LPR: What Can We (Really) Achieve Using It?

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LPR: What Can We (Really) Achieve Using It?

The role of LPR in Parking has drastically changed in the past few years. It has gone from just a fancy accessory to the vehicle identifier of choice for ticket-less/gate-less parking. 

Why is that? 

What has changed?

In the past ten years, LPR technology has advanced significantly. Initially, the technology relied on deductive image processing man-made algorithms to identify and read license plate numbers from images or video. These early systems were often limited by poor lighting conditions and variations in plate design.

Over time, the technology has become more sophisticated, incorporating machine learning and deep learning to improve accuracy and reduce errors. These advanced systems handle a wider range of plate variations and deal with challenging conditions more efficiently.

Additionally, LPR systems have become more integrated with other technologies, such as GPS and wireless communication, allowing for real-time tracking and identification of vehicles, useful for a wide range of traffic management and security systems.

Recent drastic advancements in deep learning and computer vision have significantly impacted LPR accuracy and confidence. This has led to the development of new applications, such as electronic toll collection, parking management, and automatic enforcement of traffic laws.

Real benefits of LPR that make us think about it as a game-changer

An affordable technology that can provide undeniable benefits including:

Improved Efficiency and Revenue: LPR makes parking management more cost-effective by automating the identification and tracking vehicles.

Automated Payment: LPR can be integrated with payment systems, allowing for automated payment and reducing the need for manual payment.

Enhanced Security: LPR can be used to monitor and track vehicles, improving parking security.

Real-time Occupancy Information

Violation Detection: LPR can help enforcement by detecting parking violations such as overstaying, parking in restricted areas and unauthorized parking. 

Easy data management: LPR systems can generate reports to help parking managers make better decisions.

LPR limitations

Despite technological advances, LPR still has some challenges to overcome: 

Environmental conditions: LPR systems may have difficulty reading license plates in extreme lighting conditions, such as darkness, direct sunlight or glare.

Plate variations: LPR systems must be intentionally programmed to understand every new region/country design; this process can be complex and slow.

Plate obstructions or tampering: LPR systems may have difficulty reading license plates that are damaged, obstructed or tampered with (dirt, grime, spray, etc.).

False Positives and Negatives: Until the confidence level rises up to 100 percent, there is still the probability that LPR systems may produce potentially significant/expensive mistakes.

Privacy concerns: LPR systems may raise privacy concerns as they can be used to track the movement of individuals and vehicles.

LPR Success cases

Let’s travel to different locations to see what they have achieved using LPR.

LAS VEGAS AIRPORT 

License Plate Inventory process: from walking for hours under Nevada sun to drive for some minutes under AC. How the use of the LPR has improved the Inventory process for this airport.

LEGOLAND 

What comes to your mind if I say “Theme Park”? Kids’ smiles and happiness, but also lines, lines, and more lines. The first line, even before entering the park, is just to park. LEGOLAND has found a way to avoid queuing in their parking lots. The solution is a Free-flow parking experience based on LPR.

MARRIOTT HOTELS 

Huge bedroom, nice view, great food… but then I have to wait at the gate to park my car. How LPR can be a “luxurious” gadget to create a “magic” VIP access to your hotel guests.

HIGH-END OFFICE BUILDING 

(Washington DC Case study) Monthly parking is a cold service where you already have all the needed information about who is allowed, so the goal is to reduce the entrance/exit friction to the minimum.

Laura Caillot is general manager at Survision. She can be reached at Laura.Caillot@survisiongroup.com

Article contributed by:
Laura Caillot
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