Today’s technological advancements are extremely helpful in areas like security and law enforcement. Modern cities are under surveillance. Traffic control systems are being developed and face recognition software is implemented for identifying criminals or terrorists. Lots of hardware is also spread across cities to scan things like automotive number plates or radio frequency identification tags.
Before the existence of these technologies, preventative measures like punishing drivers that violate laws or locating a criminal was way harder. However, now everything we do on the road is most likely caught on camera. This is important for our safety because for example speeding endangers anyone and regulating traffic is crucial for its avoidance.
Keeping drivers and pedestrians safe is a solid reason for governments to apply every measure needed to the infrastructure to keep dangerous driving behavior to a minimum and punish violators before it becomes a part of tragic statistics.
Automatic number plate recognition is one of these measures that has been in place in many cities and highways for quite a long time now. That’s an image-processing technology used to identify vehicles by their license plates, as the name suggests. The detection consists of three main steps: motion detection, number plate detection, and number plate tracking.
ANPR software has a number of benefits. In this article, we are going to have a look at some of them, as well as some challenges it faces and discuss why technology is good for our safety.
Why We Need ANPR
Let’s list some of the applications and advantages of automatic number plate recognition:
Starting off with the most important one. Number plate recognition is deterrent for serial traffic offenders. The software helps with reactive security as well, which includes inspections, forensics, investigations, and legal proceedings. No matter from the perspective you look at it, automatic license plate recognition seems like a necessity for ensuring our safety on the road. In fact, it could also be particularly useful when it comes to detecting stolen vehicles.
Monitoring and Surveillance
Automatic number plate recognition software eliminates the tedious process of manually recording numbers. When a car speeds by, for instance, it’s usually impossible for a person to spot the exact registration number. However, automatic number plate recognition software record the numbers in real-time, which gives a clear view of traffic insights as well.
This improved surveillance leads us to the next benefit:
Less Manned Surveillance
In many people’s opinion, this is a disadvantage, as the importance of manned surveillance is reduced. However, that’s not completely true. The traffic personnel that used to stay on the streets, which is rather dangerous, can now remotely work with all the information provided by the automatic license number recognition software in a safe environment and be way more efficient.
Keep in mind that the accuracy this system provides is very high, avoiding any human error.
Still and Video Footage
Most automatic number plate recognition software have both still and video footage. Some of them are specially designed to take snapshots when a vehicle speeds, passes on a red light or takes a wrong turn. The recording is stable under different camera positions and angles and different weather conditions as well.
Video footage can also help traffic departments and assists legal counsel. Furthermore, the ANPR cameras are also used for Traffic management systems and they recognize the guest vehicles in order to assist visitor management systems.
Toll Gate Vehicle Access
On toll roads, ANPR systems could be used to allow cars to pass through gates without stopping. By recording the plate of the car and associates the number with its owner. That way the bill could be send later on by mail.
An ANPR software could be very useful for gated locations or paid parking lots as well. When a vehicle previously recorded in a database approaches a security gate, the system recognizes the license plate, and the gate opens automatically. This allows the driver to pass without interruption saving their precious time and eliminates the possibility of an entrance code being stolen.
Challenges That ANPR Software Faces
Any emerging technology faces difficulties. There are still various problems with automatic number plate recognition systems. The most common challenge they face is the non-uniformity of license plate number models for different cities and countries. Their length may also vary. That’s why the ANPR software must be customized to the specific place it’s being used in.
Developers now work on easily customized software for number recognition that provides high-quality footage and extreme accuracy. This would make the ANPR application suitable for every country in the world. Most of the challenges that first came up with the idea of automatic ANPR are now overcome and the only thing that should be taken care of is the protection of the collected data.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition Software: A Step Closer To Safer Roadways
ANPR is an internationally recognized methodology that is used in vehicle identification. A core principle of our modern society is not to invade people’s privacy and gather information about citizens activities unless they are doing something illegal.
Despite all privacy concerns, number plate recognition software isn’t doing any of that. The only purpose of the data it collects is to help people feel more secure while they’re on the road and punish violence.
More cities are developing traffic control systems to help monitor the movement and flow of vehicles around the road network. For this purpose, advanced ANPR software has become a necessity.