As technology continues to evolve, offering Smart Technologies for safety, security, and legal purposes, license plate readers are becoming increasingly commonplace. Whether you live in a large metropolitan area or if you have recently noticed a newly installed licensed plate reader in your rural town, you may be curious about the information that is being collected.
What is a License Plate Reader?
A License Plate Reader sometimes referred to as an LPR, is a digital camera and reader designed to provide both surveillance and protection, depending on the type of LPR used. LPR cameras can be used to both recognize specific license plates and/or capture information from a particular vehicle that is passing by or violating the law (such as when speeding).
An LPN can be used to capture license plate information in real-time, immediately providing analysis regarding the owner, make, and model of the vehicle. In some cases, it is also possible to immediately pull information such as traffic violations and other potential crimes that are linked to any vehicle or license plate that has been scanned.
How Do LPR Cameras Work?
A License Plate Reader camera utilizes a specialized form of software that is designed to collect, store, and organize license plate data in an easily searchable, digestible, and succinct manner. With the right LPR software in place, access and monitor license plate information as you receive it in real time. You can also manage license plate information remotely and with the use of access keys, allowing only those with proper clearance to manage and oversee what your LPR cameras capture and record.
What is an ANPR Camera?
An ANPR, or an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system, is used to automatically read vehicle plate numbers without the need for in-person monitoring. ANPR technology is designed to provide additional layers of protection and security for local residents, police forces, and security companies. ANPR applications and technologies are currently being used in the following ways:
- Traffic Management: Monitor the flow of traffic with ANPR technology, allowing you valuable insight into which routes are clogged and can be reworked.
- Tolls: Handle all access points and tolls from one central location while also capturing license plates as they pass through each toll.
- Car Park Management: Manage the car parking situations throughout your town or city. This feature is optimal for those living in larger cities or metropolitan areas. As traffic becomes clogged (especially during times such as rush hour), use an integrated system to reroute drivers to find parking without causing additional backups and/or congestion.
- Journey Time Analysis: Take advantage of built-in Journey Time Analysis to determine the smoothest routes throughout your city automatically. Track traffic based on certain times of day and create secondary routes for the busiest times of your city’s day, such as during rush hour (in the morning and evening).
- Intelligent Transport Systems: With ANPR cameras and technologies, you have the ability to integrate Intelligent Transport Systems with your public transportation system that is also in existence. Integrating an Intelligent Transport System removes the guesswork from managing your transport system while providing solutions that are much more streamlined and optimized for the amount of traffic each transportation line receives each day.
What Information Does a License Plate Reader Gather?
Depending on the smart technologies and systems you have in place, license plate readers can gather a range of information (at minimum), such as:
- License plate number
- Who the license plate/vehicle is registered with
- What type of vehicle that the license plate should be placed on
- The time, date, and location of the vehicle when it was originally scanned (along with which cameras were used to scan the vehicle)
This information may provide anyone who is looking into the data with further details regarding recent accidents or traffic violations you have received, depending on the license plate reader setup in use.
Note: It is important to keep in mind that information gathered by local authorities, governments, and even private companies will vary based on your current location. While some countries permit the capture of an individual’s vehicle and personal data, others may be more stringent when it comes to what exact data is collected and for what purpose.
It is also important to remember that advanced licensed plate readers also have technologies that allow them to bundle license plates that appear similar to any “plates of interest” automatically for crime-solving purposes. If a plate appears similar to a plate of interest due to a stolen car, traffic violation, or even a watchlist, it may be captured and reported automatically with a license plate reading solution.
What Are the Benefits of License Plate Readers?
License plate readers and ANPR camera technologies can be extremely beneficial for law enforcement, property owners, and even business owners. The software and cameras used can help with the following:
- Reduce crime: Criminals are significantly less likely to target a property, individual, or location if they know they are being recorded.
- Increased security: Monitor the happenings of a particular area with real-time cameras that are also able to capture useful data whenever necessary.
- Learn traffic patterns: Gain valuable insight into the traffic patterns throughout your town or city. Discover which areas are more prone to crime to find suitable solutions based on the type of crime being committed.
- Assist law enforcement: Tracking license plates and traffic violations can also assist local law enforcement.
Familiarizing yourself with ANPR cameras, license plate readers, and their purposes can help you to better understand why a camera system might be installed in your local town or city. With the proper license plate-reading system in place, minimize the risk of traffic crimes and violations while also creating a safer environment for all.
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