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How Asia uses ALPR to make parking access control smarter

How Asia uses ALPR to make parking access control smarter
Increasingly, ALPR has emerged as the primary technology for parking access control in Asia. This article looks at the pros and cons of ALPR in parking access control and how Asia uses it to make parking access control smarter.
ALPR, or automatic license plate recognition, is used in many applications, including parking. Increasingly, it has emerged as the primary technology for parking access control in Asia. This article looks at the pros and cons of ALPR in parking access control and how Asia uses it to make parking access control smarter.
 

Pros and cons of ALPR in parking

 
ALPR reads license plates, which are the unique identifiers of vehicles. Its applications range from law enforcement to parking. Advantages of ALPR in parking are manifold.
 
“ALPR is becoming a main technology used for parking management in big cities of Vietnam. Pros are fast deployment, flexibility with the use of high megapixels cameras and AI technology,” said Tran Hai Trieu, Director of Vietnam-based TNT.
 
“Pros include security enhancement: ALPR verify license plate automatically, which enhances security by only allowing authorized vehicles to enter the parking lot; process optimization: ALPR save time for drivers as they do not need to wait long time to be verified and confirmed; and manual error minimization: ALPR eliminate the dependence on security staff to verify vehicles, which minimize the errors and malfunctions caused by humans,” said Nguyen Dinh Hiep, CEO of TECHPRO, another Vietnamese company.
 
According to Ler Wee Meng, MD of Singapore-based Securevision, there are three groups of users for car parks: residents/tenants, visitors, and taxi/delivery drivers for picks and drop-offs, all of whom can benefit from ALPR.
 
“With ALPR, much of the process is automatically captured and security tightened. No matter the type of users, all the vehicles are captured and identified. And the time in and time out is captured. The software can be programmed to notify the guard when there is a suspicious event. For example, non-residential cars that parked overnight or dropped off overstayed the normal duration allowed,” Ler said.
 
But ALPR is not all perfect; there are certain disadvantages associated with it as well. “While pros include being automated and needless of manpower, cons are such that if there is some error happening, it will lead to congestion in the building and still requires human to solve it,” said Ekarin Watcharayingyong, GM for Security and Safety Systems at Bosch Thailand.
 
“[There is a] dependence on lighting and weather conditions. ALPR performance can be affected by lighting and weather conditions, especially in low light, rainy and foggy conditions,” Hiep said.
 

ALPR in Asia

 
Overall, the benefits of ALPR outweigh its disadvantages, prompting operators to deploy ALPR in their facilities. More and more, ALPR has emerged as the primary technology used in Asia parking facilities. Below we look at the status of ALPR-based parking in different markets across Asia.
 

Taiwan

 
In Taiwan, ALPR has become “a must” in parking lots, according to Erina Chao, VP of Sales at Telexper International based in Taiwan. “Taiwan is very familiar with ANPR system,” she said. “Dozens of public parking lots managed by the Taipei City Department of Parking Management are using Telexper’s ALPR parking system.”
 
Here at asmag.com, which is based in Taipei, the parking lot downstairs is one of those managed by the city’s parking authority. Entering the lot is by way of ALPR and frictionless. Getting out, the driver needs to pay at the kiosk first. For prepaid monthly renters, they can get out frictionless.
 

Singapore

 
Similarly, Singapore is seeing ALPR-based parking picking up steam. “ALPR is increasingly adopted in Singapore for parking access control due to its efficiency and effectiveness. Its growth is driven by the need for faster and more secure vehicle management solutions. Challenges such as privacy concerns and initial setup costs may cause some end-users to be hesitant, but these can be overcome through transparent data handling policies, cost-effective solutions, and demonstrating the benefits of ALPR technology,” said Kevin P. Shanmugam, Principle Consultant at A-SAT.
 
In fact, Singapore is considering replacing their existing OBU-based parking technology with ALPR.
 
“In Singapore, every car park utilizes an in-vehicle unit to mark when a car enters and leaves so as to calculate occupancy and the cost of parking. The Singapore government has plans to phase out the in-vehicle units and replacing them with ALPR,” said Jim Simon, GM for APJ at Quantum. “Singapore has implemented many cameras for safety purposes so the implementation of ALPR for the calculation of parking charges is not a challenge. It is simply a matter of working with car parks to ensure that they have the appropriate lighting, cameras, and software to be successful.”
 
“In Singapore, many public car parks use the IU. IU devices installed in cars are used to track and collect tolls as part of Singapore's measures to control congestion. This same technology is used in many car park to track and charge parking fees. This technology is proprietary and the cost is prohibitive for small car parks and private car parks that may not charge an hourly rate. Hence there is a drive to find a cheaper and better alternative. LPR cameras is the best alternative from the economic and operational perspective,” Ler said.
 

Vietnam

 
According to Hiep, ALPR is increasingly used for parking access control in Vietnam thanks to increased numbers of vehicles, urbanization, economic development, and increased demand for security and amenity.
 
“The key factors drive the growth of ALPR in parking access control in Vietnam include security enhancement – ALPR enhances security level for parking lots. This technology is integrated with RFID card, facial recognition and fingerprint for faster and seamless vehicles verification,” he said. “Other factors include cost and management optimization, added value and the need to provide customers with a convenient experience.”
 

Thailand

 
Watcharayingyong comments on the status in Thailand. “ALPR system is the latest technology in the country. Especially in mixed-use/office buildings/shopping malls, they will use ALPR with QR code ticket dispenser system in the entrance and exit,” Bosch Thai said. “ALPR parking access control will definitely be the mandatory requirement in all buildings from now in the country. The challenges will be the accuracy level and the level of fast detection of the system that end user can accept.”
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