Date of Graduation
Recent technological advances in computer hardware, software, and image processing have led to the development of automated license plate reading equipment. This equipment has primarily been developed for enforcement and security applications, such as monitoring parking garages or border crossings. Because license plate data are used in several transportation planning studies, automated license plate reading equipment has the potential to increase the quality and efficiency of many of the typical activities of transportation planning agencies. The existing applications of automated license plate reading equipment are significantly different than transportation planning applications. First, in existing applications, traffic is highly channelized. Transportation planning studies will need to sample vehicles as they normally travel. Second, existing applications permit the equipment to be installed at a fixed site by the manufacturer. Due to the temporary nature of transportation planning studies, the equipment will need to be set up many times at temporary locations. In addition, persons other than the manufacturer will need to set up the equipment. The key performance attributes of license plate reading equipment with respect to the specific needs of transportation planning are determined. The following general needs are investigated: (1) the specific license plate data requirements of transportation planning studies; (2) the effect of the equipment on traffic operations and safety; (3) special equipment characteristics required due to the temporary nature of transportation planning and the constraints of transportation planning agencies. Performance criteria for the equipment are established with respect to the unique needs of transportation planning. A methodology is developed to test license plate reading equipment with respect to the established performance criteria. An existing license plate reading model is then tested against these criteria to determine if it has applicability in the transportation planning field. In addition, understanding the limitations of the existing reader is an important step in developing a better system for the future. Finally, technical specifications for an automated license plate reader for transportation planning are developed. These specifications can be used to provide motivation and direction for the future development of automated license plate reading equipment for transportation planning.
French, Lloyd James, "Development and evaluation of automatic license plate reading equipment for transportation planning." (1997). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8874.