Posted by: jdavis | June 5, 2008

Automatic License Plate Recognition Cameras

Last time I have written about the latest technology and gadgets that can be very beneficial to our cops. The E7 which is the first custom-made police car created by Carbon Motors (it is not yet being used though due lack of fund) and the voice-command system which allows cops to do a number of things through voice command. If you think that’s it then you are mistaken because there’s more. Check this one!


  • Automatic License Plate Recognition Cameras



There are plenty of reckless drivers on the road and when traveling at a high speed, it is nearly impossible to have a vivid view of the license plate. With the help of this system, the camera will be able to capture and store the license plate thus making it easy for cops to track down the suspect. This may also apply to hit-and-run drivers. There are times when nobody is able to witness accidents happening on the road. This particular system is no doubt a big tool in order to capture the driver through its license plate.


There are also some countries that make use of cameras to capture drivers who have traffic violations. A friend of mine related this story to me. He traveled to this particular country and on one occasion, he went home quite late already. The car he was using got busted so he took the taxi instead. There were barely cars on the road. When they reached an intersection, it so happened that the traffic light signaled that they have to stop. There was nobody on the road and no car either so he asked the driver why he stopped when in fact the only thing that he sees there is their taxi. The driver explained to him that even with that scenario they have to strictly obey traffic rules because the traffic lights are installed with cameras which capture the license plate of vehicles with violation. And here’s the funny part. A note and a picture of your car will be sent right into your house to inform you of your violation and how much you’re going to pay. (Isn’t that nice?) What a better way to discipline people than letting them know that even when nobody is around, a camera sees what you’re doing.(lol)


According to one of the leading ALPRS manufacturer, the most common system configuration is a three-camera system. All the three cameras have a fixed position and fixed focal length. One camera is checking the lane to the right and another to the left while the other one is mounted at the side (this one is intended for parking lots). Every camera continuously sends infrared and full-color images back to the processor. If you suspect a particular vehicle, the system through its camera can search via the updated warrant list for you to know that the vehicle has been issued a warrant before. Results can be attained in a matter of more or less 20 milliseconds (not bad).


Looking at what this system can do, I can say that this will indeed be of huge help to our cops. Nevertheless, it is quite expensive and of course, we just cannot set aside the monetary thing. Three cameras cost about $25,000. But despite its current price, some places in the United States are already making use of it. Maybe as of now, only few places can afford to make use of it. Let’s just hope that in time more affordable automatic license plate recognition cameras will be available.


Our present technology cannot really be outdone especially when it comes to new gadgets and innovative systems. Here is what I have to say. May people use it responsibly.


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