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  • Writer's pictureMarcus Lovato

License Plate Recognition

License plate cameras are set up expressly to catch clear images of the license plates driving past it. The cameras do not analyze the images, though; this can be done by adding VMS software with that capability. There are many things to be taken into consideration when deciding on the best solution.

Camera Considerations

Camera Placement – This is critical because a camera installed at the wrong angle, installed too high or too far away cannot see the license plate.

Lighting – You will need additional lighting at night. Cameras with IRs make license plates illuminate, making them impossible to read. A light source with natural, full-spectrum light will work and some cameras have this included.

Speed of traffic – Must be low enough that the camera has enough time to focus on the license plate, often no more than 35 mph depending on the angle, distance, and lighting.

Camera Specs – Resolution, Shutter speed, and Headlight Compensation are all factors that need to be considered. To be used as legal evidence, your video may need to meet standards set by your local law enforcement; one requirement might be that the captured license plate image be at least 15 pixels tall to ensure clarity. A pixel counter, a feature included on some cameras, will help you meet these requirements.

Software Considerations

License plate recognition works when your camera captures video of a vehicle's license plate and then either store it for later review or runs the image through video analytics software to compare it to a database of stored license plate numbers. If your database finds a match, your system can be set up to send you alerts. These alerts can be sent to your email or mobile phone, allowing you to know instantly, from anywhere, if your system finds something.

J2 Technology Solutions Can Help

We use our knowledge, experience, partners, and systems from Hikvision, Hanwha, Axis, and others to design and install a solution for your space. Let us help you to make your technology work for you, not the other way around. Reach out to us today!

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