Automatic License Plate Recognition
It is believed that there are currently more than half a billion cars on the roads worldwide. All those vehicles have their vehicle identification number ("VIN") as their primary identifier. The vehicle identification number is actually a license number which states a legal license to participate in the public traffic.
All vehicle world-wide should have its license number - written on a license plate - mounted onto its body (at least at the back side) and no vehicle without properly mounted, well visible and well readable license plate should run on the roads.
To process, sort or analyse data everyone thinks about using computers. If the data is already in the computer most of these tasks are rather easy to be carried out. It is needless to say that the license number is the most important identification data a computer system should treat when dealing with vehicles.
Suppose a company's security manager would like to have a system that precisely tells at every moment where the cars of the company are: in the garage or out on roads. By registering every single drive-out from and drive-in to the garage, the system could always tell which car is out and which is in. The key issue of this task is that the registration of the movement of the vehicles should be done automatically by the system, otherwise it would require manpower.
Automatic License Plate Recognition does not mean less nor more than the above mentioned automation of data input. Automatic License Plate Recognition replaces, redeems the task of manually typing the plate number of the bypassing vehicle into the computer system.
When talking about License Plate Recognition System people usually understand a computer system that utilises automatic license plate recognition for data input automation.
Strictly speaking License Plate Recognition System is an integrated hardware + software device that reads the vehicles license plate and outputs the license plate number in ASCII - to some data processing system. Again, License Plate Recognition means Automated Data Input where Data equals the registration number of the vehicle.