Recognizing those License Plates
For convenience and security, license plate recognition (LPR) is catching on in innovative ways.
License plate recognition is an image-processing technology used to identify vehicles by their license plates. This technology is used in various traffic applications and security such as the access control. In one example: While a vehicle approaches the gate, garage entrance or lot, the LPR unit automatically “reads” the license plate registration number, compares it to a predefined list and opens the gate if there is a match.
The technology concept assumes that all vehicles already have the identity displayed (the license plate) so no additional transmitter or responder is required to be installed or read in or on the car.
The system uses a camera to take the image of the front or rear of the vehicle, then image processing software analyzes the images and extracts the plate information. This data is used for enforcement, data collection or access control.
Another advantage is that the system can keep an image record of the vehicle for forensics. Sometimes, an additional camera can focus on the driver’s face and save the image for security reasons.
Sounds simple, but it is not always, according to John Chigos, CEO of PlateSmart Technologies. There are multiple types of LPR systems to choose from, and not all of them would be the right fit for every installation. Some are fixed-location solutions, some are mobile, and some hinge around cloud-based hosting solutions. Chigos suggests looking for an open system that works with any camera and a system that processes images in color. Systems that can be trained and can connect into existing and created databases are additionally useful.
Innovative LPR technology can read any license plate from any state and can distinguish state jurisdictions, can be easily integrated with third-party hardware and software packages and fully scalable.