iStock_000019033750Medium (NXP)Cars are involved in many terror attacks, Israeli technology of image recognition is being used now to minimize the threat that involve cars. The system developed by HTS is generating great interest and there are negotiations about it’s use in different “sensitive” sites.

In May 2010 a Nissan Pathfinder was found with a smoking bomb in Times Square, New York City. Police suspicions were confirmed because the Connecticut plates did not match the car registry. In fact, the plates were registered to a Ford pickup truck which had been sent for demolition two weeks earlier. Luckily, the bomb device failed to fully detonate and was deactivated before causing damage. But had VIR technology been deployed this discrepancy between the car and it’s plates would have been picked up at numerous points before the car reached its final destination in the heart of Manhattan.

Law enforcement and homeland security organizations, among other are also responsible for detecting vehicles with false license plates. Cars with stolen plates are usually associated with organized criminal or terror activity. Car thieves use out-of-state plates to move stolen cars across state or country lines. Others steal plates in order to commit traffic violations, or to evade toll payment or radar speed cameras.

According to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports, a motor vehicle is stolen in the US every 40 seconds. Furthermore, although theft rates have decreased since 2005, recovery rates have also decreased and only 12.4 percent of thefts were cleared in 2009. This reflects the fact that thieves have become more sophisticated at tampering with vehicle plates in order to reduce the risk of capture.

Numerous parameters identify vehicles and license plates are just one of these factors, Basic License Plate Recognition (LPR) systems are limited. Until now, LPR systems have been unable to provide details such as car make, model and color, LPR systems can, at best, only provide a partial representation. Even though today’s LPR systems can almost perfectly identify a car’s license plate as genuine and original, the system cannot indicate any discrepancy between the license plate and the car the plate is on.

Therefore, vehicles equipped with stolen license plates would not cause any alert and pass freely – as happened in Times Square last May. Hence, a legal license plate installed on the “wrong” vehicle , would not be stopped by law enforcement officers.
Israeli company HTS, has developed the very advanced Vehicle Identity Recognition (VIR) suite.

This patent pending technology incorporates video analytics, advanced image processing and computer vision capabilities. Working together with the company’s LPR systems, the VIR suite recognizes vehicle manufacturer logos (car make), car model, vehicle body and plate colors, country or state names and special plate icons . It makes comparisons between vehicle parameters, providing a more complete picture with great accuracy. LPR combined with VIR can report that there’s a Red Honda from Kansas with Handicap plates with a given plate number for toll billing, stolen vehicle or plate identification.

The new VIR suite can identify most US, European and Asia car makes and models, state or country name on the license plate, specific icons, and car and plate color. It can be easily integrated with third party databases and applications to enhance capabilities over a number of scenarios.

In airport entrances, toll booths and parking garages, gated communities and corporate campuses, license plate recognition systems outfitted with the new vehicle recognition feature can be installed at access lanes. There, they automatically monitor vehicles entering and exiting the area, detecting any discrepancies between the vehicle type and its license plate number, as is registered in relevant databases. The VIR suite can also work at high speeds, enabling law enforcement, security and tolling agencies to benefit from additional parameters in vehicle recognition.

The VIR suite’s recognition capabilities greatly enhance verification and classification. Making correlations between car types, license plate numbers, and data stored on police and homeland security databases, the system can sound immediate alerts when suspicious vehicles pass through. In addition, the new HTS suite provides an interface for communication with law enforcement agencies and increases the efficiency of toll road operators, parking garage operators and perimeter security for industrial or critical infrastructure facilities.