The work of any control system presupposes the existence of some core elements that are demanded to ensure that individuals who have a needed level of access will be able to enter some area, while others, who do not have the desired prohibition, will be stopped. There can be various types of identifiers used by people such as keys, IDs, passwords, cards, or some biometrical parameters. However, the principle remains the same as data that is contained in these elements is sent to some server, where it is processed, analyzed, and the conclusion whether to provide access or not is made.
As for the selected university vehicle access control system equipped with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), the basic principle of its functioning remains the same. The number plate serves as a specific key that guarantees access to any car or another vehicle to the area if the database contains information about this very plate and its owner has a special allowance (Chapple, Ballad & Ballad 2013). The fundamental difference is the use of the camera as the device for data input which helps to recognize numbers, compare them, and make the final decision (Priyanka 2017). In general, the structure of the given system, and the way it works can be presented via the following schemes:
As it comes from the given scheme, the working principle and operational features of the components remain simple. Figure 1 shows that a number plate should be visible to the camera for it to analyze it. The device serves for data input as it is then sent to the control panel and to the access control server. The main idea is to compare the number with a list of other ones containing in the database. The given storage has a list of all numbers that permit to enter the area (Nise 2015). Additionally, to process the information and make the final decision about the selected vehicle, specific software is also used. It should not possess a complex structure and can be simple as the only goal is to analyze images sent by the camera and compare them to those found in the database.
Finally, the gate is also a part of the system as it is regulated by the control panel. If the access is granted, the signal is sent, and the care can pass. The given scheme is characterized by simplicity and effectiveness as all its components should be able to perform a minimal set of functions to check all vehicles and ensure that no prohibited ones will enter the location.
Figure 2 shows the process that is initiated when any car comes close to the gate. First, the camera starts to analyze the number plate and sends its image to determine its validity. If the given vehicle is not on the list, access is denied, and the gate remains closed. However, if the checking procedure shows that the number is valid, the care can be granted access. It means that there is a signal to open the gate and let the transport move. After the given procedure, the entrance is closed again, and the system is ready for another cycle.
The given schemes show that all components mentioned above are integrated into one system that cooperates with their work. For instance, the camera is directly linked to the control panel to send information about vehicles and their numbers. This connection is fundamental for the data collection, its analysis, and further use. Additionally, software and database are integrated within an access control server to improve decision making and guarantee the fast and effective work of the whole system (Mohandes et al. 2016). In such a way, the high level of integration serves as an essential factor needed to ensure that the university vehicle access control system equipped with ANPR will work effectively and prevent unauthorized or undesired transport from entering the location and posing a threat.
At the same time, there are some opportunities for the improvement of the given system to increase its stability, achieve better results, and avoid mistakes or critical delays. The fact is that in some cases number plates cannot be seen because of mud, damage, or some other aspects (Innovative automatic number plate recognition n.d.). Under these conditions, the system can fail to work. To avoid such issues, it can be improved via the extension of the database and introduction of new factors that will serve as an identifier (ANPR access HD used n.d.). In cases when a number is not visible, the whole care can be taken into consideration.
Its image can be acquired with the help of a camera and processed by the software to compare it with all photos containing in the database and grant access. Because in the majority of cases vehicles arrive from same the directions, the camera will analyze them from the same angle, and accuracy will remain high (Trends and developments in vehicle access control n.d.). Moreover, data can be collected gradually when a car is permitted to move. It means that its number plate is appropriate and its whole image can be used.
Altogether, a vehicle access control system equipped with ANPR can be taken as an example of a simple and effective approach that works effectively. The integration of all its elements and their aligned work ensures that the number plate is recognized fast and compared to numbers stored in the database. However, there is also an opportunity for some improvement as plates can be unseen, or there might be problems with their analysis. In such cases, the whole image of the car along with its most important distinctive features can be scanned by the camera and sent to the control center to conclude. The given approach will help to enhance the work of the system.
Chapple, M, Ballad, B & Ballad, T 2013, Access control, authentication, and public key infrastructure, 2nd and, Jones & Bartlett Learning, New York, NY.
Mohandes, M, Ahmadi, H, Deriche, M & Kousa, M 2016, ‘An intelligent system for vehicle access control using RFID and ALPR technologies’, Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, vol. 41, no. 9, pp. 3521-3530. Web.
Nise, N 2015, Control systems engineering, 7th edn, Wiley, New York, NY.
Priyanka, S 2017, ‘RFID based vehicle access control and tracking with IoT’, International Journal of Engineering and Techniques, vol. 3, no. 5, pp.159-165. Web.