License Plate Recognition or ‘LPR’ has been around for several years now. One can only imagine how much data has been collected over this time and I’d argue that it could be put to better use. I’d like to highlight four ways to turn this data into a more meaningful business case.

For those less familiar, ‘LPR’ is a technology that is able to read and translate license plate information from pictures into text (and yes, the car can be moving!) It is typically taken from images recorded by surveillance cameras and analyzed by an algorithm. Advances in this algorithm’s character recognition have become incredibly accurate. This reliability brings some new applications into the fold.

Often this technology gets associated with law enforcement and it’s easy to see why. However, I’d encourage you to think about other ways this can make an immediate impact on your organization.

License Plate as a Credential

Your license plate is unique to your vehicle, and with the exception of someone stealing your car, it is highly likely that you are the one behind the wheel. LPR is a valid form of ID verification and can be used to open a parking gate upon your arrival. No more need to reach out the window to scan a badge when it’s 20 below zero.

License Plate as a Trespassing alert

Most organizations don’t mind visitors driving on campus, but there can be some areas where only employees should be. What currently happens when this occurs? Illegal activity or vandalism is much more likely to occur from someone outside your organization. Using LPR technology allows you to set up an ‘approved list’ for all authorized license plates. You would then have the ability to automatically receive alerts or create video clips when an unregistered license plate drives into that area. This is an example of filtering the data to do something more meaningful. As a bonus, you could finally solve the mystery of the after-hours dumpster culprit.

License Plate for VIP arrival

Similar to the previous scenario, you could instead be alerted when an important client or C-suite employee arrives on campus. That gives you time to roll out the red carpet and meet them at the door with their preferred beverage. Don’t forget creamer, and no sugar.

License Plate for Parking Lot Management

By installing cameras on the entrance and exits, LPR can be used to manage occupancy rates for parking ramps (think ‘LOT FULL’ or ’23 OPEN SPACES’) and can also integrate with ticketing systems. Student or employee vehicles that are authorized will be ignored, and drivers that need a parking pass will have an automated experience. Making parking fines fun again! No, but seriously, this is a hands-free revenue stream that can easily pay for itself.

Be sure to register for our 30 minute webinar “License Plate Recognition: The Technology is Ready, Are You?” on Wednesday, September 1st.

And if you’re considering ways to utilize LPR at your organization, we’d love to brainstorm with you! Contact us for a demo in our lab or for more information.

About the Author

Josh Jonson is Parallel’s Technology Applications Architect and has over 10 years of experience in technology systems integration and 5 years in physical security. Josh earned a degree in Audio Engineering from McNally Smith and holds certifications in Genetec, Bosch, Axis, Panasonic and Milestone.