Expert advice on the most effective ALPR solutions

PIPS Technology™ is a leader in Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology with a complete line of ALPR products and services. ALPR can be an effective tool in a variety of applications, providing accurate and timely information and allowing users to make quick and well informed decisions in their respective areas. Today, PIPS Technology™ Systems are providing positive results for numerous applications across a wide range of industries.

PIPS products are designed and manufactured to the highest possible standards. The capture rates offered by our range of cameras are the highest available and work 24-hours a day, in any weather conditions. With over 50,000 ALPR cameras installed worldwide, PIPS is able to give expert advice on the most effective ALPR solutions.

Law Enforcement

In a single shift, an officer can manually check 50-100 license plates. During the same shift, an ALPR system can check 5,000 plates or more. Not surprisingly, police are the most enthusiastic adopters of ALPR technology. ALPR technology is a force multiplier for law enforcement and has been put to many uses by agencies worldwide.

One of our law enforcement customers installed four ALPR systems and in six months they identified 929 lost or stolen license plates, recovered 275 stolen vehicles, and made 50 arrests. Without ALPR, a stolen vehicle has to be found by chance, or the thief has to do something that arouses an officer’s suspicion. With ALPR, the stolen vehicle only has to pass a police cruiser or an intersection installed with ALPR cameras; if the plate number is in the database, the system will let the officer or the system operator know. The system will also inform the officer if the driver is known to be armed and dangerous, so the officer can choose to pursue discreetly rather than pull the suspect over immediately.

“What the ALPR cameras give you is the potential to find the needle in the haystack you are looking for to follow up on. One of the areas we saw a lot of improvement is our solve rate. We went from a 12%-14% solve rate up to a 40% solve rate. A lot of that had to do with the use of the technology we chose to enhance our ability to look for leads. From 2013 to 2014, we had a 24% drop in overall crime. We had almost a 40% drop in burglaries which is what we are really going after. We know from talking to the criminals that the word is out that we had the ALPR cameras.

And criminals will avoid our city because they think they are going to get caught”.

– Rikki Goede, Chief of Police, Piedmont Police Department.

Parking Enforcement

A study done for the City of Seattle showed that parking ticket collection rates across municipalities vary from 71% to 87%, with 80% being the median – that’s a million dollars or more of uncollected revenue in each city. Searching for parking ticket violators isn’t the most productive use of an officer’s time, so locating serial violators has been left to chance: the officer would have to find the car as part of a routine plate check or another traffic stop.

With an ALPR system, the police vehicle only has to pass the violator – whether parked or in traffic – and ALPR will alert the officer. A quick drive through a large parking lot will often locate several serial violators, whose cars can be towed or clamped until the fines are paid. The end result is fewer scofflaws getting away with nonpayment of fines.

Security

ALPR provides additional security solution for campuses, private businesses (banks, shopping malls), critical facilities (power plants), parks and hospitals. Security management in these locations can equip its security patrol cars with ALPR cameras which automatically collects license plate data as security guards patrol the sites. In addition to the mobile ALPR cameras, fixed cameras can be strategically placed in various sites on the location’s perimeter to support security efforts.

Using PIPS ALPR solutions, security employees are able to create and update their own watch lists. Security guards are notified if the camera gets a “hit,” meaning a license plate just seen by the ALPR camera matches one on their hot list. They are then able to respond to the situation accordingly.

By working with local law enforcement agencies which also use ALPR systems, the security management can set up its system to send all information collected by its cameras directly to the local law enforcement servers at the end of each shift. This helps ensure that privacy of data is maintained. With law enforcement officers and security guards working together, resources are distributed efficiently and effectively.

Access Control

Using license plates to grant or deny access and to control vehicle flow in and out of the monitored facility, ALPR not only provides extra security to the sites but also make visitor management easier and more efficient. ALPR camera system integrated with Access Control System offers the most effective vehicle access control solution. By utilizing a vehicle’s license plate as the credential, the system requires no additional equipment such as RFID chips and barcodes. The system requires no interaction from the driver, virtually eliminating wait times.

PIPS designed a solution for the corporate security team at one of the world’s largest credit card companies. Replacing a cumbersome keypad and introduced to create greater efficiency, PIPS worked with the company’s engineering and development team to ensure the ALPR cameras communicated effectively with the existing security management system. The credit card company is able to upload a list of authorized names and corresponding license plates to the server, so when a known employee vehicle drives up to one of the site’s nine entry points, the camera signals the security gate to open automatically. This also provides the company with the ability to chronicle all license plates (individually) for a specific location and a record of everyone entering and leaving the premises.

ALPR Based Parking System

Integrating ALPR with parking management system provides a ticketless solution that links the entry and exit movements of vehicles with their corresponding parking fee.

When a vehicle enters a parking lot, the ALPR camera would capture its license plate and store it in the parking management system database until the vehicle leaves. When the driver pay the parking fee at the pay station, he/she is required to type in the license plate. When he/she drives to the exit, the gate will automatically open as the ALPR camera has recognized the license plate and the system has checked that the correct payment has been made.

ALPR Based Parking System reduces human interaction, eliminates the need for printed tickets, streamline the traffic flow and enhances the user experience.

Congestion Control

Several cities in Europe – including London and Stockholm – manage congestion by charging for vehicle access to the central business district at peak hours. Owners pre-pay for access, and fixed-mount ALPR systems ensure that those who did not pay are identified and fined by mail. The results have been most impressive: six months after implementation, London reported a 30% drop in congestion, increased bus ridership and decreased excess wait times on public transport. The charge also brings in extra money: £137 million – nearly $274 million – in net revenue for London in 2007.

PIPS fully integrated ALPR cameras have been installed for projects all over the world, providing enforcement to the Transport for London Congestion Charging Scheme, Western Extension Zone and Low Emission Zone. Other high-profile installations include providing security for the city of Warsaw and deploying a ‘ring of steel’ around various UK cities and counties.

Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) and Electronic Toll Collection

Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) is a technology that allows for electronic payment of tolls. ALPR is critical to toll collection. While most vehicles traveling on toll roads will likely have a transponder, others will not. If a tolling agency can’t identify vehicles accessing the toll roads, they will lose revenue that could be reinvested into transportation projects.

PIPS fixed camera is uniquely optimized to stand up to this challenge through our industry-leading OCR engine. The on-board OCR engine in our cameras actively analyzes just received images, using those results to intelligently and dynamically adjust camera settings for improved image quality. This high performance OCR enables tolling agencies and operators to automatically generate license plate data for billing, reducing the need for labor-intensive and costly human review.

On-board OCR also adds increased redundancy in the system design as any failure of the OCR software or hardware will only impact that particular camera, not a group of cameras. This further enables tolling agencies to minimize revenue leakages and strengthen their bottom line. High quality data from OCR also leads to decreased customer complaints, in turn reducing call center costs.

Speed Enforcement

In 2013 there were over 3,000 people killed or seriously injured (KSI) in road accidents where speed was a contributing factor. Travelling above the legal speed limit dramatically reduces a driver’s chance of stopping if something unexpected happens.

PIPS Technology’s Average Speed Camera System (formerly known as SpeedSpike) is designed to reduce speed on roadway to protect road users. The Average Speed Camera System is suitable for average speed enforcement on motorways, urban speed enforcement in town and city centers and local short distance speed enforcement outside schools and residential areas.

A four year evaluation of average speed camera effectiveness commissioned by the UK Department for Transport found a 70% reduction in speeding at fixed sites, a fall of 6% in average speeds and a 42% reduction in people killed and seriously injured.

PIPS Technology has also installed 4,000 ALPR cameras for a travel-time system, covering over 1,000 lanes of England’s motorways and road network for the Highways Agency’s Traffic Control Centre and continuously monitoring the state of the country’s core routes and feeding that information to the NTCC.