Can Parking Lot Cameras Read License Plates?

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Yes, parking lot cameras can read license plates through License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology. This modern technology brings significant benefits for parking management, enhancing visitor experiences, and enabling owners to optimize their revenue.


It is essential not to confuse camera systems with LPR technology and video surveillance systems. Security cameras (CCTV Cameras) are designed to record a specific area to deter intrusions, vandalism, and criminal activities in general. A surveillance system with a classic security camera cannot read license plates.

How Do Cameras Read License Plates?

Infrared cameras strategically positioned in the parking lot are designed to capture the numbers and letters of license plates. These images are then processed by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, translating the captured characters into digital data that a computer can easily read. The plate data is stored and utilized to enhance the overall visitor experience.

Over time, advancements in OCR technology have significantly improved the accuracy of license plate reading. Modern parking lot cameras can operate in various conditions, with day and night vision, indoor-outdoor, waterproof, reading license plates even at high speeds.

4 Ways to Improve Your Parking with LPR Technologies

  1. Barrierless parking system : No need for entrance barrier or entrance tickets; the system detects the vehicle, automatically assigning a price based on parking duration at the exit. This solution saves visitors time and speeds up the entry flow.
  2. Digital Signage : Automatically display license plate-linked prices on a full HD digital signage screen, connectable via HDMI and Ethernet using a digital signage player, upon vehicle detection at the exit. Manage screens remotely with a digital signage software.
  3. Parking lot car counter : Cameras reliably count the number of vehicles present in the parking lot. This information can be communicated to visitors to enhance their experience.
  4. Wayfinding : Offer reliable and efficient parking space guidance to improve and anticipate traffic flow in the parking lot. Additionally, the guidance can be used for deliveries, directing drivers to the correct spaces.

How Much LPR Technology Cost?

The installation and maintenance cost of LPR technology can vary based on parking size, the number of required cameras, and specific features requested. It is recommended to seek personalized quotes from specialized providers for accurate estimates.

On average, installation of the license plate recognition system costs could start in the low thousands of dollars, while larger, enterprise-level solutions can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

What About Privacy and Security?

When it comes to user privacy and security, it’s crucial to note that the License Plate Recognition (LPR) system is designed to ensure a high level of anonymity. License plates are not associated with a specific car model or a face. The sole function of these cameras is to read license plates without collecting other personal information.

Furthermore, the system operates in a closed circuit, meaning captured data remains within the parking lot’s local network and is not sent to the cloud. This enhances the confidentiality of information by preventing unauthorized remote access.

An additional privacy protection measure is the automatic destruction of license plate data once the vehicle has left the parking lot. Thus, no personal information is retained beyond operational necessity, ensuring responsible use of LPR technology while respecting user privacy. However, for a parking space guidance system, data may be pre-recorded before the vehicle arrives to organize parking management efficiently.


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