EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training Cloud Computing for Big Data


Pedro Pinta da Silva

PhD title

Extracting knowledge from networks of automatic number plate recognition cameras

Recent advances in Computer Vision and related hardware have driven down the price to performance ratio of on-device image recognition. In turn, this has led to increased numbers of these devices used in urban settings.

A clear example is Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras. Originally a handful of cameras were installed for law enforcement and electronic tolling purposes. Now there is a network with over 200 cameras in the region of Tyne and Wear alone.

Yet, besides simple analytics, ANPR data is still very much an untapped source of information. Especially in the collective sense.

So, in this work we present a methodology to identify individual vehicle trips from number plate data. This is, in its essence, a stream of information containing an anonymised plate number, camera id and timestamp.

Furthermore, we argue that once trip data has been accurately obtained, we unlock a new range of applications. Research can move into how to leverage the entire network to extract valuable knowledge that can be used, for instance, in improving traffic management and control.


Stephen McGough


Clustering Trips Identified from Automatic Number Plate Recognition Camera Scans - Pinto Da Silva, P. Forshaw, M. McGough, S. - 1st International Workshop on Big Traffic Data Analytic - April 2018