A license plate says a lot about a driver and this isn’t referring to vanity plates or some kind of secret meaning hidden in letters and numbers. No, license plates are tied to a certain vehicle and identity. A simple license plate can tell someone if the person driving a vehicle is dangerous, if there are outstanding tickets, or if the vehicle is stolen.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons this technology may come in handy and readers may already be thinking of some now. However, there are other uses which may not be immediately obvious to everyone. This article will outline the technology behind license plate recognition systems and the industries that could use this technology on a day-to-day basis.
What Are License Plate Recognition Systems?
People who have ever driven past a police cruiser on the road have likely seen one of the officers in the vehicle using a laptop. This laptop can serve many purposes but one of the most common uses is to search the license plates of vehicles. Typically, this information is entered manually.
Automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) is an advanced technology that uses cameras and lighting to capture and analyze license plates on vehicles without manual input from a user. The information about the person who has registered that license plate is then displayed for easy viewing.
How can ALPR be used in different industries to make jobs more efficient and safer? Here are a few examples.
ALPR For Law Enforcement Officers
The most obvious use for license plate recognition systems would be in law enforcement. Officers have to deal with all members of the public and being able to search a license plate is a valuable tool to have before engaging with anyone. Best of all, this can be done automatically with license plate recognition systems.
There is a huge safety benefit to using ALPR for law enforcement. For starters, officers no longer have to manually enter information and take their eyes off the road or off the vehicle they are engaging with. This also allows officers to be more aware of the people they are dealing with which is important since traffic stops are one of the most dangerous situations for police officers.
Secondly, there is an efficiency aspect to it all. If license plate information is being provided automatically then it would stand to reason that officers can check more license plates and, ultimately, be more efficient with their time while staying focused on the situation in front of them.
For law enforcement, being aware of their surroundings at all times and having important information provided to them automatically is key to doing their jobs safely and effectively. ALPR provides these benefits for officers.
Speed Up Toll Lanes and Collect More Efficiently
Of course, not everyone driving a vehicle is a threat to society. There are plenty of reasons to use license plate recognition systems that don’t involve lawbreakers. One great example of this is for toll service booths. Some toll booths may see hundreds of cars throughout the day. As people pay, this can slow down the flow of the lane, causing delays and frustration.
Some toll roads have introduced ALPR to help speed up wait times and offer a smooth experience for travelers. Drivers can set up pre-payment for their tolls using a credit card and then use dedicated travel lanes that don’t require them to stop and pay with cash, credit, or a pre-loaded card. This offers a better experience for drivers who can be frustrated with the challenges of toll roads and a more efficient way of doing business for toll operators. In addition, ALPR will capture the plates of those who do not pay while attempting to use the toll road and tickets can be mailed accordingly.
Better Management of Parking
In some cities, parking comes at a premium. Losing parking spaces to people who don’t pay can be frustrating for those that do pay and a major hit to the bottom line for parking lot owners. A license plate recognition camera can allow for better, more efficient management of parking lots and parking structures.
There are a few ways that a license plate recognition camera could be used in a parking scenario. For parking lots where all spaces are reserved, these cameras can be used to ensure that only paying customers are entering the lot. If a discrepancy is noticed, parking authorities can act quickly.
For lots that are used on a per day or per hour basis, ALPR can be used to quickly scan parked vehicles and monitor which ones are paid up and which ones are staying beyond the amount of time they have paid for. Parking authorities that manage multiple lots or structures can greatly benefit from this very efficient way of monitoring vehicles.
Improving Safety and Efficiency with a License Plate Recognition Camera
From working with the public, like a law enforcement office would, or managing a toll booth, ALPR is a valuable tool that can improve safety and efficiency.
To learn more about these cameras and the exceptional technology packed inside, please contact CDS Office Technologies today.