In our latest Parking Talks, we heard from industry experts about the benefits of license plate recognition (LPR) for parking operators and drivers. We were fortunate to have Jan-Erik Schmitt, Managing Director of Carrida on hand to give us some insight into the evolution and benefits of LPR and future developments in the LPR field.
What Are the Benefits of LPR for the Parking Experience?
Using LPR for parking can make parking easy and give a nice customer experience because you can book your parking space beforehand and you don’t need to stop at the barrier. The solution will recognise your license plate so you can smoothly go into the parking (facility) and leave the parking (facility) again. The payment can be done more or less in real-time, exactly for the time you have been in the parking lot and this is the best benefit. You can book online, you can pre-book your parking space. You’ve no need to look for a parking lot because you know there will be a free parking lot for you and it really makes for a nice customer experience. A smooth entry and exit from the parking space.
How Can LPR Benefit an Existing Parking Facility That Does Not Already Use LPR?
For a parking facility that does not use LPR so far, you can turn it into a modern parking facility that can offer the same benefits to customers by using LPR. You can turn it into a pre-booking capable parking facility afterwards, there is no need to plan a parking facility integrating LPR from the beginning. It can easily retrofit an existing parking facility with the LPR technology.
How Has LPR Evolved in the Last 5 Years?
What we are offering is purely a software solution to do license plate reading but being used in different industries. So not only in the parking industry but in general traffic applications, video surveillance applications where people want to use license plate reading. What we’ve seen, especially over the past few years, is a strong adoption of LPR in the parking industry. This also goes towards the direction of gateless parking, so to have the best user-experience possible would be to completely take away the gates and the barriers. It’s not possible in any application but it is one thing we see that people want to improve the user-experience in parking in not losing time, which is of course something that is subjective and giving people the impression that they can just go to a parking (facility) and that they don’t have to stop somewhere to press a button and wait for a ticket to have this seamless entry and exit experience for parking.
What Future Developments Do You Think There Will Be in the LPR Area?
I think there will be more additional features to LPR. The license plate reading technology already exists for many years. A big step for LPR is the use of so-called embedded systems, meaning new technology of very small processors that are quite powerful. Everybody knows smartphones, these are embedded systems that are very small that also integrate a camera. Although for robust LPR you need different sensors and not using a smart phone if you want to have a smooth entry and exit experience but the technology available in smart phones can be taken into an industrial environment that means you can have very small LPR systems that you can easily integrate into existing barrier and gate systems to have this smooth entry and exit experience. Due to this new technology of using embedded or edge devices you can easily also use these to do a retrofit. It wasn’t possible in the past because you really needed a PC somewhere to do the license plate reading but this can now be done on the edge by using very small devices. This is quite recent and is a direction in which it will go over the next year. In addition to pure license plate reading, we are already now integrating new functions like make and model recognition. So now you can have a higher accuracy combining the pure license plate reading with the recognition of the car make and model and also the colour.
What Is Coming Up for Carrida?
The main thing we have coming up in the future is the use of embedded processing components to make the systems smaller. It is one of our specialities or core targets to have the software optimised on these small platforms, so this is going to be improved even further and, in the future,, we want to be on the edge regarding the use of technology. What the hardware people are offering is to implement new additional features in an optimised way to really have the focus on small edge devices for LPR in the future.
About CARRIDA CAM Solutions
CARRIDA CAM Solutions is a complete stand alone system created by Vision Components, who provides Embedded Vision Solutions, starting with the basic component – the board camera – up to fully integrated solutions with customer-specific modified lighting and optics. Thus, serving all branches and markets.