Patent Number: 6,683,580

Title: Antenna apparatus and electronic toll collection system and electronic toll collection method using the same

Abstract: In an antenna apparatus and the electronic toll collection (hereinafter, abbreviated to an ETC) system using it, an antenna apparatus (2) is provided in a space over a lane (3) through which an automobile (1) having ETC on-vehicle equipment (10) passes. An antenna which the antenna apparatus has radiates a radio wave having a radio beam emitted area (21) of a radio wave to communicate with the ETC on-vehicle equipment and, thereby, electronic toll collection is performed for the passing automobile. It is an object of the present invention to provide an antenna apparatus which is controllable so that the ETC on-vehicle equipment is in the center of the radio beam emitted area of the antenna apparatus, and also to provide an ETC system using it. The antenna apparatus integrates an antenna and a light emitting unit. The light emitting unit emits a visible light (31) to the radio beam emitted area for communicating with the ETC on-vehicle equipment 10 mounted on the automobile along the center line within the radio beam emitted area. A sensor (40) can detect the automobile and can determine an emitted period of the visible light.

Inventors: Kuramoto; Akio (Tokyo, JP)

Assignee: NEC Corporation

International Classification: H01Q 1/32 (20060101); H01Q 21/06 (20060101); H01Q 001/00 (); G08G 001/00 ()

Expiration Date: 01/27/2012