Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to buy cameras and computers for ALPR from you?

No! PlateSmart’s software-based ALPR technology is deployed around the world using your own IP, analog, HD, and other camera types from a variety of manufacturers. If needed, our integrator and reseller partners provide market-leading cameras and servers according to your needs.

Can PlateSmart integrate with other products and applications?

Yes! PlateSmart’s open platform enables ARES Enterprise ALPR to integrate with Video Management Systems (VMS), PSIM systems, access control systems, parking control and revenue systems, and more. PlateSmart also designs and creates new analytics based on specialized requirements from customers.

Where is PlateSmart being used?

PlateSmart is deployed worldwide with intelligent ALPR for North and South America, the Middle East, Australia, and the Asia-Pacific region.

What do you mean by full-color image processing?

One of the fundamental differences of PlateSmart’s Software-only ALPR technology is the ability to do full-color image processing. Traditional ALPR solutions rely on specially designed proprietary cameras with infrared to pre-process and condition the captured image so that their Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine can process it. This approach prohibits using conventional, off-the-shelf cameras for ALPR.

PlateSmart’s full-color image processing also enables recognizing more information than license plate number, such as vehicle make and body style, while the traditional infrared-based ALPR solution stops at only recognizing the license plate number. PlateSmart ARES can further use the multi-dimensional data such as combining the information for license plate number and its matching vehicle make for much heightened access control.

My state just changed the design of its license plates. Will I have to replace cameras or equipment to read the new design with PlateSmart?

No! When a new license plate design is released, PlateSmart updates its software accordingly. Our solutions are constantly evolving, not only by adding new features, such as intelligent analytics or the ability to recognize car make, but also by improving the core capabilities of our software for increased accuracy.

Why use a software only ALPR solution rather than one that has proprietary hardware packaged with the software?

ALPR solutions have been in great demand as a useful security tool, but are not widely deployed due to the technology’s perceived requirement of expensive and specially designed cameras. The high cost of initial deployment as well as the high cost of maintenance, such as replacing cameras with other expensive proprietary cameras, have presented a very high barrier to entry.

Software-only ALPR solutions can work with conventional, off-the-shelf cameras, dramatically reducing the cost to deploy and maintain. This enables them to work with existing cameras and existing infrastructures without the “rip-and-replace” approach.

PlateSmart’s ARES ALPR is a complete management platform leveraging PlateSmart’s award-winning solutions to capture, manage, analyze, and trigger alerts working with conventional, off-the-shelf cameras. PlateSmart’s ARES also integrates with some of the best VMS platform to share our ALPR information as video bookmarks for easy video retrieval. Currently, we integrate with MileStone XProtect, Avigilon Control Center, Tyco Exacq, OnSSI Ocularis, and Pelco VideoXpert, to name a few.

Our solutions have been deployed and proven to work well with many known cameras, such as Axis, Avigilon, Pelco, Hanwha, Panasonic, Dahua, Vivotek, to name a few. If you have an IP-based camera that supports H.264 or MJPEG video connection, please contact us. For more information, visit our ARES solution page.

How much do the solutions cost?

Our solutions are highly customizable and scalable, and each system install is tailored to your needs and use case. Because we don’t require specific hardware to run our software, we are able to offer our solutions at a much more affordable price, usually at 1/3 to 1/5 of the cost of our competitors!

Are there additional costs for maintaining the system annually?

PlateSmart does not require a mandatory software subscription. Your software will not be turned off or stripped of features for not maintaining an annual financial commitment. We empower you to choose how the system is maintained.

If needed, PlateSmart encourages a comprehensive software maintenance package that provides top-tier technical support as well as software upgrades at an affordable price.

Do I need to purchase a PlateSmart license for each person who uses the system or gets reports?

No! PlateSmart ARES Enterprise ALPR is licensed per camera connection; multiple users are allowed without additional cost.

Is there an increased cost when expanding from a single-camera deployment of ARES to an enterprise-wide deployment?

No. The only cost is for the additional licenses to cover the new points of capture.

Software is licensed on a per-point-of-capture basis and not per user, allowing for ease of budgeting growth and scalability.

What does PlateSmart offer in addition to Automatic License Plate Recognition?

PlateSmart ARES Enterprise ALPR offers information beyond the plate number. ARES also reports state information and vehicle make, and new data-gathering abilities are constantly being added.

PlateSmart’s analytic capabilities include detecting suspicious vehicle movement behavior, over-time parking, commercial vehicle vs. private vehicle identification, parking lot capacity, and more.

I have looked at other software based LPR offerings and the functionality seems to be somewhat limited

ARES by PlateSmart is a full-featured ALPR solution. What this means is that ARES not only captures and reads plate data but also provides a host of analytic tools and reporting capabilities including (but not limited to):

  • Alerts (for both blacklist and whitelist reads) generated to alert viewer, SMS, and/ or Email
  • Advanced reporting and lookup capabilities – the power is in the data. The ability to interact with stored ALPR data and intuitively generate reports, either on demand or by automatic scheduling, provides actionable intelligence as well as valuable post-event information
  • In addition to numbers and letters on a license plate, ARES can recognize the state of origin and manufacturer of the vehicle
  • Unparalleled accuracy of ALPR reads
  • Access Control interface
    • allows for elimination of costly RFID hardware
    • can be used in conjunction with or in place of card readers
  • Ability to record contextual information in video clips from multiple cameras that can be tied back to the individual plate read. e.g., video of driver’s face and overview of the scene at time of plate capture
    • The video information is linked to and embedded in the plate record for easy access after the fact
    • Can operate as a standalone utility or integrate with third party video management systems (VMS)