48,000 traffic violations in 24 hours with ALPR

Indian city of Ranchi is just over 1 million population. It is about the same size Dublin or Dallas. Also, similar to Dublin or Dallas, Ranchi has a lot of vehicles, but very few road rules. Oh, no, wait! They do have road rules. It’s just that too few people follow them. Not for much longer.

According to this news report, 13 intersection equipped with automated license plate recognition cameras:

  • captured 369,292 vehicles
  • recorded 48,355 traffic violations
  • issued 2,323 fines

within 24hrs between 00:00 and 23:59 on 1 Jan 2019!

According to the Police, their ANPR cameras can recognise the stop line crossing and wrong side driving. They plan to focus on triple-riding and riding without a helmet.

The average fine they sent out was only about $1.44. Assuming that the ALPR system cost them half a million dollars (13 intersections x 4 cams x $10,000 = $520,000) it would take them half a year to get their money back if things don’t improve ($520,000 / $1.44 / 2,323 per day = 155 days).

Some takeaways from Ranchi automated plate recognition project

Doing ANPR on motorcycles is hard. They are usually smaller and more obscured than car number plates. Good on them for pulling it off.

Forcing drivers to comply at a few key intersections is likely to have a positive spill over effect to other roads. It’s a start.

Traffic patterns in India are surprisingly self-organising. Smooth it out a bit and you get a glimpse of what our self-driving traffic will look like.

P.S.: We’d love to get our hands on their ANPR training data!