With the amount of cars on the road these days, handling enforcement or inventory on a popular parking lot is not a small task. But times are changing from having to manually track vehicles using plate numbers, to ALPR apps and Parking Enforcement software systems.
The Old Way
Believe it or not, many people still patrol their parking lots using an old clipboard and pencil. This involves walking around the lot and taking note of plates one at a time.
This information has to be compared to previous sheets of paper or entered manually into a spreadsheet and compared. This process is not only time-consuming, it is prone to errors and ultimately leaves people with inaccurate or incomplete records.
Some folks have it a little easier–they have an old piece of hardware they carry around that lets them skip the spreadsheet data entry. But these systems are surprisingly costly for their value and offer no photos or GPS information. They often have gaps in capability or expensive add ons to achieve the processing you might require.
Handheld units are also expensive to replace and prone to data entry mistakes. Good luck using them through thick gloves! Finally, these systems often leaving administrative overhead shuffling spreadsheets anyway.
The New Way
EasyALPR is a mobile ALPR app that uses the smartphone camera as a license plate scanner. Think of it as a mobile security camera that uses image recognition to not only identify license plates, but read the numbers into text. No more looking up, looking down and writing or typing. Just point the iPhone at the car and keep moving. The app does all the work for you.
The app sends the license plate information up to a secure ALPR database you control. You can set rules that trigger useful notifications while you’re scanning the lot.
Benefit 1: Excellent Record Keeping Reduces Risk of Enforcement Actions
Using a license plate recognition app like EasyALPR means you don’t just get high-accuracy license plate number reading quickly. It means you have a powerful ALPR database with the time, date, high resolution photo and GPS evidence of every car you scan. This takes the pressure off security guards, patrol officers and their administrators because the photos and GPS-based maps are hard to dispute even if the end result is a car got towed.
ALPR Databases like EasyALPR allow you to not only query the data using a web-based application in your browser, you can export the data to spreadsheets for custom internal reporting and traditional business processing. This is powerful way to keep track of vehicles and violations that handles all the front-end work, but still integrates with existing business processes.
Benefit 2: Runs Securely on Smartphones, Including Employee-Owned Devices
Since ALPR parking apps run on smartphones, almost anyone can run the software and collect license plate data for an ALPR database. For example, EasyALPR runs on any iOS device so most iPhones can begin collecting ALPR data and detecting violations right away. Notifications are sent to the same device that is doing the data collection. This makes it simple to immediately record and process a suspected violation.
Since smartphones are ubiquitous and systems like EasyALPR do not store ALPR data on the phone, it is safe to allow employees to use their own phones during patrol. Even if a company device is desired, a used iPhone keeps the capital cost of using ALPR apps and ALPR parking enforcement software low.
With EasyALPR this also allows you to do an evaluation of ALPR parking enforcement software for free. Just head to the App Store and download the app.
Benefit 3: Take Enforcement Action While Scanning the Lot with Automated Parking Violation Notifications
Many parking lots work under similar rules. For example, a commercial park may allow up to one-hour parking. With license plate recognition and data analysis, a system like EasyALPR will allow you to just scan the lot once in the morning, and again a few hours later. Every time the app sees the same car in the same place, you get notified right away.
It is powerful to get instantly notified when a car has overstayed its welcome. This allows you to immediately issue a warning to the vehicle, or call in a tow truck if necessary.
Benefit 4: Lower Patrol Costs and Improve Parking Availability
If your parking lot is preventing customers or employees from freely accessing your property it is a serious business problem. Without a license plate reader app, you’re spending valuable patrol hours inefficiently trying to free up the lot. This adds to the already high-costs of operating a parking lot.
While the old way may work for a day or two, improving parking availability is the kind of thing that needs attention every day. ALPR systems like EasyALPR allow quick and painless daily enforcement of your property which increases ease of arrival for valuable employees and customers.
Benefit 5: Patrol Officer and Administrators Can Work Together
While ALPR-based parking enforcement can be handled by a patrol officer using only a smartphone, EasyALPR offers a desktop web experience for visualizing all vehicles scanned in a given day and marking suspected violations.
If you have an administrative resource, this second employee can work with your patrol person by reviewing the results of the patroller’s scans. They have on-the-ground details needed to make the final call about whether a car will be towed and then be the first contact with the vehicle owner if there is a dispute. Plus, your administrator will have the confidence of being armed with data to back up the company’s enforcement actions.
ALPR / ANPR used to be the technology only available to police and law enforcement. It had costs and setup fees that went far beyond the scope of detecting parking violations. Vehicle recognition and license plate recognition technology pack a powerful punch in keeping a simple parking lot free of violations.
Are you ready to try an license plate scanner app and parking enforcement system today? Get started with a free ALPR trial at EasyALPR.com