Facial recognition tech to be applied at subways

2019-10-30 09:22:38China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A passenger on the Xiju station of Subway Line 14 in Beijing. (Photo/Xinhua)

The Beijing subway system will apply facial recognition technology to passenger security checks to improve transport efficiency, a senior official from the Beijing transport authority said on Tuesday.

A new security check system will be established soon to divide passengers into groups, Zhan Minghui, director of Beijing Rail Traffic Control Center, said during the 2019 Urban Rail Transit Operation Development Forum in Beijing.

Some databases will also be set up - including one related to identifying forbidden items to help subway security screening staff - and safety measures will be adopted accordingly.

When people enter a station, facial recognition technology can recognize and check them through cameras connected to online databases.

When the security staff receives abnormal feedback from facial recognition, other security measures will be adopted, Zhan added.

"The technique aims to improve the efficiency of security checks and includes both body checks and luggage screening when large numbers of passengers enter the station," Zhan said.

He added the application of multichannel security inspection machines is also necessary for the subway system since single machines have limited capacity for security screenings.

Zhan, also deputy general manager of Beijing Infrastructure Investment, which is responsible for financing subway construction, said the new technology will be widely used in Beijing subway stations, especially during peak hours.

In 2018, passengers took 3.85 billion trips on the city's 22 rail transit lines, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport. Daily passenger traffic volume also hit a record high on July 12, during which 13.7 million trips were made.

Xie Zhengguang, general manager of the Beijing Subway Operation Co, said each subway line needs to further improve transport efficiency since some station platforms are small and transferring is not easy.

"It's important to shorten the stopping period of subway trains to reduce heavy passenger flow," he said.

Beijing has 678 kilometers of railway lines, and about 370 km of rail transit lines under construction will begin operations in the next two to three years. Over 17 million trips are expected to be taken on the city's subway every weekday by 2022.

China is No 1 in the world in terms of rail transit coverage, with the length of the nation's subway lines reaching more than 5,800 km, said Liu Xiaoming, vice-minister of transport. By 2025, China will open city rail transit lines totaling 12,000 km.

"However, there is still a lot to do in rail transit operation administration and service," he said.

Earlier on Sunday, the Ministry of Transport published a new regulation stating that subway stations need to provide convenience for passengers to reduce duplicate security and improve transit efficiency.

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