They say that the Automatic Licence Plate Recognition System “is going to revolutionize the way we police in North America.” Well, from the looks of this video produced by an internal source, they are sure getting a leg up on the bad guys.
Developed in tandem with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) in Canada, this ALPR, as its known in short, recognizes the license plates of cars on the road, automatically cross-referencing each and every one against a database of plates associated with stolen and uninsured vehicles, as well as unlicensed drivers. In the future, they hope to expand the system to encompass applications for national security site, airports, counter-terrorism, and organized crime. Plates can be scanned as you pass through gates to an airport terminal or when entering an underground garage.
The system is comprised of three cameras, they are mounted on the outside of the police squad car: one on the front left directed at oncoming traffic, one on the front right directed at the number two lane or cars parked on the side of the road, and a third mounted on a 90-degree angle on the side for use in parking lots. For this last one, the squad car need only cruise down a parking lot lane and it will alert the officer if any of the plates are a match with an “audible signal.” The information is immediately brought up on the on-board computer’s display, telling the cop everything he needs to know about that suspect car. It’s efficient too, as the ALPR can handle up to 3000 plates an hour (that’s almost one a second).
Check the first ever video of ALPR in action.