Cost/benefit analysis of electronic license plates
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Cost/benefit analysis of electronic license plates

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      The objective of this report is to determine whether electronic vehicle recognition systems (EVR) or automatic license plate recognition systems (ALPR) would be beneficial to the Arizona Department of Transportation (AZDOT). EVR uses radio frequency identification technology tags (RFID) that would be placed on all registered vehicles so that RFID readers could read vehicles' plate numbers as they pass using the radio frequency signal emitted by the RFID tag. ALPR technology uses cameras and alphanumerical recognition software to read license plates as they pass. The literature review looks into the previous applications of both ALPR and EVR. Departments of Transportation (DOTs), tolling authorities and law enforcement all have used various applications of this advanced electronic technology. Based on the literature review and the benefits section (Chapter 3), the potential benefits of an ALPR/EVR systems are: (1) the ability for AZDOT to potentially monitor traffic flow more accurately; (2) the ability to better enforce license and registration compliance; (3) the ability to better enforce auto insurance compliance; (4) the ability to implement a toll, or congestion charge; and (5) the ability to aid law enforcement in finding suspected criminals. Chapter 4 determines the potential costs of an ALPR or EVR system and then compares the costs with the total quantifiable benefits using two case studies. In the first case study, an ALPR system was set up on all major valley freeways, and in the second case study, an EVR system was set up on all major valley freeways. The ALPR case study concluded that such an ALPR system could be set up for about $10 million dollars and it could generate up to $400 million dollars in direct benefit per year and up to $1.3 trillion in benefits to highway users per year. The EVR case study concluded that such an EVR system could be set up for about $50 million, and it could generate up to $407 million in direct benefit per year and up to $1.33 trillion in benefits to highway users per year. A direct benefit profits the state directly with cash, while benefits to highway users help society as a whole but the state receives no revenue. Chapter 5 looked into the legality of a potential ALPR or EVR system. This chapter concluded that AZDOT should seek legislative support to increase public support. This report concludes that at the present time ALPR should be further researched and/or implemented by the State of Arizona. The reasons for this recommendation are because of ALPR's previous applications. ALPR's lower up front cost, ALPR's ability to read out-of-state plates, ALPR's potential lower degree of public opposition, and the possibility that ALPR would have to back up an EVR system. All in all, these technologies are changing at a rapid rate and a change in any of these variables that generated this recommendation could change this recommendation.
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