The site of roads with a limited number of cars has become history. The streets are always bustling, with countless vehicles moving out or into a car park. In the UK, most car parks are privately owned; thus, they compete to provide better services and experiences to their customers. Still, we require better infrastructure and advanced technology due to insufficient parking space to accommodate a maximum number of vehicles. Many technologies have been developed worldwide, but the one renowned technology that has done wonders in the parking industry has to be ANPR.
Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology has become common in modern car parks. It is the finest technology as it enhances road safety through better law enforcement and ensures the protection of pedestrians and motorists everywhere. It reads the vehicle’s registration number (VRN), which helps identify and prevent criminal offences, parking misconduct, etc.
Several authorities and car park owners use ANPR-integrated cameras to capture pictures and videos of the vehicle number plate. The licence plate is detected and analysed from the images using computer vision methods such as object detection. Then, using different image processing techniques, the vehicle details are determined.
This technology has numerous applications, from parking management to law enforcement, and has proven to improve safety, security, and efficiency in car parks. In this blog, we’ll explore how ANPR technology works in a car park.
ANPR-Integrated Parking Management System
The ANPR parking management system is essential for car park management since it records real-time vehicle movement and tracks unauthorised vehicles. With the real-time update, it helps in identifying the violators or any mishaps and taking immediate action. The technology has made it easier for car park owners to properly manage their space and increase security against offenders by linking it with CCTV cameras, access control, and parking kiosks. It works in the following ways to manage a car park effectively:
- ANPR Camera Placement
One of the most critical steps in implementing ANPR technology in a car park is determining the place for the cameras. The location and the number of cameras should be based on the size of the car park and the area from where optimum data can be obtained. Generally, cameras are installed at the entrance and exit gates and in locations that capture a wide range of the car park. The cameras must be positioned at such angles and places so that they can capture clear images and videos of the vehicle number plate.
- ANPR Camera Operation
After the complete installation of cameras, they start capturing images of the vehicles entering and exiting the car park. The vehicle’s number plate is detected and analysed from the pictures using different computer vision methods such as image classification or object detection. Once the number plate is recognised, it is cropped and enhanced. The ANPR cameras use a combination of optical character recognition (OCR) technology and pattern recognition algorithms to read all the characters from the licence plate. The ANPR software extracts the alphanumeric characters through a process called image segmentation.
- ANPR Software
The extracted characters are then passed to the ANPR software to determine the registration number. The software uses pattern recognition algorithms to determine the number plate details. The software uses a database where all the information on known number plates is stored to compare the extracted characters to existing ones. If the software finds a match, it can perform various actions on the recognised motorist, such as granting or denying access, generating parking tickets, or alerting security personnel of suspicious activity.
- ANPR Database
The database is a crucial element of the ANPR system as it contains all the information regarding known, allowed and blocked number plates and their associated details, such as vehicle model, colour, owner details, and any associated tickets or warrants. The database can be integrated with other systems, such as parking kiosks, so motorists can quickly pay for the parking receipt. It is beneficial for the car park owner and users as it reduces manual interference.
- ANPR Integration
The ANPR technology is a versatile tool as it can be integrated with various systems that enhance its functionality. ANPR, when incorporated with another system, can be really beneficial as it improves the efficiency as well as the safety and security of the car park.
For example, ANPR can be integrated with parking payment terminals to make the parking process automatic. When a vehicle enters the car park, the ANPR system will read the number plate and record the entry time. When the vehicle exits the car park, the ANPR system will read the number plate again and calculate the parking fee based on the duration of stay. Then either the person can pay the amount while leaving the car park, or the fee will be charged to the driver’s account or the registered payment method.
If ANPR is integrated with the security system, it can help prevent any violation and send alert notifications to the security personnel to take necessary real-time action.
Benefits of ANPR Technology
ANPR technology has become renowned worldwide because it offers numerous benefits for car park owners and users. The primary advantages include improved safety & security by identifying suspicious activity in real-time and alerting security personnel, which can help prevent crime and enhance public safety. It has reduced the requirement of the workforce and the need for manual intervention by automating the parking process, which saves time and money for car park operators. Additionally, ANPR technology can improve the efficiency of the car park and overall user experience by reducing the time and hassle associated with parking.
ANPR technology is a powerful tool for managing car parks. The majority of car park owners are shifting towards ANPR to avail its benefits. It is accurate, versatile, automatic, convenient, cost-efficient, and has environmental benefits. If your car park doesn’t have ANPR-integrated systems, don’t worry; we are at your rescue. Reach out to Euro Parking Services for the best parking management and enforcement services. We provide our services across several cities in the UK, such as Birmingham, London, Manchester, etc.
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