Friday, January 13, 2006

Nation-wide License Tag Recognition System

The Register (a UK computer and tech news site) reports that an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system will go live in April of this year (2006). The system will be used to log vehicle movements across the whole of the UK in order to apprehend suspected criminals as well as identify and track stolen, unregistered, and untaxed vehicles. The system will have cameras every 400 yards (365 meters) along motorways ('interstates', in US English) and will capture images 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Given the traffic on UK motorways, that means processing about 50 million number plates (a.k.a. license tags) a day. A mobile ANPR unit is shown in the photo here.

Hat tip Technovelgy.


a.a said...

Wonder what their error rates are like.

Even getting a letter or two wrong could cause considerable grief to an innocent party.

Keith said...

True. Some type of additional data to back things up would be helpful in correcting these types of errors. I seem to recall a case some months ago in the UK where a guy (I think he was an engineer) was able to successfully defend himself against the fine as he showed from multiple images and the stripes on the road that he could not have been travelling anywhere near the speed he was ticketed at. In this case, the additional data was an image and it helped.