Magazine article National Defense

New Software Would Allow Drones to Read License Plates

Magazine article National Defense

New Software Would Allow Drones to Read License Plates

Article excerpt

* A Florida-based company is developing hardware-agnostic license plate identification software for unmanned aerial vehicles that works no matter what kind of camera the aircraft is carrying.

In tests this fall, PlateSmart Technologies proved that it could take images from an unmanned system and analyze that information in real time, said the company's chief executive officer, John Chigos. The company teamed with enrGies, a systems integration company from Huntsville, Alabama, which provided the quadcopter and sensors used in the demonstration.

The software reads incoming data from the drone's camera and requires no additional hardware, which keeps users from having to overload the UAV with equipment that reduces the aircraft's endurance, he said. PlateSmart executives plan to continue refining the software and testing it with a variety of unmanned aircraft.

"We're working out a development schedule now on how to proceed to further mechanize this technology," he said. "I would like to see this done in the next six to 12 months so it can be deployed."

Potential military and homeland security customers would be able to use the software to log license plate numbers, identify the country or state of origin, and input GPS, time and date information. …

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