License Plate Recognition (LPR) is a fairly well explored problem and is already a component of several commercially operational systems. Many of these systems, however, require sophisticated video capture hardware possibly combined with infrared strobe lights or exploit the large size of license plates in certain geographical regions and the (artificially) high discriminability of characters. In this paper, we describe an LPR system that achieves a high recognition rate without the need for a high quality video signal from expensive hardware. We also explore the problem of car make and model recognition for purposes of searching surveillance video archives for a partial license plate number combined with some visual description of a car. Our proposed methods will provide valuable situational information for law enforcement units in a variety of civil infrastructures.
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