License Plate Recognition Overview

Overview of License Plate Recognition (LPR) functionality and use cases

Updated over a week ago

Verkada’s license plate recognition (LPR) allows real-time license plate monitoring, as well as logging the license plates for later reference.

Specially placed cameras are designed to capture license plate images and provide users with a readable and searchable list of license plate numbers. These license plate captures can be linked to live or recorded video from a nearby camera for complete context surrounding vehicle events.

LPR mode is available only on the bullet series cameras, however, any Verkada camera can be used as the optional context camera.

To learn how to configure LPR for your cameras follow this guide.

Note: After enabling and configuring LPR mode on a camera, it may take up to 5 minutes for results to populate.

Solution Overview

Key Features

Investigate License Plates of Interest: LPR can be used to quickly search for all historical appearances of a license plate, making it easier to complete investigations for suspect vehicles.

Receive Alerts for License Plates of Interest: With Verkada's LPR solution, you can receive License Plate of Interest alerts when a specific license plate is detected at any of your locations. You can also send these notifications to third-party applications through the Verkada Webhooks API.

Exports Results via API integrations: Verkada's LPR results can be systematically exported to third party systems leveraging our API integrations. This allows customers to run custom business reports or integrate with other critical parts of their security infrastructure.

Key Use Cases

Verkada's LPR solution has been designed to recognize license plates accurately and reliably:

  • The CB51 & CB61 can detect plates on vehicles traveling at speeds below 20 mph / 32 kph across a single lane

  • The CB52 & CB62 can detect plates on vehicles traveling at high speeds of up to 80 mph / 128 kph and across multiple lanes

Gatehouse and entry station security: LPR can be used to monitor vehicle traffic at entry points, ensuring that only authorized vehicles are allowed in.

Drive-through analytics: LPR can be used to capture records of license plates passing through drive-throughs, providing valuable data for vehicle count analytics and business intelligence applications.

Tolling booths: LPR can be used to capture records of all license plates that pass through toll booths or other tolling areas. Together with our APIs, this allows customers to connect our LPR system with third party toll and ticketing management systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will first-generation bullet cameras provide the same level of license plate recognition (LPR) performance as the current, second-generation models?

No, the second-generation Bullet cameras (CB52-E, CB52-TE, CB62-E, CB62-TE) are equipped with a more advanced system on a chip (SOC) and a dedicated computer vision co-processor that supports an improved LPR algorithm, resulting in better license plate character detection. The second-generation cameras can capture license plates from vehicles traveling at speeds of up to 80 mph / 128 kph, compared to the 25 mph / 40 kph capability of first-generation models (CB51-E, CB51-TE, CB61-E, CB61-TE). Additionally, the second-generation bullet cameras can support LPR across up to three lanes, while the first-generation models can only support a single lane.

Is it possible to use cameras in LPR mode for video security beyond just license plate recognition?

Yes, cameras in LPR mode also operate as regular Verkada security cameras. Cameras in LPR mode are still recording footage 24/7 in adaptive quality. This allows customers to review history, perform motion searches, and create archives. Both security footage and captured license plates will be available for the retention period of the camera.

However, it's worth noting that Verkada's People and Vehicle Analytics features are disabled when the camera is in LPR mode.

Is it necessary to use a Bullet camera as the context camera in a dual-camera LPR setup?

No, any Verkada camera that is not an LPR camera can be used as a context camera in a dual-camera LPR setup. You have the flexibility to choose the camera that best suits your needs and preferences.

What is the function of a context camera and when is it necessary to use one?

When using LPR, it is recommended to focus on 1-3 lanes so that passing vehicles take up most of the frame as they pass through the scene. LPR cameras also operate in the infrared range of the light spectrum instead of visible range. This is because license plates are highly reflective for infrared light and are designed to be read in that spectrum.

A customer may want to also monitor the scene while using LPR cameras. In this case, a context camera can be used to provide a broader view without compromising the LPR's performance. Context cameras are also useful for general security purposes and capturing balanced contrast color footage to better investigate observed vehicles.

When is it necessary to use an external IR illuminator for capturing license plates and what model should I choose?

If the location where license plates will be captured is in a low-light or distant area, it is highly recommended to use an external IR illuminator to enhance the visibility of the license plates. Contact a Verkada Sales Representative for recommendations on which 3rd party product to use.

What is the camera’s behavior in the event of an internet outage?

In the case of an internet outage, the LPR camera will continue to record license plate data and video using its onboard storage. Once the internet connection is restored, the stored data will be sent to the cloud.

Is it possible to integrate a Verkada LPR camera into an external system, such as a tolling system?

Yes, Verkada offers APIs for accessing license plate data. If you would like to integrate a Verkada LPR camera with an external system, please reach out to our solutions engineering team to see if we can support your specific use case.

What types of license plates are incompatible with Verkada's LPR technology?

Our LPR system is only designed to recognize license plates with Latin characters and does not support license plates with three or fewer characters.

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