What are License Plate Reader Cameras?
Automatic License Plate Reader (ALPR) cameras, also known as Automatic Number Plate Reader (ANPR) cameras in some regions, are video surveillance systems equipped with specialized cameras and software that can automatically capture, read, and analyze license plates on vehicles.
The captured data, including license plate numbers, images, and timestamps. These cameras are often used for various purposes, including law enforcement, parking management, toll collection, traffic monitoring, and security applications.
How Do ALPR camera systems work?
ALPR cameras utilize a combination of optics, image processing, and character recognition technology to accomplish their tasks.
Here’s a simplified breakdown of how they work:
Camera Capture and Processing
ALPR cameras use high-resolution cameras to capture images of vehicles and their license plates. The images captured by the ALPR cameras are then processed by specialized software which uses various image processing techniques to enhance the visibility of the license plates, even in challenging lighting and weather conditions.
License Plate Recognition
The software uses optical character recognition (OCR) algorithms to identify and extract the alphanumeric characters from the license plate image. The extracted characters are then used to form the license plate data.
The recognized license plate data is compared against a database of known license plate numbers. This database can include lists of stolen vehicles, vehicles of interest, parking permit holders, or any other relevant information.
Alerts and Actions
Based on the license plate data, the system can generate alerts or trigger specific actions. For instance, if a stolen vehicle is detected, the system might alert law enforcement in real-time, allowing them to take appropriate action.
Similarly, in parking management scenarios, the system might allow or deny access based on whether the vehicle is authorized to park in a certain area.
LPR camera systems can be paired with DVRs or NVRs based on whether they are analog or IP cameras, to record and store information. IP cameras are the latest in surveillance cameras transferring data wirelessly.