License Plate Recognition helps capture data and facilitate rapid investigations

March 23, 2021

Automatic License Plate Recognition (LPR) began in the 1970s. But now, technological innovations in LPR are an incredible asset to law enforcement in identifying, apprehending, and investigating suspects and crimes. As it evolves, LPR is becoming an essential part of smart cities because of the ability to identify vehicle license plate data quickly and accurately. This capability delivers information that can benefit all city departments.

Information gathered from LPR can reduce the cost and time associated with managing parking subscriptions by providing automatic parking lot gate access when it identifies a permitted license plate. If an unauthorized vehicle trespasses in a particular area, LPR can alert authorities of the breach. LPR can initiate the process to bill and fine the driver when a car passes through a toll booth without paying. These are just a few examples of how LPR can improve a city’s mobility, operations, and safety.

XProtect Rapid REVIEW

Milestone collaborates with technology partners to add optional features to the Milestone XProtect® open platform. For example, BriefCam  partners with Milestone, helping us provide XProtect Rapid REVIEW as an add-on product to our video technology. BriefCam is also our sister company and a stand-alone company in the Canon Group. They are a leading video analytics company in the security industry, making advanced forensic analytics software that allows users to review videos quickly. 

Rapid REVIEW captures license plate information and stores it in a database along with the associated video of the vehicle and any related activity. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology captures the license plate information and becomes part of the metadata associated with the video.

Rapid REVIEW LPR enables users to utilize their surveillance infrastructure to capture license plate details in the video. For example, law enforcement personnel can find vehicles of interest, enhancing their investigative capabilities. System administrators can compile lists to allow or block automated processes. These lists will trigger activity notifications, identify suspects quickly, and authorize parking access based on LPR captured information. In addition, Rapid REVIEW supports rule-based alerts and is a means to visualize traffic patterns for deeper analysis.

XProtect LPR

Milestone Systems offers an innovative LPR product that is an add-on for XProtect video management software (VMS). XProtect LPR detects license plate information from vehicle number plates and links it with video through dedicated optimized recognition algorithms. As a result, users can automate processes based on the information gathered and forward data to municipal departments, such as law enforcement, traffic management, or parking enforcement.

The primary steps in XProtect LPR include capturing live images, image analysis, and matching recognized license plates. Then, when it’s time to investigate, it’s easy to find and document detected vehicles. A combined search and filtering option in the dedicated LPR tab in the XProtect Smart Client makes it possible to search across multiple cameras, countries, specific match lists, and partial wildcards. In addition, with the instant playback function, XProtect LPR can instantly validate incidents and alarms.

LPR Key Benefits

  • Compatible with all cameras supported by Milestone XProtect
  • Tracks and regulates access
  • Optimizes and eliminates manual processes
  • Supports a wide range of different application scenarios

XProtect LPR Key Features

  • Supports more than 165 countries and states with dedicated optimized recognition algorithms
  • Multi-lane detection with a single camera
  • Unlimited number of match lists for correlation of recognized license plates (e.g., employees, customers, stolen vehicles)
  • Track vehicles by viewing LPR events and enable modular camera views where LPR events display together with the corresponding video
  • Raise alarms based on match lists using the alarm management function in the XProtect Smart Client


LPR Makes Cities Safer

LPR has proven to be a highly effective tool for many areas in addition to law enforcement. Those considering ways to make cities “smarter”—particularly as people are moving to cities in droves—should include LPR as part of an overall plan to improve mobility, operations, and safety.

Safe City Opportunities

Need information or want a consultation about how to build your city video solution with Milestone’s open platform? We’d love to help. Book a Demo with one of our security experts today. You can also explore more articles, eBooks, and customer stories by visiting our city insight hub.

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