DHS wants innovative solutions to speed up the border-crossing experience

October 25, 2017 - 

The Department of Homeland Security is seeking to implement technologies such as facial recognition to expedite the border crossing process, according to a report by GCN.

In a series of solicitations, the agency’s Science & Technology Directorate detailed the solutions that will help Customs and Border Protection address the rising number of international travelers to the U.S. while optimizing the security level in airports across the country.

DHS is specifically seeking technology to count and measure the number of travelers at the various stages of the airport entry process, to advise them to the right line at airport inspection areas, and to deploy facial recognition technology at land border crossings without causing traffic delays.

Since CBP does not have currently have a method in place to count the number of passengers in specific lines and the wait times for each step of the international arrivals process in the air environment, it is seeking a solution that will give it information on each line across a range of inspection stations and in all sizes of airports.

This information is essential to CBP in providing international arrivals accurate estimated wait times, routing passengers to the shortest available queue or assessing how fast people are passing through security checkpoints.

DHS will evaluate a range of passive monitoring technologies, including wireless communication signals, facial matching, video analytics and infrared/thermal.

All technology bids must have the ability to integrate securely with multiple airlines and airports as well as with CBP systems.

For land border crossings, DHS is looking to deploy facial recognition technology to verify the identities of passengers entering and exiting the country without them having to step out of their vehicle.

The system must be able to capture facial recognition-quality images while taking into account the changes in lighting, windshield tint, vehicle speed and crossing infrastructure as well as for passengers wearing accessories that partially obstruct the face or looking away.

The system must also be able to collect and send the captured information to compare it against DHS databases to verify passengers’ identities and document entry/exit.

The three solicitations are open until October 18, 2018, with applications being accepted on a continuous, rolling basis. Funding will be awarded in four phases from proof of concept through pilot deployment.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.