Visa report suggests facial recognition key to mass transit evolution

Facial recognition is a key technology for the future of mass transportation, with potential uses for safety in urban environments, confirming the identity of rideshare drivers, and various kind of payments, according to a report by Visa and Stanford School of Engineering.

The Future of Transportation: Mobility in the Age of the Megacity” (PDF) is a 50-page document outlining some of the ways mass transit and car systems may evolve to deal with the challenges of congestion and strained infrastructure.

While biometrics are not prominent in the section on cars, the vision the report lays out of connected vehicles certainly implies user authentication requirements, and connected car systems powered by facial recognition were on display at this year’s CES.

Automatic facial recognition (AFR) is singled out among technologies for improving the safety of mass-transit in urban environments, along with anomaly detection and video content analytics. The report mentions NeoFaceWatch and Kinesense as companies developing AFR for this type of use case. The device-independence of facial recognition makes it a promising technology for transit payment systems, according to the report, with Face ID and Face++ mentioned as technology leaders currently offering payments through mobile devices. The report mentions Baidu’s work on facial recognition for transit tickets, and Alibaba and Amazon’s facial recognition payment systems.

The West Australian reports that the same research shows 54 percent of Australians would be willing to try commuting with facial recognition or Bluetooth technology.

NEC demonstrated its biometric technology for public transit at the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA’s) 2018 Annual Meeting in September.

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