What Should You Know About An Automatic Number Plate Recognition System?


An automatic number plate recognition or ANPR system is a handy tool that corporate houses and traffic authorities should have. It is a technology which reads vehicle registration plates with the use of optical character recognition. This enables you to create data for the location of vehicles. For data feeding, it can make the use of your existing CCTV cameras or traffic enforcement cameras. It helps you have real-time data.

How does an ANPR system work?

ANPR is camera-based technology, which scans the number plates of vehicles to read as they are close to it. There is a comparison of the recorded data against the record of the database. The camera integrated into the system clicks the pic of the number plate of a vehicle. After that, there is a procession of the clicked image to locate the number plate and convert the data into acceptable wiegand format ID numbers.

The control access system analyses the data for the determination of a vehicle entry into a parking area in a residential or commercial complex. After the verification of the requisite details, the controller sends a green signal for the opening of the gate at the barrier.

What elements does an ANPR system have?

An ANPR system has the below-mentioned elements:

  • An HDI (high-definition infrared) digital camera – For capturing the pic of a vehicle’s number plate
  • A computer server – For the process of information
  • Internet (wifi, ethernet, etc.) – For sending the vehicle number plate to the software to identify and verify the approaching vehicle
  • A database – For the storage of the authorised vehicles or employees’ vehicles
  • Gates/barriers – A physical blockage for allowing or preventing the vehicle entrance
  • An access controller – For all of the above

Where are automated number plate recognition systems used?

ANPR systems find applications at different places in a city of a country. Here is the list of some places where they are installed and used:

  • Ports/airport
  • Public/private car parks
  • Shared business complexes both office-based and industrial
  • Public services such as schools, hospitals, and emergency services
  • Stadiums and sports complexes
  • Historical places & busy tourist landmarks
  • Logistic hubs
  • Gated flats and communities

What is an ANPR solution used for?

Usually, an ANPR system is used for ensuring the safety and security in a commercial/residential or public complex. It is used for detecting

  • Average speed of vehicles
  • Untaxed vehicles
  • Stolen vehicles
  • Uninsured vehicles
  • Instances of terrorism, organised and major crime
  • Traffic flow
  • The use of toll roads
  • Bus lanes and box junctions
  • Parking in car parks
  • The congestion zone
  • Traffic journey times

Why should you install an ANPR system?

Installing automated number plate recognition systems is highly beneficial. Here are some benefits of an ANPR system:

  • Easy installation – It doesn’t require any additional tool or equipment for its installation. After the installation with the existing security & surveillance system, it starts working within a few hours.
  • Increased safety & security – Without any human resource need, the system works constantly for 24/7. When a registered vehicle approaches the barrier for its entry or exit, the gate opens automatically without human interference.  
  • Safe for health – It offers a contactless vehicle control access system. Here it means the driver of a vehicle doesn’t need to touch any tool or equipment for the entry and exit to/from a premise. With it, business houses and companies can support the prevention of virus spread. And as a result, their premises will remain safe from virus infection.
  • No need for tags on vehicles – The solution can be an effective solution for corporate offices where tags of cars are not an option. Without the purchase of tags for every vehicle, the system offers access to the registered vehicles by matching the stored data.
  • Help in investigation – This technology is useful in crime detection. Serving as evidence, it offers valuable data that facilitates the capturing of the culprit. With its usage, you get alerts in real-time and transfer the same data to the police via the control room.

Why does a law enforcement agency use an ANPR system?

This technology helps a law enforcement agency to detect criminals at local, regional, state, or national level and sometimes at international level. With it, they can detect and catch travelling criminals, terrorists, and organised crimes.

How does an ANPR system help?

This system is used to facilitate the following activities:

  • Operational response
  • Information and intelligence
  • Investigations


This write-up is a good read to have a sound idea about an ANPR system in brief. It has briefly described the work methodology, elements, application areas, benefits, etc. of an ANPR system.    

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