License Plate Recognition (LPR) Systems capture, process and enhance the quality of license plate images of passing vehicles. These images are then interpreted using firmware containing Optical Character Recognition based pattern identification algorithms. Also commonly known as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Systems, these digital character reading systems have been benefiting various industries. While the LPR market value was reported to be $3.1 billion in 2022, it is expected to increase at a CAGR of 9.2%, reaching a market value of $4.8 billion in 2027 [MarketsandMarkets].
Applications of LPR Systems
Let us go through a few applications of this transformative technology:
Toll and Transportation
Many Highway and Road Transportation authorities across the globe are being catered by license plate recognition camera systems for vehicle movement tracking as well as monitoring and analyzing traffic flow. This helps them in identifying congestion points in order to implement better traffic management techniques and strategies, while reducing bottlenecks and providing drivers and passengers an optimized traffic experience.
Nowadays, these systems are integrated in many parking facilities for seamless automated entry and exit processes, such as in garages and parking lots. This helps organizations to save on employee based investments and reduce their environmental footprint through ticketless parking. Moreover, management of occupancy in widely spread parking lots is made significantly efficient using these systems.
Using this technology, toll collection processes in many parts of the world have been completely automated. For example, electronic toll collection systems in Australia that accept temporary pass launch and tags for payment with respect to vehicle type and distance covered, without much ado. Meanwhile, since LPR systems are able to scan license plates and identify such information, tolls need not necessarily require the presence of attendants or even physical booths, thus reducing traffic congestion to a great extent and increasing toll collection efficiency.
During immigration, movement of vehicles across checkpoints are monitored and managed using a license plate recognition system placed at entry points. Not only does this help immigration authorities in streamlining this process, but any vehicle of particular interest or importance can be identified, thus improving overall security of the region.
This technology is instrumental for strengthening border security as well. Number plates of suspicious or stolen vehicles crossing the border towards or away from the country can be scanned. These can be cross-referenced with Criminal Bureau databases and their route taken can be tracked. Such interception eliminates the risk of unauthorized border crossings.
As mentioned earlier, these enhanced OCR solutions aid in border security and control, yet another important application of ANPR systems is their vital role in enhancing and maintaining public safety within a particular country by integrating with criminals or vehicles databases available on Security Forces domains. A quick automated skim through databases with reference to scanned number plates of stolen or suspicious vehicles, allows local police authorities to solve crimes with quicker response time to amber alerts, improvised apprehension rates and crime prevention.
Another common application of LPR systems is maintaining road safety by identifying vehicles that do not follow traffic regulations, for example, wrong lane detection, red light violation, overspeeding, revoked or expired vehicle licenses, pending warrants, outstanding fines etc.
Many important areas with restricted access utilize these OCR services offered by security monitoring businesses. Such an infrastructure can recognize and track vehicles that enter or exit the premises, thus minimizing unauthorized means of access to these areas. LPR systems are perfectly capable of monitoring large scale event venues such as convention centers, stadiums and auditoriums against traffic and parking congestion as well as security challenges.
Due to surging digitization, facets of online shopping are increasing day by day. One of many such features includes curbside pick up facility, often seen in take away restaurants, drive thru grocery shops and even retailer outlets. These facilities allow customers to pick the products or food that they ordered online at their time of convenience from a specified location, instead of waiting in huge queues at the stores.
LPR systems expertly scan, capture, process, enhance and recognize customer’s vehicle registered for picking up the material, therefore streamlining operations at restaurant and other such businesses and providing a hassle free delivery experience.
These systems are also used by retailers to validate and manage customer parking outside their retail stores or shopping centers, on the basis of their scanned number plates. This aids in a better shopping experience and subsequently customer loyalty.
Traffic Congestion Reporting
Some well developed cities deploy traffic flow analysis, traffic congestion reporting and subsequent congestion pricing strategy in which vehicles getting into restricted regions are monitored using ANPR systems and charged during peak hours or diverted towards free routes accordingly. This results in reduced traffic, improves overall air quality as well as provides development revenue for projects under efficient urban planning.
A magnificent utilization of LPR systems is pollution mitigation initiatives and environmental monitoring, where vehicles are tracked for their emissions and the overall impact of traffic congestion on the surrounding air quality can be analyzed, helping authorities to initiate effective and informed decision making regarding the same.
Traffic flow analysis using LPR systems for urban planning
Benefits of LPR Systems
Moving forward, let us briefly look at how license plate recognition systems can benefit us.
We came to know through this blog that LPR systems offer enhanced security at borders, premises, retail stores and large event centers by integrating with security force databases and monitoring number plates of unauthorized, stolen or suspicious vehicles and individuals. This reduces overall law enforcement response time, investigation and even prevention of crimes.
All in all, operational efficiencies increase with streamlined processes, for example, toll collection management, parking management, data-driven traffic management, road network optimization, etc, without considerable investments in labor or physical collection booths. Also, these systems reinforce well-structured urban planning by generating revenue through congestion pricing and traffic flow analysis with respect to environmental pollution and air quality related decision making.
We also comprehended usage of these systems in road safety management through lane detection, traffic rule violation detection, expired license detection, outstanding penalties and much more. And finally we realized how these systems assisted retail stores, delivery agencies, restaurants and other drive thru facilities in providing better customer service in terms of curbside pickups and parking validation.
Experience Feature-Rich LPR with KritiKal
KritiKal Solutions is one of the most reliable license plate recognition companies that has previously catered to SMBs and Fortune500 companies and helped them in achieving unparalleled success. We have also assisted some major transportation companies and authorities in transforming their businesses via LPR systems bundled with utmost secured infrastructure and firmware.
We hold expertise in automatic traffic video processing, vehicle flow report generation, speed and time of entering and exiting vehicles, traffic congestion analysis for urban planning and much more. Please call us or mail us at email@example.com to avail our services.
It will be rightly fair to conclude by stating that license plate recognition systems benefit the society in a variety of ways. A well planned approach of establishing LPR infrastructure in the region of interest poses humongous potential for the deploying party. Not only these systems keep local premises, shopping and event centers secured, but also assist in international border security and swift immigration. Moreover, these also analyze environmental data from traffic congestions and help in effective urban planning, thus, ramping up the growth of the society.
Buddha Suchith currently holds the position of Senior Software Engineer at KritiKal Solutions. He has extensive experience in the Computer Vision domain and has been involved in multiple end to end computer vision based real time and POC projects using Python and C++ as main technologies. With his passion towards vision solutions and research, he has helped KritiKal in timely delivery of these projects to major SMBs and Fortune500 companies.