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How Does ANPR for Barriers Work? (Simple Guide)

Elliot Blackler July 15, 2021 6 min read

It is fairly likely that you have come across ANPR Barrier technology in the past, but you probably did not even think about it. ANPR is frequently used in car parks and other controlled environments.

ANPR Barriers often form part of a wider parking management system that can be deployed in a range of locations, but most popularly, in more modern car parks.

In this blog, we will be exploring ANPR for Barriers, what this technology is, how it works, and its benefits. Hopefully, by the end of the article, you will have a better idea of how it can be implemented.

In summary this guide will look at:

  • ANPR for Barriers Basics
  • Features of ANPR for Barriers
  • How to Work ANPR for Barriers
  • ANPR Benefits 
  • Industries That Can Use ANPR for Barriers
  • ANPR Summary

Short on time? Download our Nortech ANPR Comparison

What is ANPR for Barriers?

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is a type of security and management system that does exactly what it says in the name, scans plates and checks them against a database.

ANPR for Barriers controls vehicle access to a location and are linked to a system that can pre-authorise company vehicles, visitors, or pre-paid parking. 

They have a few different things that they can do and work differently depending on how they are used and by whom. The major similarity is the ability to create a physical barrier that limits unauthorised access to an area.

With this being said, let us look at the core functions that ANPR Barrier systems do:

  • Grant or deny access to a physical barrier 
  • Scan number plate data and allow pre-authorised vehicles in
  • Collect new plate information to store temporarily 
  • Open automatically on exit when conditions are met (e.g. paid for parking)

Key Components of ANPR for Barriers

ANPR for barrier systems are fairly basic to understand, but here is a quick overview of what the systems need to operate.

There is a time and a place for ANPR, but it would be accurate to say that most industries could benefit from it if they have the traffic flow.

Vehicles - it seems fairly obvious, but without a high volume of vehicles passing through the barrier, there would not be a need for barrier ANPR. Take for instance you have suppliers or employees coming throughout the day and night, you have control any time of day.

Controlled Area - whether this is a car park, your company’s headquarters, or any other location you want to limit access to, having an area you need to be secured is vital. In short, you need something on the other side of the barrier.

Cameras - the way that the information is captured, correlated and stored. Cameras adjacent to the barriers will pick up the number plate information in a matter of seconds to grant or deny access to an area.

ANPR Lumo PDF Comparison

Barriers - this is the physical deterrent to unauthorised persons or vehicles and allows you to have a controlled point of access and exit. Typically there will be at least one entrance and one exit, with the cameras pointing outwards opposite the direction of travel

Database  - where the management software’s number plate information is stored, and all of the data can be controlled and managed. In the system, you will be able to see who came in and out, at what times, and pre-authorise or limit certain vehicles.


How Does ANPR for Barriers Work?

ANPR barrier systems are a way of limiting and controlling access to a location, giving the company control over their private parking. The photographic information collected by an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system creates Automatic Vehicle Location Data. 

The collected data lets the database know details such as the time the vehicle entered and attempted exit, whether they are granted entry or exit, and their timestamps.

To put it simply, the steps are as follows: 

  1. ANPR Barrier technology is installed
  2. Pre-authorised vehicles are programmed in (if applicable)
  3. Vehicles are scanned when approaching the barrier via a camera
  4. Data is collected and stored on the vehicle, and if entry is permitted the barrier lifts
  5. Upon exit, if the vehicle has met the requirements (eg. paid for parking) the barrier will automatically open

What are the Benefits of ANPR for Barriers?

Even multinational companies see the importance of ANPR systems with everyone from local councils to technology giants embracing Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems.

With this being said, we will be focusing more on the ANPR for Barriers side of the technology, keeping the benefits fairly universal so they can be applied to multiple businesses and industries.

Operational Benefits

Lower Staff Costs

From a business perspective, you will need less staff to look after your car park or location. Knowing you have entry and exits covered by a barrier allows you to free up staff to do other jobs or patrol without worrying about unauthorised access.


24/7 Number Plate Scanning

This will not apply to all businesses or industries, but being able to have the system ‘awake’ at any time of day has a major benefit over having security staff working around the clock.

Locations such as international airports that have vehicles arriving all times of day benefit from this, for example.


Eliminate Human Error

Removing the majority of human intervention reduces the chances of human error in the system. This could come in many forms, but with an ANPR Barrier system, most ways are eliminated.

General Benefits 

Improved Efficiency

Regardless of your industry type, having this form of traffic flow automation has improved efficiency. Being able to allow vehicles in and out of your premises around the clock and without human intervention speeds up the process indefinitely. 


Controlled Environment 

Having the ability to fully control your points of ingress and egress creates a much more controlled environment. You will be able to know exactly what vehicles are within your location, when they arrived and when they left.


New Layer of Security 

As a follow on from the above, you will have a much safer location. Having access to data that was previously unavailable to you, or at a limited capacity has its own wealth of benefits, improved security being the forefront. 


What Industries Can Benefit From ANPT Barriers?

To keep it simple, there is a broad range of industries and business types that can utilise ANPR for Barriers and benefit from having a physical and automated barrier. 

Below we have highlighted just a few common examples of where you would find ANPR for Barriers.

  • Private Car Parks
  • Company Car Parks
  • Police Forces
  • Contract Parking
  • Hotels
  • Distribution Centres
  • Prisons
  • Hospitals  
  • Freeports and Storage Locations
  • Security 
  • Gyms, Health Clubs, and Sport Centres
  • Fleet Management 
  • Holiday Parks and Caravan Sites

Number Plate Recognition technology has even been more recently used in Low Emission Zones around London as a form of traffic management.


The ANPR for Barriers Industry

As you can see, Automatic Number Plate Recognition for Barriers are prevalent across a plethora of industries and are not limited to just car parks as some people believe.

ANPR technology has come a long way since its original inception and continues to develop and shape the way we approach vehicle access control.

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It seems that people and vehicle access control is an incredibly complex world using hard to understand technology, yet it impacts so many of the environments we interact with on a daily basis.

We are here to fill in the disconnect. We'll break down access control, the benefits, and drawbacks as well, including expert insight based on over 30 years experience in the industry operating as an independent British company. Our goal is to give you ALL the information so you know what's right for you.

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Elliot Blackler

Elliot is the in-house content specialist at Nortech and runs all aspects of the resource hub. He's passionate about UK manufacturing and how modern content marketing can help bring light to complex industries.

Elliot works extensively with the Nortech team to shine a light on the access control industry for both installers and end users. Always keen to improve, feel free to email him on new content suggestions or feedback!

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