Cubic Transportation Systems is working on new technology to recognise people by their facial features, which could lead to the removal of ticket barriers at railway stations and other locations.
It says research found that by removing the paddles and using biometric information instead, customer throughput could be doubled, with 50 people passing through verification each minute.
“The main components of this system are common, existing technologies — the novelty lies in how they work together, and not in the invention of new technologies,” the company explains in brochure. “It comprises a 3-D stereoscopic scanner for facial recognition, Bluetooth and RFID wireless technologies for activation, and a biometric database solution for high-speed dataset lookup.”
Cubic explains that the paddle-based gate system can be viewed as a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ approach – passage is denied by default. On proving they have the right to travel, the gates open to allow one passenger through. In a gateless system, all travellers may proceed to travel unobstructed without pausing. If facial- recognition determines that they have not registered for the service – and are therefore ‘guilty’ of fare-evasion – only then would passage be denied.
Should a face be purposely obstructed and therefore not recognisable, the system will log the incidents and create an intelligent report that shows the days, times and places where leakage occurs, allowing transport operators to use this data to predict enforcement needs.
Cubic has submitted two patents for scaling biometric information and coping with the identification of thousands of passengers each second.