Is ANPR The Future of Enforcement
04 May 2022 •
by Wes Lubbe, Head of Customer Experience, Unity 5 and ZatPark
Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology, as you’ll probably know, is a powerful parking management tool. It can facilitate frictionless parking transactions and can be used to confirm a link between a vehicle using a car park and payments made for that visit or a parking permit. Being aware that there could be lots of people in the industry hungry for information on ANPR and how the new Parking Code of Practice might impact its use, particularly as the enforcement of parking on private land is covered within it, we decided to use our webinar in partnership with Transport Xtra and Landor LINKS to talk about it last week.
The panel of experts we assembled had different but complementary experience and links with ANPR usage. Chaired by myself, the full panel were:
• James Hampton, Onboarding and Implementation Specialist, Unity5
• Peter Dowling, Head of Systems and Infrastructure, BaySentry Solutions
• Nick Hensel, Director, Watching UK
• Steve Walker, Managing Director, MAV Systems
• Lawson Noble, Chief Technical Officer, Vaxtor Recognition Systems
Each panellist in turn shared some thoughts and talked through some slides, highlighting their expertise and insight into what the future of ANPR might hold.
James represented ZatPark and talked about what has held operators back in the past but how they are now embracing the potential of ANPR technology. He also shared how ANPR can be used to capture really useful enforcement data and how ZatPark’s product suite helps with that and adds value.
Peter Dowling was up next and he talked us through BaySentry’s solutions and how certain perceptions of ANPR use have changed, including how the technology has become more sophisticated allowing for more targeted use and how it can be linked to payment methods.
Nick Hensel has been in the design, supply, installation and configuration of ANPR business for many years. He highlighted the factors that should be considered before installation such as weight of equipment, the height it should be set at, best practice relating to read angles etc. Any system should ultimately be well-designed and then well maintained.
Steve Walker very kindly stepped in at short notice to represent MAV Systems as Barinder Moore was unable to participate. Steve was able to shine a light on the design and technology that ANPR cameras can offer and he stressed the importance of employing a specialist installer. So many factors need to be considered when using ANPR such as seasonal impacts on clarity and readability, and using advanced cameras and black and white to read number plates at night.
Finally, Lawson Noble gave us a comprehensive overview of Vaxtor’s Systems recognition technologies and the different types of recognition they offer. He told us that the Private Parking Code of Practice could result in reduced income for car park operators with lower limits on some fines. That could mean that traditional ANPR systems are no longer cost effective unless they are more accurate, run on lower cost platforms and deliver value for money. He gave us valuable insight into how innovation at Vaxtor is fuelling the development of their technology.
The in-depth knowledge shared by our panel was fascinating and I believe we all learned something new. Our webinar visitors were clearly fascinated as well if the many and varied questions were anything to go by. Many visitors were keen to find out more about ZatPark’s product features, others asked about the effect of mobile phone use on ANPR use and there were some questions about viability of the use of ANPR in smaller car parks and the costs associated with set up. I fielded questions to the panellists and we managed to answer a fair amount before technology decided to let me down right at the end.
The Parking Code will not address the use of ANPR among local authorities for use in public car parks so there is still much that remains to be seen in terms of its implementation. However, the webinar did shed some light on many areas of ANPR technology, and there was some good engagement by the audience which we really appreciated.
We hope that you will take the time to watch the recording if you weren’t able to join us: