Innovation is essential in the process of creating a safer society since it helps to cut down on crime and safeguard the populace. One of these valuable innovations from the most recent video technology accessible is automatic license plate readers and recognition technologies.
Since its invention in the 1970s, automatic license plate data and recognition software, often known as ALPR or license plate recognition for short, and ALPR cameras have grown significantly more accessible and user-friendly. Through many use cases and applications, we’ll explain the importance of ALPR technology in our society and business in this guide.
Law enforcement and homeland security are the two main fields where License Plate Recognition (ALPR) or Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) is frequently employed. However, ALPR’s unrivaled security advantages considerably advance our society and economy. ALPR is not only used by the government or by law enforcement. The private sector is an excellent fit for this cutting-edge technology in terms of security and improving the customer experience. Unfortunately, not all private enterprises can employ such automated solutions. However, it’s possible that some city industries still need to be aware of the benefits that ALPR could bring to their processes if adequately integrated.
This cutting-edge technology is an expensive, complex system used to scan the license plates of numerous cars, but this is only sometimes the case. ALPR has the potential to reduce manual labor and boost productivity in the private sector. This article explains a few applications of automatic license plate recognition.
How does Automatic License Plate Recognition technology work?
To capture images of license plates, Automatic License Plate Recognition systems typically use a high-speed camera with an IR filter or two cameras—one high-resolution digital camera and one IR camera; a processor and application capable of performing sophisticated optical character identification (OCR) to convert the image of the plate into alphanumeric characters; and application software to compare the transformed license plate characters to databases of interest-related license plates. Automatic License Plate Recognition systems’ precise configuration varies depending on the equipment’s manufacturer and the particular operational deployment.
How ALPR benefits businesses and society?
- Drive-Thru at a restaurant
A restaurant drive-thru delay of 10 seconds can cost the business 1% of revenue. Restaurants can enhance KPIs for queue desertion, customer order value, turnaround time, restaurant labor, and food cost using the ALPR system. Menu boards can be customized depending on the vehicle’s order history. This improves the ordering procedure.
The internal food preparation system receives the information from the customers’ license plates to make the meal item that the owner of the particular car is most likely to order. This clever technique decreases both turnaround time and ingredient waste.
- Gas and Petrol Stations
Avoiding drive-offs at gas stations reduces gas theft and protects personal resources from exploitation, another important private use of ALPR. The detected license plate may be used to investigate a crime or accident further. Additionally, the system can save the car’s license plate in the database after recognizing it at the gas station for later research to ascertain how frequently a specific vehicle visits the gas station. The proprietors can improve client happiness thanks to this insightful information.
- Toll Control and management
In recent years, Automatic License Plate Recognition systems have become utterly reliant on toll management to provide more sophisticated traffic management. The ALPR technology does away with the necessity for toll booths with employees and obstacles. Instead, the technology monitors traffic flow and ensures that the tolls are efficiently collected. As a result, ALPR is practical for road monitoring difficulties while maintaining free flow.
- Customer Experience in Retail
Identifying their consumers’ mode of transportation enables them to improve customer services and boost sales and employee productivity. ALPR can stop organized retail crimes and enhance the shopping experience. The vehicle’s license plate is stored in the databases for crime prevention.
ALPR is a valuable tool for loss prevention investigations since it can produce leads on the suspect vehicle and notify the authorities when the car is found. In addition, regular customers can feel protected on the property thanks to ALPR.
- Residential parking and commercial parking
The ALPR system can be used by private organizations, including corporations and residential areas, to guarantee parking lot security. The system is compatible with building access control and employee credentials. As a result, ALPR enables private organizations to exert more control over parking management. Therefore, the information about the individual or employee authorized to enter the parking lot is available to private entities. ALPR in such areas can also reduce hit-and-run or vandalism problems.
- Homeowners Associations
The ALPR technology is of unparalleled utility in aiding criminal investigations by law enforcement agencies. Accidents and illegal dumping are two examples. ALPR enables the homeowner association to collect evidence of a crime and provide it to police authorities. Homeowners can benefit from the ALPR camera’s features by installing it in the community. They can track the vehicles leaving and entering the roadways at any time.
- Curbside Pickup
Automatic License Plate Recognition can shorten customer wait times and streamline curbside pickup. For curbside pickup, the ALPR system operates in two steps. Customers must first include their vehicle’s license plate with their order. The license plate is stored in the database along with the customer’s order. The ALPR camera detects the license plate in the second step when the customer enters the store and instantly notifies the retailer of their arrival. Retailers can inform customers of their orders by greeting them with a personalized audio message or digital signage in this fashion.
The justification above shows that ALPR has numerous uses in public and private spheres and that its benefits go beyond those of homeland security and law enforcement. ALPR benefits society and businesses in a variety of ways. For example, private industries can use ALPR to prosecute and deter criminal activity, secure a location, and enhance customer satisfaction. In addition, Automatic License Plate Recognition lessens the overall workload associated with manually permitting vehicles and gathering evidence against the car that committed the offense.