ANPR - the numbers add up for installers
Technology partners Hanwha Techwin and FF Group have jointly developed a comprehensive range of intelligent on-board camera ANPR solutions. In this article Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for video surveillance specialists Hanwha Techwin Europe and Jan Hazlbauer, Project Manager for analytics experts FF Group, have worked together to highlight the opportunities for installers to achieve sales growth by helping end-user clients take advantage of the benefits offered by ANPR.
We may look back in a few years time and wonder how we ever managed without vehicle number recognition in the same way we now take microwave ovens, dishwashers and smartphones for granted. ANPR, as it is commonly known, is increasingly being used across a far wider and diverse range of applications, which until recently might not have been imagined. This is primarily because the feature rich solutions on offer from leading developers such as FF Group, are now much more powerful and reliable than earlier generations of ANPR.
The opportunity for installers of video surveillance solutions to generate new revenue streams from ANPR is supported by the latest research carried out by IHS Markit. This indicates that the global market revenues from sales of intelligent ANPR devices are forecast to reach $800 million by 2022 and then increase at a compound annual growth rate of 16.4%.
ANPR has historically been used by police to verify if a car has been stolen, is untaxed or is uninsured. It has also been deployed by local authorities to enforce parking and traffic violations, as well as by petrol stations to combat the problem of people driving off without paying for fuel. More recently, car park operators have been using ANPR to control entry and exit of ‘white listed’ cars.
Increased functionality and the availability of ANPR solutions which are affordable for virtually any application, means installers can now assist their clients to use ANPR beyond traditional security purposes. We have already seen some interesting and unusual ANPR deployments, including:
· Marketing solution
A marketing agency is using ANPR to analyse the impact of billboard advertising campaigns. An ANPR app, running onboard open-platform, high definition network cameras, provides data on the number of cars and the speed at which they pass the billboards. This gives an indication as to the number of people who are likely to have seen the adverts and for how long. The agency is using the data to provide their clients with reports on the cost effectiveness of each billboard by comparing them with others in different locations.
· Temporary Construction Sites Access
Health & Safety procedures need to be strictly adhered to on building sites and access also needs to be strictly controlled to reduce the risk of the theft of valuable plant and machinery. With this in mind, ANPR has been installed at a large construction site on board a Full HD network camera, in order to minimise the number of security guards needed to manage vehicle access.
The ANPR app recognises the number plates of any vehicles which are authorised to be driven onto the site, including trucks belonging to the building company and those owned by suppliers. Depending on which vehicles have been temporarily or permanently placed on a white list, access is automatically granted or denied without any human involvement.
· Speed Control
ANPR is also helping keep people safe at a large logistics centre.
Large numbers of people work at this very busy site. With vehicles constantly arriving and departing, the owners of the logistics centre have a duty of care to minimise the risk of collisions, which could result in employees or visitors being seriously injured.
The software running on board cameras installed at two sperate locations, recognises the number plates of vehicles moving between the two points and measures their average speed whilst driving to or from the loading bay area.
Security personnel are alerted if any driver exceeds the strictly enforced speed limit. The potential for accidents is high at this very busy site and so security personnel are empowered to issue fines to any driver who ignores the speed limit.
· Hotel Parking
A city centre hotel is utilising ANPR to ensure guests are able to gain access at night to its car park which has a limited number of spaces. Pre-registered vehicles are automatically granted access, whilst on-duty managers are sent text alerts when guests drive into the car park they can be greeted as they enter the hotel.
The hotel takes pride in its endeavours to improve the customer experience. One way of doing this is to guarantee each guest a parking space and then making them feel special by way of a personal welcome from a senior member of the hotel team. ANPR allows them to do so efficiently and cost-effectively.
· The VIP Treatment
In a highly competitive market, businesses are more than ever placing high importance on customer retention. Hotels are therefore not alone in wishing to treat their customers as VIPs. Car dealers are, for example, capitalising on the functionality of ANPR to identify returning customers as they drive into the dealership’s car park. Whilst visits from all existing and potential customers are highly valued, the company wishes to make customers who have previously bought top of the range models particularly welcome.
As is the case with the city hotel application, senior management are sent text alerts, as well as emails when a customer whose vehicle has been entered onto a white list, drives into the dealership’s car park.
The above are just a few examples of where ANPR is being innovatively used. No doubt, the professional installation companies operating within the security industry will find many more ways to take advantage this highly effective technology and enable their clients to obtain added value from their video surveillance solutions.