U. Ky. Automates Parking Enforcement

Aug. 23, 2007
Automated license plate recognition system to help manage parking violations

If you hold a parking permit at the University of Kentucky, you've just been given some additional benefits. The University's Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) department has recently installed an automated license plate recognition (ALPR) system on one of its parking control vehicles to locate vehicles that have outstanding parking violations. The system will benefit permit holders by efficiently locating vehicles with unpaid citations in campus controlled parking areas, effectively making more spaces available to those with valid parking permits and in good standing with the University.

The system consists of two cameras manufactured by PIPS Technology, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. Each camera captures a color image of the vehicle, and an infrared image of the license plate which is then processed using optical character recognition (OCR) software. Every plate is then checked against a data file of scofflaw vehicles, or vehicles with outstanding parking violations. When a match is found, the officer is immediately notified with an audible and visual alert on a laptop computer in the front of the vehicle. The data file is generated from PowerPark Flex (or the PTS' parking database), and is updated each morning by the PIPS' Back Office System Software (BOSS) which automatically logs in to an FTP site, grabs the latest data and makes it available to the PTS vehicle.

The University had previously used the technology for over a year ata fixed location,so the decision toinstall anALPR system on a vehicle was an easy one given its track record of success. Just after configuration, while training the users, the PTS vehicle equipped with PIPS located a vehicle with 6 outstanding violations. Within the first 40 minutes, the system had read over 2,500 license plates, and located 5 vehicles with a total of 15 outstanding violations!

Longer term, the University may use the system to look for stolen vehicles, calculate length of stay for crucial parking locations, and more. PTS Director Don Thornton commented, "This technology is amazing. Itadds value to parking permits by allowing us to enforce parking regulations effectively and efficiently. The PIPS system is a sound investment and a good business decision."

About Federal Signal & PIPS Technology

Federal Signal Corporation is enhancing its interoperable industry platform to help first responders protect people, property and the environment. Comprehensive municipal, governmental, educational campus, industrial and airport solutions from Federal Signal advance public safety, security and well-being every day. Federal Signal's portfolio of trusted, high-priority products include public safety and security systems, environmental maintenance solutions and fire rescue vehicles. The company also operates a consumable industrial tooling business. Federal Signal was founded in 1901 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.http://www.federalsignal.com/.

PIPS Technology, a Federal Signal Company, is a pioneer and the international market leader in the design and manufacture of automated license plate recognition technology and optical character recognition software. With over 12,000 cameras installed worldwide, PIPS continues to set the standard for both mobile and fixed system deployments across a wide range of applications. For more information visitwww.pipstechnology.com.