• License plate or number plate? In US English it is called license plate while in UK English it is number plate.
License plate or number plate? In US English it is called license plate while in UK English it is number plate.

TERMINOLOGY AND ABBREVIATIONS OF THE ANPR INDUSTRY – PART 3


Thursday, 14 February 2019 11:43

In the previous part of ANPR terminology, you could read about photography terms used in ANPR and transportation jargon used in ANPR. In the present part you can review spelling and term differences of US and UK English in plate recognition.

US English – UK English – International English: differences in word use and spelling

Did you know that "number plates" are called "license plates" in American English?

UK English is different from US English in Automatic Number Plate Recognition

In addition to the United Kingdom, many countries like South Africa, Australia or India that used to be part of the British Empire use British English. Also, countries where English is taught at schools as a foreign language, tend to prefer the British variety. On the other hand, most English language media – ranging from TV series to music lyrics – means daily exposure to an American variety of English. Some vocabulary differences relevant for ANPR are shown in the chart below.

UK English terminology is different from US English terminology in License Plate Recognition
Table 1: Lexical differences of English varieties in ANPR-related terms

When you set the spellchecker while writing a document, you have to select the proofing language. There are multiple varieties of English on the list – from Australian English all the way to Zimbabwe English – as there are many spelling differences. See the table below for some US/UK orthographic differences.

US UK
-ense – as in license -ence – as in licence
-er – as in kilometer -re – as in kilometre
-ize – as in recognize -ise – as in recognise
-og – as in analog -ogue – as in analogue
-or  – as in harbor -our – as in harbour
Table 2: Some spelling differences of American and British English

International English: British or American?

With differing standards and conventions, how do internet users and copywriters know which English to use? Style sheets advise writers: once you start using US spelling, stick to it. The same applies with UK spelling. It doesn’t look good on the printed page to see alternative spellings – like centre and center – within the same text. It makes a sloppy impression. Search engines, on the other hand, are said to automatically include spelling variations of any given search word – they even correct spelling mistakes. The message to take home: when browsing the web, you can’t go wrong – as an author, it is best to be consistent.

Trade show culture, social sites, magazines, companies

Regional differences are blurred at international events like trade fairs / trade shows and expos, functioning as the primary scenes of communication for stakeholders of the ANPR industry.

A sample of technical language used in the License Plate Recognition industry.
Discussion groups like ITS on LinkedIn create shared terminology serving as a common language for the industry. A company’s social media presence, for instance, ARH’s LinkedIn profile and updates, tell a lot about the company’s evolving technology and presence at international expos within the industry. Tech news published in magazines are also a communication channel. Although the publisher is headquartered in the UK, the magazine Intertraffic World , for instance, prefers ALPR to ANPR. The model names of ARH’s Automated Number-Plate Recognition camera portfolio reflect the products’ key features. ARH’s SmartCAM has onboard image processing. SpeedCAM, as the product name suggests, is a camera optimized for speed enforcement, while ParkIT Camera has been designed for parking management and vehicle access control. Lastly, although ARH’s “workhorse” camera, the Freeway CAM, is great for highway applications, it has proved itself capable of performing very well in almost any deployment situation and environment.

 

In summary, industry terminology evolves organically via exhibitions, online forums and publications as well as channels of corporate communication.

As a way of closing this article, we suggest that you test your knowledge about ANPR acronyms in the chart below.

Abbreviations and their meaning

Acronym Full name Explanation for non-experts
AID Automatic Incident Detection Video analytics to identify traffic events
AVI Automatic Vehicle Identification Another name for ANPR
ALPR Automatic (or Automated) License Plate Recognition / Technology to read vehicle registration plates, called number plates in the UK and license plates in the US
Automatic (or Automated) License-Plate Recognition
ANPR Automatic (or Automated) Number Plate Recognition / Technology to read vehicle registration plates, called number plates in the UK and license plates in the US
Automatic (or Automated) Number-Plate Recognition
ANPR camera Automatic (or Automated) Number-Plate Recognition camera Camera purpose-built for plate recognition, (plate image capturing)
API Application Programming Interface Tools for building application software that makes it easier to develop a computer program by providing all the building blocks
CCTV camera Closed-Circuit Television Camera Also known as video surveillance. Note that CCTV cameras are not designed for ANPR, that’s why CCTV still images and video will be inferior to those produced by LPR cameras
DVR Digital Video Recorder Currently the expression describes computer applications – rather than standalone devices
ETC Electronic Toll Collection A system where fees for the use of the road (road pricing) are paid/received without using cash
FPS Frame Per Second How many video frames are recorded in a second
GPS Global Positioning System In ANPR, it usually comes up in the context of measurement point location identified by coordinates
GUI Graphical User Interface  The menus, buttons and icons where users can control the operation of a device or system 
IP International Protection Marking or Ingress Protection Marking International standard to indicate waterproof and dustproof, e.g. IP67 rated camera
Internet Protocol See IP camera below
IP camera Internet Protocol camera A camera remotely accessible via a computer network and the Internet. The term usually describes surveillance cameras or webcams, but many LPR cameras today are designed for web-based operation, as well.
IR Infra-Red In ANPR, this type of invisible light improves imaging without distracting drivers
ITS Intelligent Transportation System / Intelligent Transport System A smart way of transport and traffic management for the safer and more coordinated use of transport networks 
LPR License Plate Recognition Technology to read vehicle registration plates, called number plates in the UK and license plates in the US
LPR camera License Plate Recognition camera Camera purpose-built for plate recognition
OBE On-board Equipment A device inside the vehicle to communicate with tolling systems: it is a way to identify the vehicle
OBU Onboard Unit A device inside the vehicle to communicate with tolling systems: it is a way to identify the vehicle
OCR Optical Character Recognition Computer technology to read physical letters and numbers and turn them into digital data
PoE Power over Ethernet Single cable to provide both data connection and electric power
RFID Radio Frequency Identification In the context of traffic management, it is a type of remotely accessible passive wireless chip to identify a vehicle
SDK Software Development Kit Tools that allow the creation of applications built on software
VMS Variable Message Sign Also called electronic message sign, it displays textual messages for drivers like “Construction workers ahead”
Video Management System / It collects and stores video from cameras and other sources and makes them accessible for applications
Video Management Software /
Video Management Server
VPR Vehicle Plate Recognition Technology to read vehicle registration plates, called number plates in the UK and license plates in the US
WIM Weigh-in-motion / Weighing-in-motion Sensors built into the road surface to measure the axle weight of passing vehicles
Table 3: Abbreviations widely used in the ANPR industry

References

Automatic number plate recognition Increasing safety with ALPR ALPR beyond OCR