Axon, formerly Taser, plans to put automatic license plate readers on police dashboards

Axon, the company formerly known as Taser, is entering another controversial surveillance business: the automatic license plate reader industry.

In a report released by its ethics board today, the company said it planned to enter the market and make the tech, called ALPR, available on a “future version” of dashboard cameras already used in police vehicles. Axon provides dashcams under a brand of products called Axon Fleet, and the company told the board that the next generation of its cameras will include the readers.

The cameras will be able to process video of license plates through a laptop in an officer’s car. While some police departments already use readers mounted to their cars, Axon believes that a camera sitting on a dashboard “will enable agencies to deploy ALPRs more broadly than before, potentially across an agency’s entire fleet of cars,” according to the board’s report.


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