New system for a complete, automatic, real-time identification of ground vehicles

This project is focussed on the development of an automatic, combined system for the complete identification of vehicles. This device has three different modules, including both hardware and software levels: 1.-Number plate recognition; 2.-Colour recognition; 3.-Magnetic recognition.

Current devices for vehicle identification are based on the reading of the number plate through OCR (Optical Character Recognition) systems. With this type of identification and the comparison with the database of registered vehicles, it is feasible to determine if a vehicle has permission to access a site, or is involved in any claim or infringement. However, this method of identification is exposed to changes of plates, which for example makes it easier for criminal organisations to cross country borders with stolen cars. The aim of this project is to develop a fully automated system to identify ground vehicles based on three characteristics: colour, number plate and model. This identification will be real time and fully automated (without any human assistance), allowing its use at borders between countries, police control points or parking areas where the vehicles travel at a limited speed but the traffic has to be fluid at the same time to avoid traffic jams. Two of the detection modules of this system (colour and number plate) are based on artificial vision, while the model recognition module is based on detecting the unique magnetic signature of the bottom of the car. One of the advantages of the different natures of the detection modules is that partial recognition can be possible even in non-optimal conditions (dark or foggy conditions, dirty number plates, etc.). This system also allows the detection of bottom modifications of a vehicle, artefacts placed at a vehicle’s bottom using magnets or excessive vehicle weight. This system will help to detect stolen or reported cars, to track suspicious vehicles under surveillance, to detect suspicious vehicles entering into a parking area and to proceed to a rigorous inspection. Therefore, this project proposes the implementation of a Vehicle Identification system with three integrated capture and recognition systems: - A Magnetic Capture System, which can capture the particular magnetic fingerprint uniquely generated for each vehicle. - An Image Capture System, through which the vehicle number plate can be captured and identified. - A Colorimetric Capture System, through which the colour of the vehicle can be captured. The integrated device for automatic identification of ground traffic will greatly improve our surveillance capabilities on the borders between countries and in the roads of the individual countries. This is of crucial importance for modern antiterrorist programs but also it will help to fight the stolen-car mafias or to target the small volume car thieves. The fully automated identification system described in this proposal can be the first step to establishing a network to protect the boundaries of the EU and the dangerous ground transits between countries of the EU. Modern software communications will allow real-time knowledge of the reported or suspicious vehicles being tracked. Any country will have access to information on vehicles being stopped, tracked or identified in any other country that belongs to this future network. In addition, at a smaller scale this system can be very useful in private and public parking areas.
Project ID: 
5 012
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
2 040 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Sensors/Multisensor Technology, Instrumentation
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.