Automatic Vehicle Identification Using Number Plate Recognition

Logistics

the customer

A leading fleet management company that offers vehicle and asset tracking services for businesses across the globe.

the business

The customer offers fleet management services including vehicle and asset tracking provisions for businesses with highly distributed and valuable movable assets. They cater to multiple industries such as construction, plants, waste management, and commercial vehicles.

the Challenge

The customer uses their fleet services to carry shipments to the respective destinations. If their vehicles meet with any road accidents or involve in disputes with any other vehicles, the customer did not have a system to trace the identity of the vehicles immediately. The drivers had to wait for long hours in order to sort out the issues.

  • The customer used manual processes to trace the identity of third-party vehicles, that are involved in any accidents or road disputes.
  • This delayed the processing of refunds and third-party insurance claims essential for them to cover the casualties.
  • The above challenges in turn delayed the processing of customer refunds. The customers often complained of missing consignments.

The requirement

The customer required an automated process for quickly identifying the vehicles using their license plates (number plates).

  • Recognize the details of the vehicles from the number plate images uploaded by the driver using the Driver Assistance mobile application.
  • The customer’s system should be integrated with the government motor vehicle department’s database that maintains a record of all vehicle registration particulars.
  • Identify the details of those vehicles that do not exist in the customer’s database, by automatically recognizing the characters on number plates.
  • The number plate recognition feature should support seamless cross-platform integration.
  • Ability to differentiate and identify the characters that are similar in appearance (for example: 1 and I)

The Solution

We implemented automatic vehicle identification functionality to recognize the identity of vehicles from the number plate details. The Optical Character Recognition software was highly customized and trained by integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities, to enable smarter number plate recognition. The automatic number plate recognition is a cognitive solution implemented after overcoming several technical challenges such as poor quality of number plate photographs, inappropriate image angles, and differentiating between the similar looking fonts on the number plate.

The basic workflow looks like this:

  • The user (driver) can take a photograph of the number plate on their mobile device.
  • Using the Driver Assistance mobile application, the driver can upload the photograph of the number plate, which will then be transferred to the back-office server.
  • The server scans the characters on the image and identifies the vehicle.
  • The image is then reverted to the driver along with the identity details of the vehicle.
  • Any issues with the uploaded image is notified to the driver immediately, so that they can take another photograph of the number plate and upload the image to the mobile application for further processing.

The Benefits

  • Drastic reduction in the processing time required for vehicle identification.
  • Directly integrates and interoperates with a variety of programming languages and applications.
  • Simplified database searches to easily find out the identity of vehicles.
  • Cross-platform mobile support as well as support for multiple countries and languages.
  • Remarkable improvement in the productivity of the drivers and office administrators.

Results at a Glance

  • 67%decline in the return of delivered shipments
  • 100%assured vehicle traceability with OCR
  • 3xsavings of operational costs

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