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Singapore testing biometric immigration clearance system for drivers

The Singaporean government is currently testing a full self-service system with biometric and passport scans for immigration clearance, which would allow travelers to drive into a car bay and have their identity authenticated while remaining in their vehicle, according to a report by Today Online.

The prototype for the Automated Passenger In-Car Clearance System was completed in late December and is currently undergoing technical trials that will run until the end of the year.

The system’s prototype was unveiled at the Home Team Science & Technology exhibition and conference, earlier this week, at the Home Team Academy in Choa Chu Kang.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said the technology is needed to handle the Republic’s “shrinking manpower base”, as well as the growing number of travelers visiting the country.

Motorcyclists entering the country have been going through automated immigration security clearance since the end of 2016.

Shanmugam said last year that Terminal 4 at Changi Airport will implement more self-service immigration kiosks “to reduce reliance on manpower”.

“We have one of the busiest land checkpoints in the world — hundreds and thousands of travelers every day,” Shanmugam said. “You’ve got to keep Singapore safe and at the same time make it a pleasant experience for the travelers. I think technology is critical in that.”

Additionally, the Home Team partnered with the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last year to develop a prototype for a Radiological Multisensor Analysis Platform system.

The technology, which is equipped with advanced radiological sensors and 3D-mapping technology, could enable a truck-like vehicle to detect radioactive threats roaming Singapore’s streets in real time.

The system has already been tested at sea and land checkpoints throughout the country, in which it was able to screen passenger vehicles and cargo containers to detect potential threats in urban areas.

“It has, in our view, the potential to become an extremely valuable tool to counter nuclear smuggling and terrorism,” Shanmugam said. “It has allowed us to identify many blacklisted travelers and really boosted the efficiency and effectiveness of our border security operations.”

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