How does ANPR work?

ANPR offers a great deal of attraction as a technology and there are no easy or legal substitutes to be able to identify a vehicle without the owner or driver having to actively enrol or be issued with some form of wireless device to be tracked.

ANPR Systems & Architecture

Automatic Number Plate Recognition software finds number plates from IP Camera image streams and extracts and records the plate result with the associated metadata (typically, Camera ID / Lane#, Site ID, Time & Date).

It is standard to also capture an image or two that may have the time and date (and even the extracted plate details) embedded at the time of capture.  Whilst any IP camera might work to some extent, you would be ill-advised to use just any old IP Camera if you need 24/7 high accuracy results (irrespective of any fantastic claims).  Be wary of recognition accuracy claims.

We use ANPR for Security Alerts & Monitoring, Staff and Visitor Car Park Access Control, Retail Car Park Management,  Vehicle Statistics, Marketing Applications and VIP Alerts.  Many ANPR Systems are purchased without Application Software but instead send plate reads to a 3rd Party System.  Many Facilities use ANPR for multiple applications.

ANPR Solutions that work for you

Based on current technology, ANPR systems fall into two broad categories

    A. Intelligent Cameras, where the image sensor, illumination, processor and recognition software are all in the camera housing. Typically read results are sent over a network to a central processor where they are stored.  Application software will make decisions based upon rules allowing access, car park counts, opening barriers and security alerts.

    B. Central Processing where IP ANPR Camera streams are decoded and processed centrally on either a single ANPR PC / Processor / Server / Virtual Server.

    The Application will also be managed centrally as ‘A’.

    Your ANPR Project

    Check List & Pointers


    • Aims & Objectives – What do you want to achieve from the ANPR System? We can help by talking through the options with your team.  ANPR systems can save money, speed up traffic flow and make life easier for staff, visitors, and delivery vehicles.  For Warehousing and Distribution applications plate reads can be sent directly into your site management suite.
    • If you do not already have a budget worked out for your Project, we can help.
    • Your Site – We can survey, evaluate and assess its present suitability (many sites have ‘ANPR problems’ because the existing traffic flows will never work.
    • The Operational Specification – We can discuss, advise, assist and write up this key document with you or for you.
    • Staff Engagement – This is often missed and you need to involve your Staff to ensure buy-in and compliance.
    • Site Security & Alerts.
    • 3rd Party Integration. Do you need ANPR data to be sent to a third party system?
    • Technology Assessment and Testing.
    • Your Systems Integrator / Installer should become an integral part of your Project Team at an early stage.
    • Staff Training for Systems Administrators.
    • System Maintenance and Support.
    • GDPR Compliance Considerations.

    As with all things, there can be advantages and disadvantages with ANPR Technology options.  Even from the same technology provider, recognition rates can vary between an Intelligent camera and a traditional PC based option.

    No matter what you want to achieve with ANPR, once you start to get into your ANPR Project you will have questions that you will not have anticipated including reading International Plates, Private Plates, Counting Vehicles, Alarms on Plates of Interest and how best to deal with Staff who don’t want to play within the rules.

    Apart from the technology, your site may need some tweaks to ensure that your ANPR System will work correctly. 


    +44 (0) 1279 666399

    COGTEX Ltd
    Endeavour House
    Coopers End Rd
    CM24 1SJ

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