Genetec AutoVu Advanced Vehicle / LPR Analytics

By Ethan Ace, Published Jan 12, 2015, 12:00am EST

Genetec has enhanced their AutoVu LPR platform with a new suite of "Advanced Vehicle Analytics", including speed, direction and make / state of vehicles.

In this note, we look at applications for these analytics, limitations, price points and potential impact.

Analytics Additions

In this new release, Genetec has added four analytics to AutoVu:

Direction Analytics

Using direction analytics, alarms may be generated when vehicles move in the opposite direction of normal vehicle flow, or may be used to differentiate between vehicles entering and exiting a location. This analytic is available only on fixed Sharp units.

The primary use case for direction analytics is wrong way detection. For example, in entrances to highways or border crossings, this can be used for, respectively, safety and security. Genetec claims that their direction analytics will be more accurate because they track the plate and its movement, ensuring that it only alerts on vehicles and those that move a sufficient amount (e.g., ignoring a car that backs up a few feet only).

Speed Estimation

Fixed AutoVu Sharp units now provide speed estimates on vehicle reads. Speed estimation automatically calibrates when the camera is installed, and Genetec claims accuracy within 3-5 mph.

Speed analytics can be used for safety monitoring and traffic / congestion notification. For example, if a car is going much faster than other cars, this could indicate a safety concern. To the contrary, if cars are detected going very slow, this could indicate congestion or an accident.

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A car's speed detected by Genetec could be verified by comparing the time stamp and positioning of the car captured. Given its claimed accuracy, within 3-5mph, these analytics are likely not accurate enough to be a speed gun replacement for ticketing, though this is up to local regulations / laws.

Make / State

These analytics can identify the make of a vehicle and the state the license plate is from. Genetec is doing this by analyzing the emblems / decals on the car. They cannot identify specific models (e.g., the analytics might be able to determine if a car is a Ford or a Honda but not if it is a Ford Taurus or a Honda Accord). Also, they are not identifying / analyzing the color of the car.

The use case is limited to better verifying license plate matches (e.g., that the car is a Toyota with NY plates) but cannot magically alert on white Ford Broncos, etc.


These analytics are included with AutoVu at no extra charge. MSRP for a single camera system is ~$9,000 USD (single SharpX camera plus processing unit). Additional SharpX cameras are ~$3,500, not including mounting accessories or cables.

The analytics are compatible with current hardware as well as new, updated versions (see below).

Hardware Changes

In addition to these vehicle analytics, Genetec has made some updates to AutoVu hardware:

  • A SharpX processor now allows for four XGA LPR cameras (previously restricted to two), which allows for a reduction in hardware in multiple-lane fixed systems.
  • The AutoVu Sharp's camera has been upgraded to match the SharpX, changing imagers and increasing resolution from 1024x768 to 1024x946, which enlarges the Sharp's read area. The SharpX camera remains the same.

Positioning Impact

From a positioning standpoint, with the exception of direction of travel, these analytics are uncommon, with few, if any other systems, offering speed estimation, vehicle make, or plate origin. Organizations with the budgets to afford these systems (typically government, city surveillance, or high end corporate) will likely find these additions attractive. Further, it continues Genetec's strategic positioning as a high-end VMS provider, as competitors do not offer these analytics.

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