Vision system helps automate car park management


By Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

An automatic license-plate recognition system has been developed by Niaar (Dubai, UAE) for plate recognition at check-point gates in multi-story parking plazas.

Demand for multi-story car parks in Dubai has shot up, especially in the Central Business Districts in Deira and Bur Dubai. In 2010, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced a plan to build at least 50 multi-story parking plazas in Dubai to cope with increasing parking problems. Each new parking facility is required to be equipped with CCTV and a centralized and automated payment system.

Niaar’s automatic number plate recognition system is designed to simplify and speed up the management of the entry and exit of vehicles inside the parking area. As vehicles go through the gate, the system captures images of the license plate, which are then analyzed by the system’s software and stored into a database together with other parameters such as time and date.

The automatic number plate recognition system consists of a Prosilica GC1290 camera from Allied Vision Technologies (Stadtroda , Germany) mounted inside a dustproof IP65 enclosure on top of a 1 meter tall post at a slight angle approximately 2 to 3 meters away from a vehicle’s license plate.

The camera is connected to an industrial PC running Windows across an Ethernet network via Cat6 Ethernet cable or fiber-optics depending on the distance. The server is located at each entrance to the car park’s gates.

The system can be installed in under two hours and requires recalibration every six months to maintain 95% + accuracy. Other settings such as shutter speed, aperture, gain and binning can be controlled and adjusted remotely via the software to adapt to local lighting conditions.

The system been built to perform 24 hours a day in temperatures up to 50°C, and is ruggedized to sustain dust and strong sunlight.