Wikipedia:Today's featured article/May 5, 2005
Automatic number plate recognition is a mass surveillance method that uses optical character recognition on images to read the licence plates on vehicles. As of 2005 systems can scan number plates at around one per second on cars travelling up to 100 mph (160 km/h). They can either use existing closed-circuit television or road-rule enforcement cameras, or ones specifically designed for the task. They are implemented by various police forces and as a method of electronic toll collection on pay-per-use roads. ANPR can be used to store the images captured by the cameras as well as the text from the licence plate, with some configurable to store a photograph of the driver. Systems commonly use infrared lighting to allow the camera to take the picture at any time of day. They also tend to be country-specific due to the variation of plates internationally. Media reports of misidentification and high error rates have led to privacy fears, though, as the systems have developed, they have become much more accurate and reliable.