Everything You Need to Know About ALPR

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Role of ALPR
Image Source: Pexels

It is not a myth anymore that our life is tracked – at every point. With the advancement of technology, tracking our day-to-day activities has become simpler – and more advanced, in some ways. Starting from our sleeping patterns, and eating patterns to even our travel patterns can now be tracked. One such method of tracking travel patterns is using ALPR – or Automatic License Plate Recognition.

 The technology involved here is the use of cameras, recording systems, OCRs, and cloud servers which enable capturing the photograph of the license plate of the vehicle and storing the same in a database. Moreover, the location of the vehicle, when last sighted is also captured, along with the date and time. The central server also contains the data of the passengers and drivers, if visible in the camera.

Now, we might be wondering what are the various details that our vehicles’ plate numbers can give. Let us find out!

Key details that ALPR can provide:

Numerous details can be mined, using the ALPR:

  1. The location of the vehicle in the past can be tracked using the license number of the vehicle.
  2. Crime scene vehicle identification and tracking are simplified as the location history of the vehicle can determine if the vehicle was present at the crime scene.
  3. The travel patterns of the driver can be determined and if there is anything suspicious – a red flag can be raised right away.
  4. Keeping track of the drivers who have a history of visiting sensitive places – thus ensuring social safety in case of anarchy.

Role of AI in ALPR

The current system of ALPR leverages OCR technology. OCR derives from image recognition powered by artificial intelligence, helping improve the accuracy of ALPR. For license plates that are difficult to read, an accurate ALPR system with highly advanced AI plays a major role in deciphering them – thus capturing the right image.

The major benefit of ALPR is better detection of the license plates at a faster rate – whilst maintaining reliability and accuracy. Traffic data processing is often critical – when there is a wide collection of vehicles – but with the latest technological advancements, this task has become simplified as well.

If you are interested in knowing more on automatic license plate recognition, you might read further as we are delving into the working of an ALPR.

How does an ALPR function effectively?

The effective functioning of the ALPR depends on the type of camera being used. There are two types of ALPR cameras available: stationary and mobile ALPR cameras. Often multiple stationary cameras are used as they give a deeper understanding of the location and the speed of the car. Mobile ALPR cameras often have a police patrol vehicle carrying them. They are fixed on top of the vehicles – as it allows the enforcement officers to collect data during their patrol. They can capture the details of both moving vehicles and parked ones.

As the ALPR data is captured, the next step is storing this data. The data is stored in the ALPR database – for as long as 5 years. The data is stored in public as well as private databases of corporate firms. Often, regional sharing of data is promoted between the police departments for better visibility.

As the data is available, the police departments upload a hotlist of number plates – of vehicles that could be stolen or have a warrant against them. These are further matched based on complex algorithms post which, they are tracked down.

https://www.sentiveillance.com talks about the different kinds of algorithms which the ALPR databases apply for the effective detection of vehicles. Thus, with the help of advanced technology and reliable datasets –traffic tracking is further doubled down.