Traffic & transportation

April 16, 2021

ANPR Cameras Revealed: What Are They Watching, and What Are They Good For?

An ANPR camera is a mass surveillance device that performs optical character recognition on images to read license plates, inform the police, and prevent criminal activities. These advanced cameras are used in supply chain management, smart cities, and other areas where vehicular tracking is required. Moreover, ANPR cameras can automate access control systems, provide better security, prevent car theft, and make traffic management efficient.

What Is an ANPR Camera?

Most people don’t know, and we are here to provide you with an easy-to-understand explanation. ANPR stands for Automatic Number Plate Recognition. It’s a robust security device that relies on quality images and robust software that can perform various functions we will mention later in the blog post.

Adaptive Recognition is a leader in the ANPR software industry. Their purpose-made camera, Vidar, is a giant leap in traffic flow security because it can pull driver details from the number plate and index them in the backend data. The main purpose of these cameras is number plate recognition, a specialized functionality you can’t get with a conventional camera. They need to take clear images at any time of the day and at any speed up to 300 km/h.

Benefits of ANPR Cameras

ANPR cameras are the most advanced cameras in the market. They can perform various functions, like reading number plates and identifying the make and model of cars regardless of how fast or slow their speed is. Moreover, an ANPR camera can also identify the vehicle’s color. Besides, it sends the ANPR and make-n-model data to a central server, verifying the toll payment verification. Sometimes, manufacturers calibrate these cameras only to count cars to predict traffic jams and control the traffic flow.

1. 24/7 Monitoring

Unlike most car park barrier systems, an automatic number plate recognition camera is your best bet to track entering and exiting vehicles at the car park. Moreover, these cameras are active 24/7, and they record every detail of the scene. Therefore, you won’t be leaving your car park insecure even for a second. If there is an incident in your car park at late hours, an ANPR camera can record the scene, and you can pull driver information via their number plate.

2. Efficient Security at an Affordable Rate

Manned guards are excellent to control any criminal situation in your car park, but human error can sometimes become troublesome. Guards are efficient in the daytime, but they need breaks and cannot concentrate at the same level during an 8 to 12-hour shift. Moreover, it’s comparatively expensive to hire a person to secure your car park when you can do it at a lower cost with an ANPR camera. Your guard can benefit from a digital ally so they can supervise multiple sites. This significantly improves the efficiency of available resources.

3.   Complete Automation and Full Visibility

ANPR cameras allow complete automation at the entry and exit points of your vicinity and control the incoming traffic flow. Company employees registered in the company database are allowed swift access through electronic barriers once the ANPR camera pulls their information. So, how does this work? Let’s take an example of the advanced ANPR camera: Vidar by Adaptive Recognition. It sends signals directly to the gate/barrier. As a result, you won’t depend on any third-party software or hardware anymore. You can use the camera as a stand-alone gate controller to store an authorized and non-authorized list of license plates stored onboard.

However, people with less frequent visits must stop at the entry point and can go through the barrier once the guard presses a button in the control room. These entry and exit methods secure your location and provide complete visibility entering and leaving your car park.

Smart City Traffic During Night Monitored by ANPR Cameras
ANPR Cameras Revealed: What Are They Watching, and What Are They Good For?

Smart City and ANPR Cameras

Smart City projects can significantly benefit from ANPR cameras as these cameras remove the need for human intervention. Here are four ways ANPR cameras can improve security and help in smart city development.

1. Restricted Access Control

ANPR cameras are efficient in tracking cars and pulling their records, but they have other use cases as well. For instance, an ANPR camera can detect and enforce vehicles entering the low emission zones (LEZ) 24/7. With a vehicle processing rate nearing 100%, they offer a terrific value of money. In case a vehicle violates programmed permissions, the ANPR camera will inform law enforcement and share all relevant vehicle details with them.

2. Crucial For Law Enforcement

ANPR cameras can ease the job of law enforcement by tracking and analyzing number plates. When a car crosses an ANPR camera, it compares the car’s data against its number plate. Then the camera informs law enforcement if the vehicle is wanted for any of the following reasons: previous criminal activity (e.g., vehicle theft, carjacking), speeding (e.g., in a school zone), or any traffic violation (e.g., driving under the influence)

Moreover, a purpose-made ANPR camera might be integrated with the law enforcement server to track vehicles of interest. These cameras pull number plate information and take adequate images in any light condition of the vehicle and its driver, making them efficient in a manhunt.

3. Toll Automation

Toll stations are notorious for causing traffic jams and highway accidents. Even if an efficient staff consistently monitors the toll station, the threat is still there when the driver has pulled over to receive a ticket against their payment. Sometimes, it becomes agonizing when the ticket doesn’t come out. ANPR can also serve the purpose of a traffic monitoring camera that mitigates accidents and traffic jams by reading license plates and generating a toll ticket. If ANPR cameras are connected with online payments, drivers can pay for their toll tickets without stopping, reducing traffic jams.

4. ANPR in Logistics

ANPR cameras can reduce transportation and logistics companies’ costs through their robust and innovative number plate reading technology. The ANPR camera installed at the exit point can record the departure time for a transport van and ping the transport company once their delivery reaches its destination. This innovation can remove the need for calling and confirming the delivery status for B2B logistics companies. However, if ANPR technology is widely accepted, it might make B2C deliveries simpler.