ARH Licensing and Update Policy

To deliver technology not bound by limitations, to provide solutions based on the most sophisticated technologies available has always been the main goal of ARH. This goal has already been and is continuously being realized as the world leading CARMEN® engine. The core algorithm of the CARMEN® engine is based on technology that shares common roots with artificial intelligence development. It is this technology that facilitates engine training and allows the CARMEN® engine to always be at least one step ahead. Providing such an engine requires continuous research and development which demands well allocated resources. To optimize, we at ARH have been creating and developing a collection of different CARMEN® engines specialized for different license plate types. The ARH License Update Policy focuses on the fact that some license plate types require more resources for development than others. Therefore, we need to differentiate between them and allocate our resources accordingly. Optimizing the licensing policy enables ARH to provide highly optimized solutions under fair and customized conditions for all Partners. Ultimately and most importantly, this policy ensures that CARMEN® remains the most advanced and reliable ANPR engine on the market.

FAQ for the CARMEN® Licensing and Update Policy

Why do we need to differentiate between licenses?

According to our philosophy, a non-optimal solution is not a solution. By differentiating the many license plate types available and developing highly specialized engines for each of them, we are able to provide engines that are custom tailored to the needs of your system. The engine will be quicker and more reliable if it is optimized for a specific set or group of license plate types.

Is updating mandatory?

Updating is recommended, but not necessary. An initial purchase of a CARMEN® license will give you access to the latest versions of the engine for a 12-month period. To receive the latest updates in the future, you will need to purchase an Update License every 12 months. Newer versions of the engine will of course be more accurate. They will provide better recognition rates and will include new license plate types.

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Will previously installed and fully functional CARMEN® versions keep working in the future without updating?

Yes, all previously installed CARMEN® licenses will continue to function for an unlimited time period. You will need to purchase an Update License every 12 months in order to have access to the latest engine versions.

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Why is it important to specify the location where CARMEN® will be used and the countries which need to be covered?

For new customers:

Different license plate types are used in different countries around the world. This is why there are multiple versions of CARMEN® available, which are all optimized to work efficiently with a specific group of license plate types. If we know the exact location where CARMEN® will be used, we can send you an engine that was especially built to handle and recognize the license plates your system will encounter.

For existing customers:

Recently there have been significant breakthroughs in the development of CARMEN. As a result, we are now able to offer multiple engines that are each specialized for different license plate types. Consequently, it is essential that we know the exact location where CARMEN® will be used, as this is the only way we can keep you updated with the latest engines that are not only cutting edge in performance, but are also best suited for your specific needs.

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I have an older hardware key running an older version of CARMEN. Will I still be able to receive updates or is new hardware necessary?

The technical perquisites for updating a CARMEN® license are:

  • A newer type hardware key (NNC). To check the compatibility of your HW key, please contact our Support team via ATSS
  • In case of a HW key replacement, a driver update is also necessary.


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What are the advantages of updating CARMEN® licenses with the help of separate license files?

Updating is more flexible from now on. For example, if an ARH partner company wishes to expand their system (upgrade) and instead of their single license they decide to buy DUAL or QUAD licenses, they can easily do so without returning the hardware key to ARH. The licenses can now be updated and upgraded by the user. For further details contact our Sales Department via email or our technical team by using ATSS.

Do I need Internet access at the site(s) where I want to update the hardware keys?

Once downloaded, the license file(s) can be copied onto any data storage device. Therefore, you can upload the license file(s) onto the Hardware Key(s) from any computer (e.g. a laptop) that has the License Manager Utility installed. No internet connection is necessary at the site to update the device.

Are new CARMEN® engines (v9 and above) compatible with earlier systems?

Although the API is fully compatible with the previous releases, the new engines require newer type hardware keys which are capable of handling license files. The newer type hardware keys require new drivers; therefore, it is essential to update the software package. For further information please post your request in ATSS.

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If I have 2 hardware keys and request an update for one only, will I be able to install the new license file on either of the hardware keys?

No. License files will be assigned to specific hardware keys. The license file and the hardware key will be matched based on the serial number of the hardware key. Therefore, one license file will only work with one specific hardware key. As a result, it is absolutely necessary that you specify the serial number with the utmost care when purchasing a new license. Licenses cannot be revoked or exchanged if an incorrect serial number has been given.

What do I receive when purchasing a CARMEN® license?

A CARMEN® license has both hardware and software components. Hardware components are shipped to the Partner physically via a courier service, software components are downloaded via the ARH Technical Support System (ATTS) following registration.


  • A Hardware Key


  • The Engine
  • The License File(s)
  • The CARMEN® Software Package which includes:
    • The SDK
    • The Drivers
    • The Demo Software
    • The Engine Manager Utility
    • The License Manager Utility
    • The Runtime Libraries of the CARMEN® engine
Existing customers please note that the package now contains a License Manager Utility which is used to upload, update or upgrade the license file on the hardware key. It is also important to note that in order to prevent the illicit use of license files, they will only work with the hardware key they were issued to.


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How does the Update Policy affect CARMEN®’s reliability?

The current policy allows ARH to deliver different engines for different license plate types, which leads to optimal resource allocation in development. As a result, CARMEN® will become more reliable and optimized with each and every release.

My system needs to recognize multiple license plate types from different countries. Do I need to purchase multiple licenses as well?

Licenses are engine specific. This means that it is the license that determines which engine(s) can be used. As a result, ARH can provide Partners with licenses that can handle multiple engines at the same time. Subsequently, even in cases where you need to recognize multiple license plate types, you will only have to purchase and use one license.

You can find the CARMEN® license update policy here.