How License Plate Recognition Works and The Role of AI

License Plate Recognition (LPR) uses AI to extract the numbers and letters that make up license plates. It does this by searching videos or photos to identify vehicles, their plates and then converting it into usable digital data. When coupled with powerful AI like DeepInsights, it can identify which state the plate belongs to, and even record vehicle characteristics including make, model, year, and color. The digital data can be compared to existing license plate databases, such as hotlists, to alert or automate entry into secure facilities or communities. Law enforcement agencies use LPR data to build a case against criminal activities caught on camera or to get immediate alerts when hotlist vehicles are identified.

What is AI?

AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. It refers to a segment of computer science focused on building machines that can perform specific tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence, like describing what’s in a photograph. Subsets of AI include Machine Learning (ML), where computer programs automatically learn and adapt new data without human assistance, and Deep Learning, where automatic learning is enabled by absorbing massive amounts of unstructured data like text, images, and video.

How LPR Uses AI

LPR relies on AI to help it accurately identify license plates in photos and video using a specialized license plate recognition camera. LPR would be rendered ineffective if its AI hadn’t learned from hundreds of thousands of samples of license plates from various angles and under different lighting conditions. After extensive work and testing with AI, license plate recognition solution users can be confident that LPRs can properly identify and capture the correct images before converting them to useable digital data.

Not all LPRs are equal

The goal is always the same – to read license plates. But performance and accuracy varies depending on

  • how much horsepower you have doing the LPR reading
  • how deeply the AI has been trained
  • lighting – whether it is bright or dark, natural, infrared, or street lighting
  • camera angles – awkward angles are harder to read
  • vehicle speeds – faster vehicles can be slightly blurred, making LPR harder

Versatile Components and Connectivity

EPIC iO builds its systems with versatility in mind. Why? Because real life demands custom solutions to address different challenges. By creating scalable components connected to intelligent analysis, EPIC iO can more broadly meet the diverse needs of a community. LPRs running with DeepInsights AI can, for instance, also identify the make and model of vehicles, automatically notifying law enforcement of any hits on the vehicle hotlists.

High Traffic and Low Traffic: Different Needs for the Same Technology

Most communities need LPR in both high-traffic and low-traffic areas. The challenge is they are fundamentally different, but the outcome needs to be the same. This usually leads to two siloed solutions from two vendors, but EPIC iO addresses both in one solution. High traffic areas, like a multi-lane highway, need to process tens or hundreds of thousands of vehicles per day. Yet low traffic streets might only have tens or a few hundred vehicles per day. Busy roads call for a high power system that processes locally to keep up, while quiet streets need to be quick and easy to install in remote places, using low power such as solar panels, and a simple cellular connection to handle the rural location.

No matter the solution, setup, or traffic area, the LPRs connect to EPIC iO’s DeepInsights platform to deliver timely, actionable insights ranging from law enforcement alerts to access control approval.

What is DeepInsights?

DeepInsights is an open AIoT platform that gives context and insight for LPR. It comes equipped with out-of-the-box AI, IoT sensors, and cameras. Its open design allows users to add additional sensors and devices as needed or desired easily. In short, DeepInsights aggregates and analyzes IoT data so users can get high-value actionable insights based on LPR data all in one place.

EPIC iO LPRs Extend a Community’s Reach

EPIC iO LPRs with DeepInsights enable security and law enforcement to cover more corners of the community with fewer resources. From remote roads to busy highways, EPIC iO offers solutions that can help monitor and secure a community 24/7, in both remote and urban spaces.

Find out more today about how EPIC iO can support your community.