Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) has found many different uses over the 30 years since it was first developed. Its use, especially in urban areas, is more common every year.
Various aspects of traffic safety provide the main impetus to use ALPR cameras. Some privacy advocates have argued that their use violates personal privacy. In response to those charges, governments have instituted many restrictions on how they can be used, how long the operator can keep the data, and who can access it. All Adaptive Recognition (AR) cameras are in full compliance with these rules.
Here, we’ll focus on the positives. In looking at the benefits of these cameras, we’ll examine the following functions:
1. Traffic surveillance by police on the go.
2. Control of traffic speeds and violators.
3. Repeat violators are recognized anywhere.
4. Automatic red-light surveillance.
5. Automatic high-speed toll collection.
6. Recognition of vehicles involved in criminal activity.
AR has been a leader in the license plate recognition industry since 1991. They now produce a wide variety of specialized cameras and scanners to handle these functions and more. These devices can connect to special software and databases to increase their utility exponentially.
Surveillance by Police Cars on the Move
Police units on the move are uniquely positioned to view driver behavior. They’re constantly close to many other vehicles.
This positioning allows them the opportunity to spot risky moves by drivers.
Suppose they’re equipped with the capacity to quickly and automatically identify vehicles, and that capacity is linked to a database of wanted vehicles. Such a system would allow them to spot stolen vehicles or those linked to other crimes.
The MicroCAM mobile ALPR camera by Adaptive Recognition, linked to the appropriate database, gives them the ability to do exactly that.
If immediate action is called for, they can make a stop. If they’re about to stop a driver known to be dangerous, they know that and can take appropriate precautions. Or, if reporting the vehicle’s location to other authorities is best, they have all the necessary information to make a full report.
ALPR technology and the easily portable nature of the MicroCAM are a huge improvement over the time when an officer would call a plate number in. The operator in the office would look the number up in a list and report back to the officer.
By that time, the opportunity to take action might have passed. And, of course, the officer had to suspect something before they’d investigate. They’d be unlikely to suspect a vehicle was on the wanted list without the automatic identification provided by the MicroCAM ALPR camera.
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Speeders, Red-Light Violators, and Other Scoff-Laws Get Caught
Identifying speeders, red-light violators, and other dangerous drivers is a major factor in traffic safety.
Improved cars and highways make speed more comfortable. It all works well as long as everyone is traveling at about the same speed and driving smoothly.
The higher the speed, though, the smaller the disruption to smooth flow it takes to start the progression of events that can lead to an accident.
At a higher speed, the likelihood of a fatality in an accident that occurs increases exponentially.
By monitoring the speeds of individual vehicles, ALPR can identify erratic drivers so they can be ticketed. Measuring average speeds over some distance can identify speeders who slow down at known checkpoints and then speed up again. AR’s S1 camera can measure speeds from as far away as 600 m.
The S1 Portable Speed and Traffic Enforcement ALPR Camera accomplishes all this in stride. It also can catch red-light violators and identify stolen vehicles and those with out-of-date insurance.
Highway Toll Collection
ALPR provides the ability to identify vehicles at highway speeds. Thus it enables toll collection without slowing traffic. This is a great safety improvement from when vehicles had to slow to a crawl or stop to pay tolls. On a busy highway or bridge entrance, traffic could back up for many kilometers.
As vehicles traveling at normal highway speeds approached this snarl, there was usually no warning of the congestion ahead, and chain-reaction accidents sometimes occurred.
The congestion delays caused frustration and further opportunities for accidents as frustrated drivers jockeyed for position. Frustrated drivers are likely to make risky decisions – not good for traffic safety.
In addition to all that, the toll plazas tended to collect trash and become unsightly nuisances.
The Vidar ALPR camera handles the toll collection duties easily by identifying license plates at speeds up to 300 km/h. It has options to identify vehicles’ make, model, and color as well.
Toll collection with uninterrupted traffic flow is one of the major improvements in convenience and safety offered by ALPR technology.
International Database to Identify Habitual Violators
Speeders and other violators travel. They often turn up far from their home city or country. An international database of these drivers is a great help to traffic safety officials. A huge database is necessary to provide this assistance.
The GDS software, developed by AR, can be connected to virtually unlimited data storage capacity. Linked to ALPR cameras as a middleware application, it processes data and retrieves it. Its capacity is limited only by the storage connected to it.
So, if a speeding driver from Copenhagen shows up in Budapest, his record follows him.
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ALPR to Identify Stolen or Other Wanted Vehicles
Most countries have built databases of stolen vehicles or those involved in other crimes.
ALPR cameras can be connected to these databases and set to identify those vehicles automatically.
In our earlier mention of mobile police operations, we saw this in action. When a wanted vehicle crosses international borders, the aforementioned GDS application comes into play.
These are a few examples of how ALPR cameras work to make city life safer and pleasanter. Many companies also employ ALPR technology in countless ways to streamline their operations and simplify their customers’ lives.
To see examples of other applications and discuss your unique vehicle or personal identification need, visit Adaptive Recognition’s website. Each page includes a contact link so you can get answers to your questions or discuss how AR can address your application.