accepted. Whatever your style, owning or renting, you'll find more listings in asbury Park PRESS YOUR THE RUSH! York Dial ToU Free: 1-800-0206

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