• Feb 13, 2007
Bad guys beware, there is new technology that will hunt you down and have you singing the jailhouse blues faster than ever before. Harnessing the power of computers, the ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition System) allows police to be far more efficient, by no longer relying on just their sharp set of human eyes to spot suspect vehicles.
There are three cameras fitted to a police vehicle -- marked or unmarked. In the video after the jump, the vehicle is unmarked, and by just driving down the road, every plate from oncoming traffic, and cars on the side of the road (or the next lane), is logged and analyzed. There's also a side-facing camera which comes into play when cruising parking lots. The system can handle up to 3,000 plates a day, and by making it a passive activity, it turns nabbing bad guys into something akin to playing the lottery.

The system can be anywhere and everywhere, from stationary systems to car-mounted mobile units, there is no hiding from the long arm of the law. All an officer needs to do is drive around. With the system keeping an ever-vigilant watch on all the plates and comparing them with a database of suspect plate numbers, police time is freed up, so they can go about protecting and serving. Heck, while on their way to another call, they may just get lucky and pass a vehicle that "hits", turning it into a bonus score for the day.

Thanks for the tip, Dave!

Video after the jump

[Source: mobilemag]

Automatic Licence Plate Recognition System - video powered by Metacafe


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  • 29 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      enormous number of illegal immigrants here in the chitown area forge temporary tags, steel plates or stickers and cars for that matter. if it can help stop that, well, great. arrest them and make their lives hell.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Time to invest in some of those plate distorting covers. Here in FL, you can actually pay your tolls with just your plate instead of the little device that beeps at you in the cockpit. I'm not sure if it is the same system, however.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wonderful tool! Like mentioned above, it you can't do the time, don't do the crime! Pay your damn money and be valid.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As a police officer in Los Angeles, all I can say is I have a lot more pressing issues then finding out if you're a week late registering your car. We have a test program using this system. It has been successful in returning many stolen vehicles back to the rightful owners a long with capturing violent felons, not to mention the amber alert or two....

      Big brother? Police state? Where do we draw the line? As law enforcement, isn't it our responsibility to use every technology to make this country safer? I guess you could call someone like Timothy Mc Vie or David Koresh to capure the guy who robbed you, they didn't trust the cops either.

      Sure, some cops will use this to write a registration or some other piddley ticket. But the majority will use it to make the people in the area they patrol a little safer.

      Cops aren't perfect. Even other officers know that. Remember, we hire from the human race and the last perfect one of those died 2000 years ago.......
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sorry to burst your bubble, but Motorola has has this system available for cop cars since last year. They will recognize plates at a 130 MPH differential speed (e.g. both going 65 in the opposite direction) and compare to records the officer has on the laptop in his car.

      http://www.motorola.com/mediacenter/news/detail.jsp?globalObjectId=6177_6135_23

      Me, I like the idea that an officer can have other eyes watching the road for plates that are on BOLO or Amber alert lists.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "17. Wonderful tool! Like mentioned above, it you can't do the time, don't do the crime! Pay your damn money and be valid."

      Pay your money and be valid? How can you be valid. It's your car, you own it. Why do you have to register it in the first place?

      And on top of that, how can you need your servants permission to drive? Seems pretty silly to me, that you must pay to obtain permission to drive in a free society.

      Oh, wait, we're not free. *#)(%*@$(%^@#(%*)@$(&*%
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is this even legal? I mean... wait... crap... I hear someone coming to my door... ah... I LOVE YOU BIG BROTHER!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Driving is not a privilege!!! It is a necessity and a right.
      I am tired of hearing that argument. It is like anything else though, abuse it and it can be taken away.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This isn't new. These cameras have been on police vehicles in toronto for quite some time.
      • 7 Years Ago
      3000 plates a day? i pass more cars than that on my daily commute into the office...

      i hope they mean each car with this setup can process 3000 plates a day, not the central system...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mmm... wholesale surveillance. And there is absolutely no chance for abuse at all. At all!

      Let's just have tracking device implanted under everyone's skins. Only dishonest people have things to hide after all.

      Land of the free!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I used to be on the side of the police until recently I moved from Los Angeles to Tulsa, OK. I grew up right around here back in the 1980's and back then it was cool. But now, Tulsa has hired way too many police officers because of the so called "crime" in the area and the cops have nothing to do, except harass the public. I have been stopped here at least 3 times in the last month and was towed for an expired tag, while I was pulling into the tag agents parking lot. On all occassions the police were rude and obnoxious. It took me a month to save up enough money to get my car out of the police impound yard and then, I get a notice in the mail that I have a warrant for my arrest, because I forgot to show up on court for those tickets. I had already showed up previously and those tickets were thrown out by the judge. This goes to show you how corrupt the police have become. I am against them in every way. This camera system should be abolished or the public should destroy it. The police have to be reminded that they work for the public, they are here to SERVE and PROTECT, not to harrass the public. Now instead of helping the police I shall look the other way when they need assistance, after all they've brought it on themselves.
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