University Parking Goes Stickerless

Instead of sticker parking permits, parking services will now issue e-permits based on License Plate Recognition technology.

The LPR system has already been implemented for student parking, and faculty and staff e-permits are scheduled to go into effect in the fall of 2011.

The LPR system has already been implemented for student parking, and faculty and staff e-permits are scheduled to go into effect in the fall of 2011.

University Parking Services has announced an efficiency project using the latest technology for campus parking management.

The new technology will use License Plate Recognition (LPR), an image-processing technology used to identify vehicles by their license plates.

“This will be a tremendous benefit to our parking patrons because registering vehicles will become much easier,” said Heather Medley, marketing and training coordinator for University Parking Services. “More efficient enforcement of the rules means more spaces available for permit holders. Also, the program will allow us to control parking-related costs as the university continues to grow.”

Medley said the system has already been implemented for student parking, and that faculty and staff e-permits are scheduled to go into effect in the fall of 2011.

“E-permits are more convenient because users do not have to come to the parking office to pick up permits,” Medley said. “Also, we are able to ‘go green’ by not having to send out permits, saving envelopes and postage.”

The technology concept assumes that all vehicles already have the identity displayed by way of the license plate, so no additional transmitter or physical permit is required to be installed on the vehicle. The system uses illumination, such as Infra-red, and a camera to take the image of the front or rear of the vehicle. Image-processing software analyzes the images and extracts the plate information. The system then conducts real-time database matching.

“We are in fact, creating our own ‘TechPark’ software,” Medley said. “Genetec is the company that provided the AutoVu LPR equipment and services, but our people are actually writing the software management program. Genetec has even expressed interest in buying it from us.”

Panasonic, the makers of the laptops used in the new parking enforcement system, has done a case study on the university’s use of – and the success with – the cutting-edge equipment.

The technology is used in various security and traffic applications, such as the access-control system, law and parking enforcement. LPR allows operators to become more efficient at overseeing large parking areas and at managing more vehicle infractions, which will ultimately decrease cost for patrons.

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