Text Box: 7/12/2005 11:03 AM

Dear Larry,

I enjoyed your feature article in this month's issue of the IAPR Newsletter— thank you.  I have been working on automatic number plate
recognition (ANPR) for the last four years with one of the UK's leading providers of traffic monitoring equipment.

FYI, it is a well-known trade secret that the London congestion charging scheme does not actually use ANPR.  Instead, they have large banks of human operators who watch the images and type in the plate numbers
manually.  Laborious and time-consuming, but very effective, as your congestion ticket  indicates!

There are a number of commercial ANPR systems that achieve very high accuracies, up to 99% or more in some situations.  Others vary
between 50% and 90% and are used very successfully in a number of toll, employee car-parking, traffic-flow monitoring and other applications.

For a high-risk and high-profile new scheme in a sensitive place such as London, the decision-makers seem to have opted for a method they can fully trust rather than technology that may have been prone to error, however slight, since the last thing they wanted was erroneous tickets through the front doors of the British public!  With the manual method, it would seem that they employ double- or triple-checking of the data, of course.

Yours sincerely,

Usama Hasan

Letters to the Editor

Click here for Top of Page

The article referred to in this letter was the

“Pattern Recognition in

Traffic Engineering”

feature that appeared in the

July 2005 issue of the

IAPR Newsletter 


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