What is automatic number plate recognition (ANPR)?
ANPR stands for Automatic Number Plate Recognition and in the USA the term ALPR is often used (Automatic License Plate Recognition).
ANPR software works by firstly locating the number plate on a vehicle, using automatic number plate recognition cameras, which it then attempts to read and interpret. The ANPR software will then create a log of all plates read along with associated information such as date, time and GPS location.
ANPR Systems can not only read a plate, but having interpreted it the software can usually look up the plate in a database and display information about the vehicle or driver on an operator's screen and instantaneous warnings can be given for any vehicles of interest.
ANPR can therefore be used in Traffic, Security and Access Control applications. Police and Customs users will use the technology to check every vehicle passing a particular point.
Often ANPR systems will be standalone i.e. one computer in a guard hut connected to one or two automatic number plate recognition cameras but there is often a need to build expandable, fully integrated ANPR systems spanning a wide geographical area.