Jenoptik acquires ALPR data management developer ESSA Technology


Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK (formerly Vysionics), part of the German Jenoptik Group, has acquired all shares in ESSA Technology, a UK software developer specializing in police and enforcement back office systems.

An integrated photonics group, Jenoptik’s Traffic Solutions division develops, manufactures and distributes components, systems and services that contribute to greater road traffic safety throughout the world. The company’s product portfolio comprises comprehensive systems relating to all aspects of road traffic, such as speed measurement and red light monitoring systems, and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) products and systems for the detection of traffic violations, with a particular expertise in average speed or section speed control, and automated license plate recognition (ALPR) systems.

Jenoptik last strengthened its position in the UK with the acquisition of Vysionics at the end of 2014. Vysionics was best-known for its ALPR and average speed enforcement, with its SPECS average speed enforcement camera systems in use from the year 2000 at more than 85 permanent sites and 400 temporary roadworks installations across the country. ESSA Technology will become part of Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK, bringing to the UK and international markets a wide range of end-to-end security, monitoring and enforcement applications.

ESSA Technology interface real-time vehicle information with operators’ data and objectives, through the use of powerful data mining and analysis tools. With a long history in back office (BOF) applications for ALPR systems, ESSA has recently collaboratively worked with Jenoptik on several innovative traffic monitoring and control applications, including police networks, weigh in motion (WIM), average speed enforcement and Red X monitoring. The synergies seen through this work led to the acquisition, bringing together ESSA’s data management expertise with Jenoptik’s market leading ALPR and enforcement systems.

ESSA’s ALPR data management systems are widely-used for car parks, retail and industrial site monitoring, access and control, tolling and congestion charge zones, and highway and bus lane monitoring. The company’s flagship products are: the C-PASS ALPR management platform; and the ESSA-Backoffice (ESSA-BOF) system for managing large streams of ALPR data from large regions and complex locations, and in-car and mobile systems. ESSA-BOF is a scalable, web-based system that uses industry-standard server databases to receive, process and store millions of reads per day, together with their associated plate and overview images or motion video clips. The company has also developed the Edge mobile app that enables a smartphone to capture number plates, run searches and receive alerts for policing and enforcement.

“The ITS market continues to grow rapidly, through an increased demand for smarter and safer environments. This requires the management of large quantities of ALPR data, and this is where ESSA excels,” commented Kevin Chevis, CEO of Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK. “Now that ESSA is part of Jenoptik, we will be able to further develop the solutions we deliver to customers both in the UK and overseas, allowing us to offer the best roadside equipment, and the best software tools for accessing and reviewing the data that is captured.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).