License plate Recognition (LPR) is the capacity to capture photographic video or images from license plates and transform the optical data into digital information in real-time.
Also known as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), LPR is a widely used technology for vehicle management operations such as Ticketless Parking (off-street and on-street), Tolling, ITS, stolen vehicles detection, smart billing and many other applications in Europe and becoming a trend in the Americas.
By bringing the license plate digital information (among other data such as vehicle's direction and speed) to the mix, License Plate Recognition allows operators to immediately gather and associate more data about every vehicle passing a control point:
Thanks to License plate Recognition, operators have developed pretty "futuristic" solutions:
Imagine to be automatically billed at a tolling without slowing down, or parking in a mall without stopping at barriers to get in / out or at cashiers to pay; amazing? how about this: imagine a city that "knows" where every stolen or reported vehicle is, at any time.
Once the camera has captured the license plate image, the camera firmware uses specialized OCR routines to translate it into digital (machine-readable) characters.
But License Plates are (very) different from each other; the characters don't look the same, not even close!
So LPR is about knowing each possible plate variation and reading the characters according to many regional modifications, the algorithm needs to know "what to expect".
Although it may seem instantaneous (We at survision do it all in less than 20ms), License Plate Recognition is a 4 stage process; the first 2 are standard OCR, but the complicated part that makes LPR different than regular OCR comes at phase 3 and 4.
Building a License Plate recognition algorithm to understand all license plates is hard work: special characteristics of each region (country or state) must be considered for a proper final verdict; we do have to analyze every type of license plate available in the world and integrate their particularities into our algorithm.
To make License Plate Recognition a reliable solution, we should get as close as we can to the 100% success rate (accurate readings) in real-time; such achievement is beyond human programming capabilities:
Imagine perfectly and immediately recognizing every plate from every country in every angle possible...
New advances in Neural Network engines allow us to help our system learn from every plate it reads; we use tons of previous readings to feed our cameras and provide them with "experience," which makes them "wiser" and, therefore, more precise.
The more readings we make, the more chance we can correctly read the license plate, helping us get closer to 100% accuracy.
The License Plate data gathered in License Plate Recognition is being employed for a vast range of applications allowing companies and governments to make more intelligent and effective policies, provide better customer service and reduce air pollution at the same time.
The success of LPR lies in the fact that it brings benefits to both companies and their customers: Companies reduce costs and increase revenues while improving customers' experience thanks to a faster, frictionless, touchless parking service.
License Plate Recognition is THE cost-effective solution! It’s easy to understand, let´s compare:
LPR is also a perfect solution when dealing with the new normality distances and touchless sanitary regulations.
Medium range outdoor ultra-compact high quality LPR camera.
Compact and versatile LPR Camera for ground or in-barrier installation for Parking, Access Control and Toll lanes
Mobile mounting for Security and on-street parking LPR Camera
Our most powerful LPR Camera. Pole or gantry installation for ITS and Free-Flow Tolling