Technological advancements have made our lives better. With each passing day, technology is making our life more comfortable, secure, and safe. Due to this, we have smart cities, smart vehicles, and intelligent transportation systems in the current world. And an ANPR system is one of them. Here, know each associated point about it.

What is ANPR?

ANPR is the abbreviated form of automatic/automated number plate recognition system. Based on a computer vision technique and the use of optical character recognition, it detects and recognises the number plates of moving vehicles automatically and quickly without any human interaction. It captures and identifies any number plates with the use of photo or video footage of the installed cameras.

What are other similar names to an automatic number plate recognition system?

An ANPR system has numerous similar names and most of them work on the same technology. Here are more common similar names of automated number plate recognition system:

ALPR – Automatic/automated licence-plate recognition

ALPR – Automatic/automated licence-plate reader

AVI – Automatic vehicle identification

ANPG – Automatisk nummerplade genkendelse

CPR – Car-plate recognition

LPR – Licence-plate recognition

LAPI – Lecture automatique de plaques d’immatriculation

MLPR – Mobile licence-plate reader

VLPR – Vehicle licence-plate recognition

VRI – Vehicle recognition identification

How does an automatic number plate recognition system work?

Based on computer vision systems, an ANPR is a highly accurate application. It makes the use of OCR (optical character recognition) to read the registration/plate numbers of moving vehicles. The installed cameras click or capture the images of high-speed vehicles, a software tool processes the clicked/captured images or videos to detect characters, verifies the character sequence, and converts the images/videos of the number plates into texts.

Generally, an automatic number plate recognition system has a processing unit, a digital camera, and different algorithms for the analysis of the captured videos. Further, it uses infrared lights to capture vehicle number plates at night. Here is the working process of an ANPR system in brief:

Image/video capturing of vehicle number plates

Number plate detection with the use of computer vision and machine learning processes

Translation of the clicked/detected licence or vehicle number plates into readable texts

Storage of converted texts for future references

Benefits of an ANPR system

Automatic number plate recognition system offers numerous benefits. And most of them are the automation of manual tasks, governance, efficient space management, increased customer experience.

Automation – It allows automated controls and alerts for facilities and is a key to the development of smart cities.

Analytics – Authorities can use the generated data for the analysis of traffic flow in a city, especially in terms of ITS (intelligent transportation system).

Identification – For seamless and fast vehicle identification, there is a need for fast recognition of vehicle number plates. And it is possible with the use of ANPR systems. It can help allow access and track or find particular vehicles.

Efficiency – It is hard to note down or click the images of number plates of moving vehicles manually. And there are chances of having human errors. With the use of ANPR systems, there is no need for manual jobs.

Convenience – After integration with other IT systems, an ANPR system works in an ecosystem to offer a hassle-free and seamless experience to the end users. It increases customer experience.

Use cases or applications of ANPR systems

ANPR systems are crucial for an extensive range of applications where identification, detection, and localisation of vehicles is crucial. Here are some application areas of automated number plate recognition system:

Law enforcement – Traffic police use it for law enforcement purposes. They can use it to know whether a vehicle is registered or not. Further, they can use it to identify a vehicle in the case of traffic violations.

Car parking management – An ANPR system makes car parking management more comfortable. It detects a vehicle before its entry into the parking area and records entry and exit times by clicking the images/videos of vehicle number plates.

Analysis of journey time – It facilitates authorities to analyse the journey time of a vehicle. With it, they can identify a vehicle and calculate the journey time of a vehicle from one place to another on a city road.

Traffic management – Traffic management is an umbrella term for the benefits of ANPR systems. With such a system, authorities can detect overspeeding vehicles, vehicles with rude/rashly drivers, and a role of a vehicle in accidental occurrences. The analysis of the recorded data can help authorities to make a better traffic plan for a particular city.

Tollbooth record – Managing toll plazas and taking road taxes from vehicle owners becomes easier with ANPR systems. Authorities can easily get vehicle numbers for paying toll taxes.


Automated number plate recognition systems are a very useful technical solution. Based on computer vision technique and the use of optical character recognition, it makes vehicle detection and identification easier. It can make tasks more comfortable for traffic police, car parking managers, and traffic managers.

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