Camera monitoring license plates

6 Ways ANPR Supports Smart Traffic Management

Worldwide, urban planners are looking for ways to develop their cities, seeking opportunities for traffic optimization and economic growth. Thanks to recent developments in smart traffic technologies, these transitions are not only possible but readily available. One of these technologies in particular - ANPR - may be the final push needed to accelerate the development of smart cities globally. 

Benefits of Implementing Smart Traffic Technologies 

Before diving into what an ANPR is and how it is accelerating the development of smart cities, it’s essential to understand why so many urban planners are implementing smart traffic technologies. 

Countless urban areas struggle to address the challenges caused by rising volumes of traffic, in addition to the hazards they cause. Without the right technology, it can be nearly impossible to alleviate these challenges and create safer, more efficient movement through cities. Fortunately, the right technology is available. 

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Smart city traffic management systems use a multitude of data points throughout a city to monitor and control traffic based upon real-time traffic conditions. These technologies include smart traffic video analysis from traffic lights and cameras, which collect data regarding traffic flow rates and congestion to alter the duration of traffic signals and alerts. As a result of live traffic control software, traffic lights will allow vehicles to pass through intersections more efficiently according to traffic, and other drivers can avoid and prevent further congestion. 

With more efficient traffic management, smart cities can benefit from improved quality of life for citizens and increased productivity. As citizens can more easily maneuver their city, commute times are reduced, thus decreasing the air pollution caused by traffic and contributing to generally more sustainable cities. Furthermore, commuters can spend more time on productive tasks and less time sitting in traffic. 

traffic camera monitoring traffic flow

Beyond optimizing vehicle movement in cities, smart traffic technologies significantly enable safer transportation for urban areas. With smart traffic management, technology can sense the movement of vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles to substantially decrease the number of accidents. 

Suppose, for instance, an accident has already occurred. In that case, vehicles will be notified so that they can reroute–preventing congestion while clearing a safe and quick path for emergency vehicles and law enforcement. 

There is no question that smart cities driven by technology are the future of urban development, but precisely what technology makes this possible? These technologies primarily consist of sensors, cameras, GPS applications, and other IoT-enabled devices, all of which make it possible to monitor and manage traffic efficiently. There is one particular technology that has a huge impact on the transport industry and that is ANPR.

Smart Cities and ANPR

ANPR is not a new technology but one that has been revamped for smart traffic management. It consists of a computer vision methodology that helps to improve the function of smart cities by recognizing license plates based on video or images. Using deep learning and advanced computer vision algorithms, ANPR works in real-time, allowing traffic managers to recognize and collect license information as vehicles maneuver traffic. 

Concerning smart traffic management, ANPR is instrumental in automating and optimizing many aspects of traffic. The technology can be used anywhere from smart parking systems to real-time traffic control, applying accurate and automatic plate number recognition to smart cities across the globe. They enhance traffic management and operations in six important ways. 

vehicles with detected license plates

#1. Toll Automation

Most drivers are familiar with traditional ANPR technology. Each time you drive through a toll or past a speed camera, cameras work to capture and recognize license plate numbers to send corresponding tickets or bills to drivers. A significant cause of traffic jams on highways occurs due to toll stations, but this can be eliminated with the adoption of ANPR technology. 

Instead of human operations managing pay-per-drive roads, cities can implement automated ticketing systems, allowing drivers to quickly pass through tolls and pay after the fact. As drivers are automatically registered as users on the highway, paying for tickets and tools is more efficient than ever, reducing traffic and wait times while also saving countless hours of human labor. 

#2. Emergency Vehicles and Law Enforcement

ANPR technology can also significantly aid and automate law enforcement and emergency services. Just as a speed or traffic camera will recognize license plates for traffic violations, ANPR cameras can also check license plates against any vehicles of interest in real-time. This may include stolen or abandoned vehicles or any other vehicles that may be implicated in a crime.

With this technology, police can more efficiently target suspects based on their records, determining their whereabouts and movement. As a result, other citizens can go about their day with minimal police interruption. Even after an incident has occurred, police can access traffic video footage for later analysis to be used in an investigation or trial. 

#3. Parking Management

In terms of parking, ANPR is an excellent tool, eliminating the need for gates, tickets, and parking lot operators. License plates can be automatically recognized by cameras, meaning that parking lots only need an ANPR-enabled camera, and they are ready for service. 

As cars enter the lot, the computer vision system will scan their license plates on the way in and out, precisely measuring their time spent parking and billing them accordingly. As a result, cars can enter monitored parking lots without stopping, increasing time efficiency and convenience for drivers. 

Parking monitoring

#4. Access Control

Advanced ANPR technology can also be modified for access control. Some areas have restricted access, whether for specific individuals or at certain times of the day. Whatever the restriction, ANPR technology will recognize the license plates allowed to enter a particular area and only permit these vehicles. This feature is particularly beneficial for government facilities or areas with restricted staff-only access and parking. 

#5. Transportation Logistics

Just as organizations can restrict and permit access to specific corporate areas, they can also use ANPR technology in other ways. For transportation management companies and delivery couriers, keeping track of the whereabouts of vehicles is essential, and it must be accurate. 

ANPR cameras can capture the exact time a vehicle leaves and arrives from a specific location. This feature helps companies manage their transportation logistics without the need for GPS or verbal confirmation with the driver–both of which can be unreliable. 

#6. Traffic Speed and Accuracy Through ANPR

With the right traffic data collection equipment, all cities have the opportunity to become smart cities, completely optimizing urban operations as a result. Smart traffic management by itself is instrumental in accurately and efficiently managing traffic throughout a bustling city, but with ANPR cameras, it is taken one step further. 

ANPR technology has the potential to further automate and optimize smart cities, ensuring near-seamless movement throughout an urban area. It allows cities to better accommodate drivers by enforcing traffic regulations, reducing congestion, and accelerating safe movement. As a result of these capabilities, cities can experience safer, sustainable, and more efficient traffic management, opening the doors to greater economic growth and business opportunities for citizens. 

ANPR feature in GoodVision Video Insights

GoodVision offers the possibility to combine its cutting-edge traffic data extraction algorithms with the latest ANPR technology within a single platform. ANPR is a special type of report in GoodVision Video Insights - a vehicle list which includes the information about license plates of the vehicles crossing a selected filter, whenever possible to “read” them by the system. 

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