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(Automatic License Plate Recognition) Also called "automatic number plate recognition" (ANPR), it is a law enforcement system that optically scans vehicle license plates. Using fixed-position cameras on highways or mobile cameras in patrol cars, the system identifies the plate and matches it against a database of stolen and uninsured vehicles, as well as vehicles registered to drivers with suspended licenses. Equipped with an ALPR, a police official can drive through a parking lot and process the plate number of every parked car. Some systems even photograph the driver.

From Fixed to Mobile
Developed in Europe in the late 1970s, the first systems used fixed cameras at highway intersections. Subsequent systems migrated to mobile use with faster cameras and better recognition algorithms. In addition, laptop computers became more powerful over the years, enabling more economical and effective mobile use.

Toll Collection and Speeding
ALPR is also used with toll collection systems such as E-ZPass to identify vehicles that go through a toll booth without paying and without an RFID tag. It is also used in combination with highway speed detection systems to identify violators and send them speeding tickets.

People Are Always Creative
Drivers have tried to circumvent these systems by obscuring theletters and digits in some manner or by making their plates more reflective with a plastic cover or spray. However, some countries that have used ALPRs have made modifications to the fonts on the next version of their plates to make them easier to identify at high speeds.
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References in periodicals archive ?
They said that because an officer has to manually look up personal information in an unrelated system, using the license plate number, the ALPR database is legal.
(215.) To be clear, some ALPR implementations are run by private
In Oklahoma, insurance companies have helped police departments buy ALPR systems to improve the recovery rate of stolen vehicles and to identify vehicles that are uninsured.
ALPR can be considered a kind of computerized and automated closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance system.
Integrates all of Motorola's ALPR advantages in a discreet platform that can be deployed in a strategic location for hours or days
Summary: EyeNet Enforcement Systems today announced the issuance of the EyeNet International Automated License (ALPR) and Number Plate Recognition StandardEe 2010 to aid in the decision making process for acquiring the appropriate technology for uses of Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) around the world.
"Q-Free is today one of the main players for supplying cashless tolling based on DSRC (tag) and ALPR (camera).
The stationary Automatic License Plate Recognition System (ALPR) has been around for a while, but the new mobile version can be mounted on the dash of a patrol car, making it much more effective.
Panasonic Computer Solutions Company has unveiled automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) through its Toughbook Arbitrator rugged, reliable in-car video solution.
For details of Liverpool Victoria's tax-free savings plans, click on quoting ALPR.
For further details phone 0800 085 8811 quoting reference ALPR.
Speaking after the Committee meeting, Mr Brunstrom revealed how the Northamptonshire force was piloting Automatic Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR).