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Licence/number plate reading software ?

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  • Licence/number plate reading software ?

    Hello, I was wonder if anyone knows of software to 'read' licence plates from a webcam attached to the windshield and store it. I think the UK cops have a system ?. I just like the idea to 'collect' numbers kind of like the old 'Eye Spy' kids books ?!

    Dave…

  • #2
    WTF would you need to do that for?

    Maybe you should start out slow and go into the Newbie section!!!
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    • #3
      Yea sure... I work for a company called TSI Solutions that sells computer vision systems. For about $10,000 well hook you up.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rickertsen2
        Yea sure... I work for a company called TSI Solutions that sells computer vision systems. For about $10,000 well hook you up.
        Sweet. I'll take 3!
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        • #5
          It's not hard, but it would be tedious. Unless you had servos changing the angle and direction the camera is pointing to, you'd have to crop the picture taken and then analyze the picture using computer vision algorithms to "read" the license plates.

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          • #6
            I can feel the sarcasm telling me, I might just get a long okay in this place.
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            • #7
              Just steal a police traffic car it would be easier and cheaper!

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              • #8
                I came across some Linux software to do it but it's very alpha(may have been from the 'SPECS' system in the UK?), It can't de that difficult do, sort of video OCR for a webcam? Just 'looks' for a Yellow (or white) box with black numerals of a certain size. Oh well it's only an idea....!!

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                • #9
                  But why bother?? I mean if some %£$"%$ was capturing and keeping my number plate other than the guys with the blue flashing lights I'd be rather pi$$ed off.

                  Why would you want to know others plates? Makes me a little uneasy tbh.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by UK_MP3Car
                    But why bother?? I mean if some %£$"%$ was capturing and keeping my number plate other than the guys with the blue flashing lights I'd be rather pi$$ed off.

                    Why would you want to know others plates? Makes me a little uneasy tbh.
                    maybe he's a PI working for you know who!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by myozone
                      It can't de that difficult do, sort of video OCR for a webcam? Just 'looks' for a Yellow (or white) box with black numerals of a certain size. Oh well it's only an idea....!!
                      I've worked on a few vision algoritms for autonomous vehicle control and computer vision is one of the most difficult problems out there. Just because its easy for humans to do, doesn't imply its easy for computers. Finding a yellow or white box from a good picture head on is not that difficult assuming your background is not noisy and is distinctive, but to do it in a real world enviornment is a whole other problem. You have to take into account that the license plate can be any distance and angle from you and probably out of focus. You might be able to constrain that a bit to only be able to recognize plates of cars directly in front of you, but your biggest problem is going to be to deal with very poor image quality and more importantly very inconsistent images you'll get from a cheap web cam. You'll get over saturation when its too bright out and very dark images when its dark out in addition to the normal image noise you get just because of the poor image sensor quality. When you have poor image capture, your going to get a lot of crappy images and you'll have a ton of things that look very similar to license plates, i.e. headlights, street signs, wheels, street lines, partially obscured license plates, depending on your algorithm you use and the conditions the image sensor of the camera was exposed to, if your just looking for a box, all these things can look similar, particularly when you add in a typical amount of noise and over saturation that is to be expected. After you do find the license plate, you'll still have a ton of problems getting the text on the plate to a point where you can use OCR on it. OCR recognition goes down exponentially when you use skewed or noisy images.

                      In any case, most programs used specifically for image processing can't do anything useful out of the box. Most require a significant amount of tayloring to the specific problem your trying to solve and will require an in depth understanding of the image processing techniques they use. To get good recongition, you will have to account for everything from the mounting position of the camera to the image sensor quality and speed you'll be driving at.

                      If your really serious about doing this, there are a number of image processing code libraries out there made specifically for this, alot free, just google for image processing, but its not going to be an easy thing to do.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scouse Monkey
                        maybe he's a PI working for you know who!

                        For 'her'???

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                        • #13
                          No I'am not PI ;-) Just intersted how it could be done....

                          Dave (male!)

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                          • #14
                            you are crazy mon ami, tu es peut etre un policier qui veut prendre les numero de plaque des voyoux!!!
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                            • #15
                              I was thinking about this a few months ago. Primarily to catalog ****bag drivers, and as vision technology gets better you could detect previously known bad drivers from a reasonable distance.

                              People who I can see benefitting from such technology:

                              * parents with kids in the car, wanting to avoid known dangerous drivers
                              * people wanting to be alerted when near friends, a crush, etc
                              * PI's, investigators, cops, big brother, repomen
                              * fun and experimental programs/scripts to find "cool" name based license plates (sort of like DXing in the Ham Radio field)

                              blah blah...
                              Kevin
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