Since 1990, one of the pioneers in ALPR technology has been PIPS Technology
(www.pipstechnology.com), which is now part of the Federal Signal Corp.
(www.federalsignal.com). The company produces an ALPR system that has unique proprietary features unlike anything on the market. PIPS Technology is unique in that it is the only company that designs, manufactures, and sells the ALPR system completely in house.
Tested by the Department of Homeland Security, the PIPS / FedSig system achieved the highest overall system accuracy rating of 91.7%. DHS showed the ALPR systems 50 plates and counted how many plates it read accurately. The next competitor was 64.6% in overall accuracy.
The PIPS / FedSig ALPR system uses one to four camera pods per police vehicle. Each camera has an algorithm in it to search for plates called “Plate Finder,” which is a patented PIPS process. It takes an image of the plate when it sees it. The system functions accurately from walking speeds all the way up to highway speeds over 150 mph, even on traffic moving in the other direction.
Infrared illuminators provide a light source for the IR cameras day or night and in almost any weather condition. The IR LEDs flash at different rates, and the camera modifies its shutter speed to give three or more images of a plate at different exposures, then the computer chooses the best one to send to the processor. This is called “Triple Flash” and is also a patented PIPS process.
The PIPS / FedSig newest Slate cameras are by far the smallest on the market at (7.2 inches x 3.5 inches x 1.6 inches) with a weight of 3.3 pounds. This allows for a more stealthy installation and does not block any of the lightbar’s light output.