New generation CCTV electronic parking surveillance system

November 2004 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

A highly automated, new generation CCTV electronic surveillance system for parking security that extracts the number plate, colour and type of vehicle from the entry event to significantly improve overall security, has been developed by Johannesburg-based electronic surveillance systems designer and manufacturer, Thales Advanced Engineering.

Known as 'Sinon' the system automatically tracks the vehicle type, colour and registration rather than the parking ticket issued. Because it is also capable of logging these details without the car coming to a halt, Sinon can be used for security at open parking areas where entry may be unrestricted, typically at shopping centres or sports venues.

"The automation features built into the system significantly improve overall security levels," says Thales Advanced Engineering joint managing director Dr Bennie Coetzer.

"The registration, colour and vehicle type can be entered on the parking ticket so that quick and easy reconciliations can be made. The security guards are only required to check exceptions and therefore their overall levels of alertness are improved. In all likelihood the next step in the ongoing development of the Sinon system will be facial recognition of the driver. From a technology perspective, this is not that far off."

At entry-level, the Sinon system offers 16 cameras covering four double-lane entry and exit points but, being modular, it can be expanded incrementally to suit very large parking security applications such as those at airports and major office parks where 50 or more entry and exit lanes may be operational.

Sinon provides high-level picture quality and reliability and incorporates Argus 'frame-freezing' technology that allows selected single images to be digitally stored for easy comparison of vehicles and people in and out. The freeze-frame capability allows images of each vehicle (type, colour and registration) and the people in it to be stored and quickly and easily accessed as necessary.

"Entry and exit events are linked so that a person who leaves without any record of entry, is immediately suspect. A quick reconciliation is done by the security guard and if the person does not match the car on entry then appropriate preventative action can be taken," says Coetzer.

The image records can be securely stored in a database indefinitely and can be easily accessed to assist police investigations or be presented as evidence in a prosecution.

"In other applications the system can be used to store images of overloaded vehicles at weighbridges with data such as axle loads, dates and times recorded and stored with each image, and a similar concept can be applied to control and record the movement of goods in and out of warehouses," adds Coetzer.

For more information contact Thales Advanced Engineering, Dr Bennie Coetzer, 011 465 4312,

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