It may surprise you to learn that, from a recognition accuracy perspective, typical Police expectations are lower than typical Car Park Access Control or monitoring demands, so don’t be sold exclusively by ‘as used by Police’ claims.
So why do ANPR Projects run into trouble?
Amongst the most common reasons for failed systems are
- Application Software does not deliver the features needed. This is the fundamental reason an Operational Specification is a must have to protect your business. If you buy just ‘an ANPR System’ without the absolute specification of how it is to work for Security Alerts, Staff Car Park Access, Visitor Car Park Access, Delivery Vehicles (some facilities want to restrict a vehicle’s time on site to say 20 minutes for Security reasons.) You may also have some challenges with Staff parking in the Visitors Car Park and this can delay meetings and sends a poor welcome to your Visitors.
- Poor Technology (Cameras or Recognition Software). We have seen examples of Systems Integrators / Installers being ‘sold’ product by their suppliers that will never fulfil the User’s Needs.
- Cameras badly located to capture vehicle number plates (angles that are too skewed or plates that missed due to tailgating).
- Poor installation that might include, cabling issues, network issues / requirements not being planned).
Do I need an ANPR Consultant?
Whilst not every Project may need an ANPR Consultant – for example, simple systems from reputable Manufacturers / ANPR Software Developers and installed by competent ‘ANPR experienced’ Systems Integrators, problems typically arise with larger, busier sites with demanding and complex applications. However even ‘simple’ systems with just one or two barriers can require complex application rules that may not be within the software that you buy and inexperienced installers may install a system that will never provide your desired solution.
ANPR Solutions that work for you
Over the last few years, there has also been a raft of intelligent, all in one ‘ANPR Cameras’ launched with on-board recognition software with the results ranging from really good to not so good. Whilst the on-board recognition software may have a good pedigree, there can still be issues with on-board processing resource that may not be fast enough or IR illumination that might be suitable for CCTV purposes but not designed for number plate capture.
Also, application software can vary from being fairly simple to highly complex and the greater the complexity, the greater the need to specify, plan and ensure that your internal staff get adequate training and support.
ANPR installers (and their clients) can suffer badly resulting in the End User being deeply unhappy with a non-performing ANPR System. Unlike a CCTV system that may have some technical challenges, a problematic or incorrectly specified or installed ANPR system can cause serious unforeseen Vehicle Site Access and Site Security issues.
It is important to have appropriate Ts & Cs in place along with an agreed Operational Specification that is embodied as part of the System Contract and is referred to in your Purchase Order.
Staff Car Park Users who have not been suitably engaged in the process leading up to the ANPR installation will often fully exploit any system weaknesses and this will undermine it. Early Staff Engagement and buy-in can be a critical factor that can make or break the success of any project.
You also need to ensure that there is Compliance with GDPR and do not assume that if a technology solution is being offered that it must be compliant.
We can help all the way through the process and assist your system installer / integrator in a helpful, team-spirited way.
Although we have worked in the industry for many years we never say ‘ANPR is easy’.