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Q&A with Pierre Hubert

What is the difference between a mobile and fixed Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) application?

March 19, 2009  By Staff

: In a mobile LPR application, LPR cameras are mounted on a
vehicle and are configured to read moving and parked vehicles. Fixed
LPR refers to applications where cameras are mounted in a stationary
configuration — for example, on the side of the road, at an
intersection or at a parking lot entrance. Vehicles are captured
whether moving at slow or high speed.

How do fixed LPR solutions work?

In a fixed LPR environment, the LPR camera continuously
processes the video stream to automatically find license plates in the
image—no external triggering is required. Once a plate has been found,
the characters are segmented and then read by the LPR engine. In
advanced LPR systems, such as Genetec’s AutoVu, a metadata record is
created which includes date, time, location, license plate number, an
image of the license plate and a color overview image of the back of
the vehicle. The whole process takes less than 15 msec. Primarily,
applications include recording vehicle movement and searching one or
more hot list databases based on the license plate number.

Can fixed LPR be integrated to other security functions? If so, what are the advantages of full integration?

: Fixed LPR is an ideal complement to other security functions
such as video surveillance and access control. Adding LPR cameras to a
video surveillance system is a powerful tool to capture vehicle
movement and identify suspicious vehicles, which basically act as an
additional layer of premises security. Systems can be further
configured to associate video with an event. Such advanced LPR systems
allow the management of the video and LPR to function via a common back
office system where more specific investigations can be conducted. In a
recent project which we completed for a major car rental company at
Pearson Airport, the customer was looking for a highly secure
integrated solution to control vehicle movement in an out of their
maintenance facility. The system includes automatic identification of
vehicles, card access control and video recording of the driver.

What types of businesses use fixed LPR solutions?

: Fixed LPR applications are primarily used for surveillance,
access control and revenue control applications. Companies and
government entities in several vertical markets can benefit from using
LPR — here are a few examples:

•    Public Safety / Law Enforcement: City-wide surveillance, wanted vehicle identification
•    Education: access control
•    Transportation: electronic tolling, parking access and revenue control in major airports
•    Gaming: managing self-excluded lists, VIP identification
•    Global Enterprises: secured access control. 

Pierre Hubert is the Director of Business Development for AutoVu at
Genetec. Based out of the Montreal office, Pierre has been with the
company since 1999 and has played a major role in the development of
the AutoVu product line since its inception. 


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