Now You Can Be Big Brother Too, With A Raspberry Pi License Plate Reader

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If you are wowed by some of the abilities of a Tesla but can’t quite afford one, perhaps you can enhance your current ride with a few upgrades. This was what [Robert Lucian Chiriac] did with his Land Rover, to gain some insight into automotive machine vision he fitted it with a Raspberry Pi and camera with an automatic number plate recognition system.

This bracket should find a use in a few projects.
This bracket should find a use in a few projects.

His exceptionally comprehensive write-up takes us through the entire process, from creating a rather useful set of 3D-printed brackets for a Pi and camera through deciding the combination of artificial intelligence software components required, to making the eventual decision to offload part of the processing to a cloud service through a 4G mobile phone link. In this he used Cortex, a system designed for easy deployment of machine learning models, which he is very impressed with.

The result is a camera in his car that identifies and reads the plates on the vehicles around it. Which in a way has something of the Big Brother about it, but in another way points to a future in which ever more accessible AI applications self-contained without a cloud service become possible that aren’t quite so sinister.  It’s an inevitable progression whose privacy questions may go beyond a Hackaday piece, but it’s also a fascinating area of our remit that should be available at our level.

You can see the system in action in the video below the break, as well as find the code in his GitHub repository.




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