License plate recognition technology to replace parking decals

The university will join FSU and FIU in implementing the tech.

A+parking+and+transportation+employee+brings+the+vehicle+to+the+front+of+the+Student+Support+Service+building+that+is+equipped+with+two+sensor+cameras+on+top+of+the+vehicle+that+will+scan+each+license+plate+when+driving+down+FAU+parking+lots.+%7C+Alexander+Rodriguez

A parking and transportation employee brings the vehicle to the front of the Student Support Service building that is equipped with two sensor cameras on top of the vehicle that will scan each license plate when driving down FAU parking lots. | Alexander Rodriguez

Alexander Rodriguez, News Editor

After 27 years of parking decal stickers at FAU, Parking and Transportation announced the start of a new permit system: license plate recognition technology.

In a panel discussion hosted by Student Government, Parking and Transportation Office Manager Tracey Hardy told students they would use the new technology as early as April.

“We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” Hardy said.

The new parking technology will consist of two “recognition” cameras on top of the Parking and Transportation vehicles. As the vehicles drive by, they’ll scan each license plate on any car parked on FAU property.

The cameras will be able to determine — with geofencing — which license plate belongs in student, residential, and faculty parking. If the cameras detect a car that doesn’t belong in its designated area, an e-citation will be issued to the owner through email.

Hardy also elaborated on an extension of the three-week temporary pass limit for rental or new cars. Students will now be able to register different plates within the system as many times as they need.  

The sensor camera has five sensors built in with a small camera built in the middle. As the new license plate recognition technology scans for license plates, it’ll take a picture of any vehicle that is illegally parked on FAU property. The technology will then send a e-citation to the owner of the vehicle letting them know they had parked illegally and have 14 days to pay the citation. Alexander Rodriguez | News Editor 

With this move, FAU will join other state universities to utilize license plate recognition (LPR) technology. Florida International University has used the system for about three years.

Lucknell Madestin, an FIU student and senior computer engineer major, is a critic of LPR and said a glitch caused him to get a ticket while parked correctly in a student spot.

“It’s really annoying…technology is horrible,” Madestin said.

The LPR technology is also used at Florida State University.

Ph.D. candidate in Economics at FSU, Joe Stinn, said he’s in favor of the parking permit technology.

“It beats the alternative of getting a new sticker that doesn’t peel off the windshield every year,” Stinn said.

FAU political science major Jaycie Celli said she’s looking forward to the technology’s implementation.  

“I think it’ll be a great and efficient technology instead of having to scan permits,” she said.

While some students expressed that they prefer the permit sticker, Hardy reassured the audience that the new system will be an improvement. 

For now, the decal stickers will remain until August 2018. The Office of Transportation and Parking will do a soft run starting in April and throughout the summer.

“It’s going to be a lot easier and I can’t wait,” Hardy said. “I’m excited!”

Alexander Rodriguez is the news editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected]