Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology that processes images using number plate to identify vehicles. The system initially detects the vehicle and then captures front and rear images of the vehicle. The Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) was first developed in the U.K. at the Police Scientific Development Branch back in 1976. Over the course of time, it has garnered a lot of attention owing to the advent of advanced digital cameras, technological upgrades, and robust increase in the computational capacity. ANPR can be used for many purposes – from speed enforcement to management of parking lots. Over the recent past, it has been increasingly used to identify and prevent a broad range of criminal activities and to ensure robust security measures are in place in highly restricted areas such as military zones and government offices.
Automatic number plate recognition chiefly utilizes optical character recognition on images to accurately read registration plates of vehicles to generate location data of specific vehicles. It uses existing CCTV cameras, traffic regulation enforcement cameras, or specific digital cameras that have been designed for this purpose. It is also used for toll collection on roads that have a pay-per-use policy and as a technique to catalogue traffic movements in highly congested areas or highways. ANPR has been termed as a mass surveillance technique and increasing use of ANPR for security and surveillance purposes has boosted its demand from traffic departments, law enforcement agencies, and in automated parking lots. According to a current analysis by Emergen Research, the global Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) System market valuation is expected to reach USD 4,899.0 Million in 2028 and register a CAGR of 9.5% during the forecast period.
The Workings of ANPR Software
There are three key steps through which the ANPR system works:
- Vehicle Motion Detection and Image Capturing
ANPR system contains a digital camera at the front end of the system that takes images of the license of number plates. The camera is a vital aspect of the image recognition process as it ensures the captured images are optimal and clear enough for ANPR applications. Cameras specifically designed for ANPR give the best results in the ANPR system.
- Image Processing and ANPR
ANPR software’s main purpose is to read the text on the number plate and identify the type of plate from the set of captured vehicle images. Automated recognition comprises numerous steps such as image normalization, image enhancement, detection of vehicle in the captured images, and then finding the number plate in the image. In the final step, optical character recognition algorithm that effectively recognizes the individual characteristics and transforms them into readable digital text data.
- ANPR Data Record and End-Use Purpose
ANPR software stores the images captured by the cameras and the digital text from the number plate, and driver’s photograph in some cases. It also offers details about the nationality, color of number plates, time-stamp, and location coordinates. ANPR has become a crucial aspect of numerous areas such as traffic and toll management systems, access control, security and law enforcement, and other areas.
Why Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is Important
- Enhanced Security
Number or license plate detection is a crucial in detecting repeated serial traffic offenders. The software assists in wide range of security sectors such as inspections, forensics, legal proceedings, and investigations. Automated license plate recognition is a necessity for ensuring safety of roads and pedestrians and this has encouraged governments across the globe to keep dangerous and rash driving to a minimum.
- Monitoring and Surveillance
ANPR drastically minimizes the need for manually keeping a track of recording license plate numbers. Automatic number plate recognition software can record plate numbers in real-time – even when a car speeds by – giving a clear view of traffic insights. ANPR leverages high-speed image capture to identify license plates as the pass through an infra-red camera.
- Automated Service
ANPR cameras are highly efficient and cost-effective way to monitor parking lots, especially automated parking lots. With extremely accurate reading and round-the-clock operation, these cameras are more effective than parking wardens and therefore offer a more dependable service. Increasing reliance on ANPR cameras, parking management teams and traffic personnel can limit the time they spend on the streets.
- Image and Video Footage
ANPR software can offer both still and real-time video footage. This software is equipped with features that enables it to take snapshots of the car when it speeds by, cross over a red light, or makes a wrong turn. The image and videos recorded are stable with different camera positions and angels and under different weather conditions as well. Video footage also assist traffic departments and helps in legal proceedings.
World’s Prominent Companies Offering Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) System: By Revenue
- Siemens AG
- Conduent, Inc.
- Bosch, Ltd.
- Kapsch TrafficCom
- ARH, Inc.
- Q-Free ASA
- Neology, Inc.
- Genetec, Inc.
- Vigilant Solutions, Inc.
Top 10 Globally Leading Companies in the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) System Industry by Revenue
- Siemens AG – Revenue [US$98.85 Billion]
Siemens AG is a multinational conglomerated headquartered in Germany and is known as the largest industrial manufacturing company across Europe. The Sicore ANPR camera system offered by Siemens AG is a fully integrated camera that automatically recognizes number plates and identifies every vehicle as it captures images of the front or rear view of the vehicle. The integrated image processing software automatically scans the data generated from incoming images for any vehicle and its license plate. The cameras can be mounted on all roadside infrastructure such as sign gantries, posts, bridge railings, and others and are used for travel time measurements, tolling systems, security applications, and parking and access control systems, among others. Siemens has over 30 years of experience in developing and manufacturing automated optical character recognition systems.
- Conduent, Inc. – Revenue [US$4.47 Billion]
Conduent, Inc. is an American company that offers digital platforms for businesses and government and has a robust presence in over 40 countries. Conduent Automated License Plate Recognition Solution is based on the core competencies of the company such as device and personalized imaging, machine learning, and data processing. This solution offers high-accuracy levels for automated number plate recognition applications such as toll operations, traffic management and safety, access control, and parking services. It offers signature implementation that looks for unique attributes of vehicles, image reject process, and character confidence to provide one letter or number instead of the entire license plate.
- Bosch, Ltd. – Revenue [US$1.30 Billion]
Bosch, Ltd. focuses on manufacturing and commercialization of automotive and non-automotive products. It a leading supplier of mobility technology and services and its product portfolios include fuel injection pumps, spark plugs, and nozzles, among others. Bosch offers a broad range of Bosch Auto Numberplate Recognition (ANPR) cameras which are designed to capture consistent, high-definition images of vehicle license plates. SecurOS AUTO License Plate Recognition (LPR/ANPR) solution includes Face Capture & Recognition, License Plate Recognition, and Container Character Recognition that provides effective monitoring solutions to the entire transportation sector. These solutions offers numerous benefits to the uses including the capability to accurately capture license plate information at a speed of 210 km/h under various weather conditions.
- Kapsch TrafficCom – Revenue [US$793.74 Million]
Kapsch TrafficCom is a globally renowned provider of innovative solutions and services for transport and traffic and sustainable mobility. It is an Austria-based company that provides intelligent transportation systems (ITS) for tolling, traffic management, smart urban mobility, and connected vehicles. The technologies are based on ANPR to read license plate remotely using camera technology to determine if the vehicle needs to pay the toll. In addition, mobile tolling services offered by the company enables users to download app for toll payment and route planning and license plates are recorded by ANPR technology.
- ARH, Inc. – Revenue [US$734 Million]
ARH, Inc. develops, manufactures, and commercializes intelligent software and devices that process images efficiently for security and traffic control purposes. ARH, Inc. offers CARMEN software in different versions for ANPR applications such as for processing images of fast-moving vehicles, cost-effective solutions for parking, vehicle entry, and access control systems, and for parking management applications. It offers hardware solutions such as ParkIT ANPR camera, SmartCAM ANPR Camera, and SpeedCAM for access control, image capturing, and speed enforcement, respectively.
- Q-Free ASA – Revenue [US$89.7 Million]
Q-Free ASA is a globally leading supplier of tolling, parking, and traffic management solutions with headquarters in Norway. It offers intelligent transportation solutions (ITS) and under the solutions Q-safe, it offers enforcement solutions, lane closure management, and automatic license plate recognition. The company’s high volume tolling, parking, and ALPR solutions and software offer a reliable, hardware-independent solution for ANPR and vehicle analytics. It has high level of accuracy, low error rates, is compatible with most infrastructure and operating systems, and supports over 150 countries and states across the globe.
- Neology, Inc. – Revenue [US$72 Million]
Neology, Inc. is a U.S.-based provider of integrated solutions for tolling, electronic vehicle registeration, and offers radio frequency identification solutions. It is a pioneer and global leader in the development of passive RFID technology and is focused on re-inventing mobility solutions to help customers accelerated their vision of smart and safer cities. Neology’s PIPS technology provides support to over 50,000 ANPR systems across 100 countries worldwide. The company offers a full range of mobile and fixed solutions, software, and services for traffic, safety, and law enforcement. The latest generation of PIPS ANPR camera model provides support to existing camera range and is equipped with cameras that incorporate infrared illumination for efficient license plate imaging.
- Genetec, Inc. – Revenue [US$46.14 Million]
Genetec, Inc. is a Canada-based leading innovator in IP-based security systems to offer enhanced video surveillance, vehicle access control, and automatic license plate recognition (ALPR). AutoVu automatic license plate recognition system alerts users to wanted or unpermitted vehicles, even when surveillance is not being carried out. The solutions offers real-time insights into the environment to help teams work more seamlessly and efficiently through the deployment of fixed or mobile ALPR. The Security Center AutoVu has proven to be an effective tool to fight crime and fraud and has been effectively deployed by the Danish Police Force.
- TagMaster – Revenue [US$17.3 Million]
Swedish tech company, TagMaster offers reliable and easy-to-use vehicle detection solutions that provide actionable information for traffic monitoring. TagMaster has developed ANPR/LPR cameras that have high accuracy, read rates, and superior image quality. These cameras are based on ANPR software technology and have a plug and play functionality that are specifically built for harsh environment and have maintenance free design. These cameras are deployed for parking management, access control, security, ITS, and logistics and ports, among others.
- Vigilant Solutions, Inc. – Revenue [US$9.58 Million]
California-based Vigilant Solutions, Inc. is a leading provider of imaging systems software products and offers facial recognition, investigative data, mobile application, license plate recognition, and vehicle analytics products. Vigilant’s investigative platform offers actionable insights for law enforcement agencies. The L5F Fixed license plate recognition camera system is equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and wider focal distance options that capture clearer images at wide distances on high-speed and high-volume roadways. The L5Q License Plate Recognition Camera System is cost-efficient and can be deployed anywhere easily and offers real-time alerts, carry out extensive analysis, and make maximum usage of advanced analytics.