Glossary for AutoVu™ Free-Flow - AutoVu™ Free-Flow 9.2.0

AutoVu™ Free-Flow Plugin Guide 9.2.0

Applies to
AutoVu™ Free-Flow 9.2.0
Last updated
Content type
Guides > Plugin and extension guides
AutoVu™ Free-Flow
Plugin and extension guides

ALPR camera

An Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) camera is a camera connected to an ALPR unit that produces high resolution close-up images of license plates.

ALPR context

An ALPR context is an ALPR optimization that improves license plate recognition performance for license plates from a specific region (for example, New York) or from a group of regions (for example, Northeast states).

ALPR Manager

The ALPR Manager role manages and controls the patrol vehicle software (Genetec Patroller™), Sharp cameras, and parking zones. The ALPR Manager stores the ALPR data (reads, hits, timestamps, GPS coordinates, and so on) collected by the devices.

ALPR rule

ALPR rule is a method used by Security Center and AutoVu™ for processing a license plate read. An ALPR rule can be a hit rule or a parking facility.

ALPR unit

An ALPR unit is a device that captures license plate numbers. An ALPR unit typically includes a context camera and at least one ALPR camera.


The AutoVu™ automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) system automates license plate reading and identification, making it easier for law enforcement and for municipal and commercial organizations to locate vehicles of interest and enforce parking restrictions. Designed for both fixed and mobile installations, the AutoVu™ system is ideal for a variety of applications and entities, including law enforcement, municipal, and commercial organizations.

Config Tool

Config Tool is the Security Center administrative application used to manage all Security Center users and to configure all Security Center entities such as areas, cameras, doors, schedules, cardholders, patrol vehicles, ALPR units, and hardware devices.

context camera

A context camera is a camera connected to an ALPR unit that produces a wider angle color image of the vehicle whose license plate was read by the ALPR camera.

contract permit parking

Contract permit parking is a parking scenario where only drivers with monthly permits can park in the parking zone. A whitelist is used to grant permit holders access to the parking zone.

dynamic permit

In a system that uses the Pay-by-Plate Sync plugin, a dynamic permit holds a list of vehicles that is updated by a third-party permit provider. For example, in a system where vehicle owners pay for parking at a kiosk or using a mobile phone app, the list of vehicles are dynamically managed by a third-party permit provider.


To enforce is to take action following a confirmed hit. For example, a parking officer can enforce a scofflaw violation (unpaid parking tickets) by placing a wheel boot on the vehicle.


Entities are the basic building blocks of Security Center. Everything that requires configuration is represented by an entity. An entity can represent a physical device, such as a camera or a door, or an abstract concept, such as an alarm, a schedule, a user, a role, a plugin, or an add-on.


Failover is a backup operational mode in which a role (system function) is automatically transferred from its primary server to a secondary server that is on standby. This transfer between servers occurs only if the primary server becomes unavailable, either through failure or through scheduled downtime.

fuzzy matching

Environmental factors such as dirt or snow can partially obstruct license plate characters and increase the likelihood of partial plate reads occurring. In addition, similarly shaped letters and numbers, like “2” and “Z” or, “8”, “B”, and “0”, can also reduce plate read accuracy. Fuzzy matching lets AutoVu™ compare reads not only to exact matches in hotlists, but also to potential or probable matches.


A hit is a license plate read that matches a hit rule, such as a hotlist, overtime rule, permit, or permit restriction. A Genetec Patroller™ user can choose to reject or accept a hit. An accepted hit can subsequently be enforced.

hit rule

A hit rule is an ALPR rule used to identify vehicles of interest (called "hits") using license plate reads. The hit rules include the following types: hotlist, overtime rule, permit, and permit restriction.


The Hits task is an investigation task that reports on hits reported within a selected time range and geographic area.


A hotlist is a list of wanted vehicles, where each vehicle is identified by a license plate number, the issuing state, and the reason why the vehicle is wanted (stolen, wanted felon, Amber alert, VIP, and so on). Optional vehicle information might include the model, the color, and the vehicle identification number (VIN).

Hotlist and permit editor

The Hotlist and permit editor task is an operation task. You can use it to edit an existing hotlist or permit list. A new list cannot be created with this task, but after an existing list has been added to Security Center, you can edit, add, or delete items from the list, and the original text file is updated with the changes.


An illuminator is a light in the Sharp unit that illuminates the plate, thereby improving the accuracy of the images produced by the ALPR camera.

license key

A license key is the software key used to unlock the Security Center software. The license key is specifically generated for each computer where the Directory role is installed. To obtain your license key, you need the System ID (which identifies your system) and the Validation key (which identifies your computer).

license plate read

A license plate read is a license plate number captured from a video image using ALPR technology.

manual capture

Manual capture is when license plate information is entered into the system by the user and not by the ALPR.


The Monitoring task is an operation task that you can use to monitor and respond to real-time events that relate to selected entities. Using the Monitoring task, you can also monitor and respond to alarms.

multi-tenant parking

If you use AutoVu™ Free-Flow to manage transient parking and contract permit parking in parking zones, you can install the AutoVu™ Free-Flow plugin to manage parking lots where parking spots are leased to tenants.

notification tray

The notification tray contains icons that allow quick access to certain system features, and also displays indicators for system events and status information. The notification tray display settings are saved as part of your user profile and apply to both Security Desk and Config Tool.

OCR equivalence

OCR equivalence is the interpretation of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) equivalent characters performed during license plate recognition. OCR equivalent characters are visually similar, depending on the plate’s font. For example, the letter “O” and the number “0”, or the number “5” and the letter “S”. There are several pre-defined OCR equivalent characters for different languages.

overtime rule

An overtime rule is an entity that defines a parking time limit and the maximum number of violations enforceable within a single day. Overtime rules are used in city and university parking enforcement. For university parking, an overtime rule also defines the parking area where these restrictions apply.

parking lot

A parking lot is a polygon that defines the location and shape of a parking area on a map. By defining the number of parking spaces inside the parking lot, Security Center can calculate its percentage of occupancy during a given time period.

parking zone

The parking zones that you define in Security Center represent off-street parking lots where the entrances and exits are monitored by Sharp cameras.


A permit is an entity that defines a single parking permit holder list. Each permit holder is characterized by a category (permit zone), a license plate number, a license issuing state, and optionally, a permit validity range (effective date and expiry date). Permits are used in both city and university parking enforcement.

permit hit

A permit hit is a hit that is generated when a read (license plate number) does not match any entry in a permit or when it matches an invalid permit.

permit restriction

A permit restriction is an entity that applies time restrictions to a series of parking permits for a given parking area. Permit restrictions can be used by patrol vehicles configured for University Parking Enforcement and for systems that use the AutoVu™ Free-Flow feature.

Plate Reader

Plate Reader is the software component of the Sharp unit that processes the images captured by the ALPR camera to produce license plate reads, and associates each license plate read with a context image captured by the context camera. The Plate Reader also handles the communications with the Genetec Patroller™ and the ALPR Manager. If an external wheel imaging camera is connected to the Sharp unit, the Plate Reader also captures wheel images from this camera.


A plugin (in lowercase) is a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing program. Depending on the context, plugin can refer either to the software component itself or to the software package used to install the software component.

plugin role

A plugin role adds optional features to Security Center. A plugin role is created by using the Plugin role template. By default, it is represented by an orange puzzle piece in the Roles view of the System task. Before you can create a plugin role, the software package specific to that role must be installed on your system.


Privileges define what users can do, such as arming zones, blocking cameras, and unlocking doors, over the part of the system they have access rights to.


The Reads task is an investigation task that reports on license plate reads performed within a selected time range and geographic area.

Reads/hits per day

The Reads/hits per day task is an investigation task that reports on license plate reads performed within a selected time range and geographic area.

Reads/hits per zone

The Reads/hits per zone task is an investigation task that reports on the number of reads and hits per parking area for a selected date range.


A role is a software component that performs a specific job within Security Center. To execute a role, you must assign one or more servers to host it.

Security Center

Security Center is a truly unified platform that blends IP video surveillance, access control, automatic license plate recognition, intrusion detection, and communications within one intuitive and modular solution. By taking advantage of a unified approach to security, your organization becomes more efficient, makes better decisions, and responds to situations and threats with greater confidence.

Security Desk

Security Desk is the unified user interface of Security Center. It provides consistent operator flow across all of the Security Center main systems, Omnicast™, Synergis™, and AutoVu™. The unique task-based design of Security Desk lets operators efficiently control and monitor multiple security and public safety applications.


SharpOS is the software component of a Sharp unit. SharpOS is responsible for everything related to plate capture, collection, processing, and analytics. For example, a SharpOS update can include new ALPR contexts, new firmware, Sharp Portal updates, and updates to the Sharp's Windows services (Plate Reader, HAL, and so on).

Sharp Portal

Sharp Portal is a web-based administration tool used to configure Sharp cameras for AutoVu™ systems. From a web browser, you log on to a specific IP address (or the Sharp name in certain cases) that corresponds to the Sharp you want to configure. When you log on, you can configure options such as selecting the ALPR context (for example, Alabama, Oregon, Quebec), selecting the read strategy (for example, fast moving or slow moving vehicles), viewing the Sharp’s live video feed, and more.

Sharp unit

The Sharp unit is a proprietary ALPR unit of Genetec Inc. that integrates license plate capturing and processing components, as well as digital video processing functions, inside a ruggedized casing.

static permit

In a system that uses the Pay-by-Plate Sync plugin, a static permit holds a list of vehicle license plates that is not updated by a third-party permit provider. For example, a list of employee vehicles that are authorized to park in the lot are manually maintained as a static list.


A tile is an individual window within the canvas, used to display a single entity. The entity displayed is typically the video from a camera, a map, or anything of a graphical nature. The look and feel of the tile depends on the displayed entity.

transient parking

Transient parking is a parking scenario where the driver must purchase parking time as soon as the vehicle enters the parking lot.


A unit is a hardware device that communicates over an IP network that can be directly controlled by a Security Center role. We distinguish four types of units in Security Center:
  • Access control units, managed by the Access Manager role
  • Video units, managed by the Archiver role
  • ALPR units, managed by the ALPR Manager role
  • Intrusion detection units, managed by the Intrusion Manager role


A user is an entity that identifies a person who uses Security Center applications and defines the rights and privileges that person has on the system. Users can be created manually or imported from an Active Directory.

Zone occupancy

The Zone occupancy task is an investigation task that reports on the number of vehicles parked in a selected parking area, and the percentage of occupancy.