Automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) is a technology that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates to create vehicle location data. It can use existing closed-circuit television, road-rule enforcement cameras, or cameras specifically designed for the task. ANPR is used by police forces around the world for law enforcement purposes, including to check if a vehicle is registered or licensed. It is also used for electronic toll collection on pay-per-use roads and as a method of cataloging the movements of traffic, for example by highways agencies.
Automatic number-plate recognition can be used to store the images captured by the cameras as well as the text from the license plate, with some configurable to store a photograph of the driver. Systems commonly use infrared lighting to allow the camera to take the picture at any time of day or night. ANPR technology must take into account plate variations from place to place.
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It's also recognized by different names:
- Automatic (or automated) license-plate reader (ALPR)
- Automatic vehicle identification (AVI)
- Car plate recognition (CPR)
- License plate recognition (LPR)
- Mobile license-plate reader (MLPR)
- Vehicle license-plate recognition (VLPR)