August 7, 2019

Tracking the Future in China’s Subways

Translink has launched Transport 2050 – “a shared regional strategy that will help navigate the next 30 years of transportation.”  It might just check out what’s happening in China today when it comes to new ticketing technologies.

Facial recognition? So yesterday (c. 1984).  Here’s the latest; it will save you the time of having to glance at a screen.

Soon, it might be common to see passengers walk right through a subway turnstile without slowing down or pausing in Nanning, the provincial capital of South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The installation is part of a bio-ID recognition framework that aims to replace the traditional ticketing system, which could allow passengers to pass through turnstiles in 0.2 second, with fees automatically deducted from a linked account, offering a viable long-term solution to ease congestion issues. Currently, the system is in trial at Foziling station but will be widely used after testing.

The system is simple. Passengers download a mobile app created by local transportation authorities and upload pictures of their faces and body features to their personal accounts, and then deposit money in the app. Once properly set up, cameras connected to the network scan passengers to identify individuals entering the subway station and track them to their destination to charge the proper fee.

Well, since it offers “a viable long-term solution to ease congestion issues,” how could anyone object?

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