ALPR technology to be deployed across Texas toll road network


The North American division of Norwegian tolling and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) supplier Q-Free has been awarded a contract to provide highly-accurate image processing to optimize back-office systems for Texas’ statewide toll road network.

Q-Free’s Intrada Synergy Server (ISS) vehicle identification and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) system was selected as part of a multi-vendor IBM statewide upgrade to the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) toll road back-office system. TxDOT recently awarded a four-year contract to IBM to reduce back-office system costs and create a more efficient tolling system. Q-Free ISS is a component of IBM’s integrated, multi-vendor solution to quickly and accurately process millions of license plate images from the tolling system’s video cameras. Toll operators must accommodate growing demand while maintaining high-accuracy ALPR reads, as system inaccuracies increase costs by requiring data to be reviewed and entered manually, which can prevent toll revenue from being collected or create costly billing errors for drivers.

Q-Free ISS improves the accuracy of camera-based license plate recognition, significantly reducing costs and processing time for video toll collection. The Intrada Synergy Server will reduce TxDOT’s license plate image processing costs by efficiently and accurately processing high-volume, daily video transactions. It has also been successfully deployed by many large toll authorities in North America and around the globe.

TxDOT is responsible for 230 miles (370km) of toll roads that run through Austin, Harris, Montgomery and Chambers Counties. The interoperable toll system serves more than 2.3 million users and processes roughly 835,000 daily transactions, including in-vehicle responders and video-based license plate recognition. To secure the contract and ensure optimal performance, the Q-Free ISS solution had to prove capable of accurately processing 558,000 daily transactions or 17 million per month.

“The cost of errors while reading license plates can ramp up quickly, particularly for systems as large and heavily trafficked as the TxDOT system,” said Bill Rapp, executive vice president of tolling solutions for Q-Free America. “We look forward to helping the agency increase its operational efficiencies and maximize toll revenue.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.