Some time ago, we launched a license plate recognition module that allows for detecting vehicles. Our customers use this system for a variety of tasks: control and automation of entering and exiting gated parking lots in residential complexes and business centers, traffic monitoring on city streets to automate the deployment of specialized equipment (for example, for snow removal), and video analytics.
At the same time, our employees watched the implementation of the license plate recognition system and began to apply it in their daily life. One of our colleagues, Max, spent almost all the quarantine in a secured community of dacha cottages used mainly as second homes out in the countryside, regularly making trips to the shops by car. At the entrance to the village-like community, there is a barrier, which is opened with a magnetic key card. This system has always caused inconveniences for the residents of the village. The card was periodically lost, forgotten, it would break, or be passed on to third parties, which made it difficult or impossible to enter and leave the village.
Eventually, Max decided to save himself and his neighbors from these troubles and implemented a license plate recognition system to automate the opening of the barrier. The system implementation process took only a couple of weeks. Let's take a look at what this process consisted of.
Step 1 - Equipment Installation
The first stage of the system implementation was the installation of cameras with Flussonic Agent to automatically connect them to the cloud server. In order to set up a communication channel, a modem was installed, which provided a stable Internet connection at 10 Mbps. Each of the two cameras generated about 1 Mbps of traffic.
Step 2 - Connecting to the Сloud Service
As a cloud server, we provided the colleague with access to our VSAAS.IO platform, where possible, including our license plate recognition service. The convenience of the platform lies in the fact that its user does not need to purchase and install any special equipment in order to use video analytics. In addition, on the platform, Max stores archived video from installed CCTV cameras for when needed by the village chairman or residents.
Step 3 - Creating a White List of Numbers and Setting up the Barrier Control
The cameras were connected, license plate recognition service initiated, and the next step was to create a white list of the vehicles and turn on the automated control of the barrier.
Our system is able to send recognition events to an external URL. Each recognition event was sent to the local server URL in the form of a RaspberryPI installed in the security house in the village.
Max created a simple application, which he deployed on the server in the village. The application consisted of a simple database and a web interface. All the occurred events with car numbers were displayed in the interface. From these events, it was possible to take the recognized numbers and add them to the white list, indicating there the full name of the car owner and the house number. You can also add the license plate manually, without waiting for its preliminary recognition.
There was only the final touch left - to give the command to open and close the barrier.
Initially, the barrier was controlled by the access control system, which has an input for a “dry contact” for connecting the enter and exit buttons. We needed to send a signal to the controller input to automatically open the gates for the vehicles whose recognized license plates were on a white list.
This required a relay “dry contact”. A USB relay with a simple operating principle was purchased from an online store: the device connects to RaspberryPI, receives an HTTP command over the network, and closes the output relay. The command was sent by a server installed in the village, where the application with a white list was running. The relay closed the input of the controller of the barrier, and the barrier opened in front of the arriving car.
Our license plate recognition system is available to any user - you can try it too by leaving a request for a free trial: