5/28/2005AutoFind Competes With Bootfinder Car Confiscation System
Major cities moving forward with AutoFind plate scanning for ticketing and car confiscation.
Several major cities are testing the AutoFind camera system for the purposes of scanning, ticketing, and sometimes seizing parked vehicles. Made by AutoVu in Montreal, Canada the $80,000 to $100,000 system uses a set of cameras mounted on a car and connected to a sophisticated optical character recognition program loaded onto a laptop. The software can examine 1,000 car plates per hour.
Boston began beta-testing the device in July 2004 and is now using the system to ticket any cars inadvertently parked in the wrong neighborhood. The city uses another camera van to look for cars that can be immobilized with a "boot" until the owner pays the city to have it released. Davis, California will deploy the system in the Summer.
Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and Tampa have also either tested or deployed this technology which competes with Bootfinder, a system used by two Connecticut cities and Arlington, Virginia. New Haven, CT uses the technology for car confiscation and has generated $1 million in revenue in six months by seizing 1,800 cars. One woman had her Dodge Neon towed right out of her driveway while she was in the kitchen. She only owed $85 in back taxes.