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Vehicle Recognition Software | Make, Model, & Color Recognition [Updated for 2023]

Vehicle Recognition Software Meets Plate Recognizer’s ALPR 

We have achieved another milestone here at Plate Recognizer as our automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) software now identifies a vehicle’s make, model and color thus making it officially a vehicle recognition software as well!

A Car Make is simply the company that manufactures a car such as Toyota, BMW and Tesla. A Car Model on the other hand is the product the manufacturer sells to customers. It is simply the name of the car. For Honda Civic, as an example, the make is Honda and the model is a Civic.  

What is Vehicle Make Model Recognition? 

Vehicle Make Model Recognition (VMMR) is the ability to recognize the make and model of a vehicle from an image or camera feed. Our vehicle recognition software utilizes the VMMR technology and can be coupled with our license plate recognition. We have data that covers over 9000 Vehicle Make Models from vehicles across six continents and sold in over 50 countries worldwide.

A good photo of the vehicle is required for the software in the vehicle recognition system to accurately identify the vehicle make model. Just like how a person cannot differentiate a vehicle by merely looking at a small part of the car, such as the wheel or fender, it is important to capture at least the full rear or full front of the vehicle.

See the two vehicle images below.  Our Vehicle Make Model Recognition (VMMR) performs well for photos with a good view of front or rear of the car.  

Vehicle Make Model Recognition MMR

Figures indicate confidence level of the recognition. Source: Plate Recognizer Clients.

What about Vehicle Color?

Color Recognition inside a vehicle recognition system is the ability to recognize the color of a vehicle from an image or camera feed. As expected, this works well mostly in the day time, as opposed to the night time. It works sufficiently well even in situations where the vehicle is shaded from the sun, where the natural vehicle color may be distorted.  

Our ALPR software can identify the following colors: 

Vehicle Make Model Color White Black Blue Red Silver Green Brown Yellow

Source: Plate Recognizer.

Why is Vehicle Make Model and Color Important?

A Vehicle Make Model Recognition system helps strengthen your vehicle monitoring and identification solution with the vehicle’s appearance and color in addition to the vehicle’s attached license plate recognition. Check out how our license plate recognition system can even work in the snow!

This capability is beneficial for the following use-cases: 

  • Improved Security. Some people swap out plates with another vehicle and then drive away with the new car.  However, by detecting the vehicle’s make, model and color, it becomes much harder to merely swap out the plate. 
  • Easier Identification. Vehicle make model recognition makes it easier for law enforcement agencies and authorities to identify target vehicle and issue a citation. It is a whole lot easier to spot a blue Honda Civic with license plate 123ABC as opposed to just a vehicle with license plate 123ABC.
  • Local Advertising.  A billboard can present a certain ad based on the make and models of the vehicles at the stoplight.  This can present a whole new world of location-based, targeted advertising.
  • Faster Surveillance. A vehicle’s make model can complement the license plate recognition system by providing a higher level of robustness against fraudulent use of license plates or poor image quality. VMMR could also be used to speed up event crime capture as it reduces the amount of footage to be watched since the vehicle make model is known.
  • Customer Segmentation. A retail store may want to better understand their clientele by analyzing the types of vehicles that show up in the parking lot.  

Which Vehicle Make Models Are Included In The Data?

We have over 9000 Vehicle Make Models in our Plate Recognizer VMMR database, capturing a variety of vehicle types such as cars, buses, vans, etc. 

Here is a quick description of different vehicle types.

  • Big Truck is a vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration.  Examples include Komatsu Haulpak, Freightline Inspiration and Caterpillar Challenger.  
  • Bus is a road vehicle designed to carry many passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers.  Examples include Skoda 15Tr, Optare Versa and the Isuzu Gala.
  • Motorcycle, often called a motorbike, bike, or cycle, is a two- or three-wheeled motor vehicle. Examples include Ducati Scrambler, Kawasaki Vulcan and the Suzuki Intruder.
  • Pickup Truck is a light duty truck having an enclosed cab and an open cargo area with low sides and tailgate.  Examples include Ford 150, Mazda Titan and the Daihatsu Hijet.
  • Sedan is a passenger car with a closed body in a three-box configuration with separate compartments for engine, passenger, and cargo.  Examples include Toyota Camry, BMW 5 Series and Open Corsa.
  • Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is a vehicle that combines the elements of road-plying passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.  Examples include Nissan Xterra, Mercedes Benz GLS and the Renault Grand Modus.
  • Van is a type of road vehicle used for transporting goods or people.  Examples include Honda Odyssey, Citroen Dispatch and the Peugeot Boxer.

The table below shows the break down of the total Vehicle Make Models by Vehicle Type.  For some of the models, we conducted detailed research and debated on exactly what type of vehicle it is!

VMMR Vehicle Type Make Model Global Dataset

Source: Plate Recognizer Analysis

Vehicle Models by Make

For car afficionados, you’ll appreciate the following table on the number of Vehicle Makes by each Vehicle Model.  Since there are over 450 Vehicle Makes, we captured those with over 100 Vehicle Models only.  Otherwise, the table will be way too long!

Note that some Auto manufacturers distribute the same car but under a different Vehicle Model (or brand name) in a different country. 

VMMR Vehicle Make Models Global

Source: Plate Recognizer Analysis.

Vehicle Make Model Car & Truck Examples 

Here are some examples of our Vehicle Make Model Recognition with Color Recognition in action:

Vehicle MMR Example
Vehicle MMR Color Example

Figures indicate confidence level of the recognition. Source: Plate Recognizer Clients.

How to Activate Vehicle Make Model Recognition?

If you’re as excited as we are about License Plate Recognition, then you must at least check out our VMMR technology! 

With the Plate Recognizer SDK, it is super easy to activate the Vehicle Make Model Recognition with color detection.  No additional software or code is required!  Just let us know and we can turn this feature on for your ALPR On-Premise SDK!  

Please note that there’s an extra fee to enable Vehicle Make Model and Color Recognition.  But it’s totally worth it!  🙂

New Addition: Vehicle Orientation!

We have enhanced our machine-learning ALPR engine to now identify a vehicle’s front or rear.  

This is useful for parking and other situations where you want to know how the vehicle is oriented.  For example, if a parking camera sees a vehicle’s front, then you can infer that the vehicle is entering the parking lot.

If you would like to test out our ALPR engine, you can do so for free by signing up for an account.

Wait, What’s This ?

Our machine-learning engine just crashed while trying to analyze this particular vehicle below. 

We may need to create a new make-model, perhaps a Ferrari Cart?  🙂

This is the premium of premium golf carts. Source: Reddit.

Contact Us

Have a question about ALPR or Parking Management Software? Contact Us

About Plate Recognizer

Plate Recognizer provides accurate, fast, developer-friendly Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) software that works in all environments, optimized for your location. Sign up for a Free Trial!

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