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International Journal of Automotive Technology > Volume 12(2); 2011 > Article
International Journal of Automotive Technology 2011;12(2): 281-289.
LICENSE PLATE EXTRACTION METHOD FOR IDENTIFICATION OF VEHICLE VIOLATIONS AT A RAILWAY LEVEL CROSSING
B. K. CHO1, S. H. RYU1, D. R. SHIN2, J. I. JUNG3
1Korea Railroad Research Institute
2Sungkyunkwan University
3Hanyang University
ABSTRACT
The primary cause of most railroad accidents is vehicle entry into railway level crossings despite warning messages. To identify drivers who violate railway level crossing regulations, vehicle license plate recognition can be applied at railway level crossings. The purpose of this paper is to present an effective method for extracting the license plate region from vehicle images taken at railway level crossings. The method proposed in this paper uses the variation in the gray-level values across the image of a license plate. For license plate region extraction, the character region is first recognized by identifying the character width and the difference between the background region and the character region. The license plate region is then extracted by finding the inter-character distance in the plate region. In addition, the license plate type is identified by the difference in the gray-level value between the background region and the character region. The proposed method is effective in solving the current challenges in extracting the license plate region from the damaged frames of license plates issued for domestic use, including new types of license plates. According to the experimental results, the proposed method yields a high extraction rate of 99.5% for vehicle license plates.
Key Words: Railway level crossing, License plate extraction, Digital image processing
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