Tickets might soon go extinct at the Beijing metro, with plans to introduce a bio-identification system to speed up entry time in the crowded stations.
Two technologies, palm scanners and facial recognition cameras, are being considered, according to Zhang Huabing, head of business development for the Beijing metro.
Facial recognition cameras “recognize” people when they enter a station, allowing them to avoid the traditional ticketing system. Palm scanners would enable some people to swipe their hands to get through ticket turnstiles.
“The idea is to reduce transit times when passengers enter the station,” said Wang Jianwei, director of Huawei‘s technology business unit, who installed facial recognition technology at his factory.
Wang said the technology is mature and can already be used in a subway environment.
“The idea is to reduce transit times when passengers enter the station,” said Wang Jianwei, director of Huawei’s technology business unit.
Reducing time and costs could have a huge impact, considering how many people use the Beijing metro. Beijing has 22 urban railway lines stretching nearly 378 miles. More than 10 million passengers use the city’s metro trains every day, according to China Daily.
The Shanghai subway system currently uses recognition technology. Passengers can simply place their hands onto a sensor to gain access to the cars.
The images of the hand are immediately compared with the files in a database, explained Li Weizhen, marketing director at Shanghai Zhangteng Information Technology.
China has been at the forefront of introducing facial recognition into daily life. Police forces in some cities use it to identify suspects. A school in Hangzhou is even testing out the technology in the classroom.