iProov, a provider of biometric authentication technology, announced that its technology will be used to improve the speed and safety of train travel. Rail passengers using Eurostar services will be the first to take advantage of a facial biometric corridor to enable contactless journeys. The walk-through system will allow customers to complete ticket checks and border exit processes at St Pancras International station without needing to come into contact with people or hardware.
The concept, which has already been deployed in airports to increase speed and safety and manage immigration, is now being brought to train travel as part of the First of a Kind (FOAK) competition run by Innovate UK and funded by the Department for Transport.
“iProov is enabling train passengers to choose to travel without tickets or documentation in a way that is safe and secure,” said Andrew Bud, founder and CEO, iProov. “What started off as a project to reduce travel congestion and keep passengers moving is now going to help keep people safe in a pandemic world through social distancing and contactless interaction. It’s yet another example of how opt-in facial verification is making life easier and safer for people around the world.”
Passengers planning to travel on Eurostar services would be offered an accelerated pre-boarding option. Prior to travelling, they would use the Eurostar app to scan their identity documentation before iProoving themselves. The iProov facial biometric check uses patented controlled illumination to authenticate the identity of the user against the ID document.
The iProov solution assures the Genuine Presence of the passenger as well as checks that the user is the right person, matching the identity portrayed in the passport, the illumination process checks that the user is a real person, rather than a photo, video, or mask, and, uniquely, that the user is authenticating right now. This protects against large-scale criminal attacks using deepfakes.
The passenger would then receive a message confirming that their identity document had been secured and a ticket or passport would not need to be shown again until they reached their destination. On arrival at St Pancras International, the passenger would enter the contactless travel corridor and proceed in distanced fashion before boarding the train. A kiosk solution at the station would allow passengers without access to smartphones to complete the same process.
The iProov solution will be developed in close partnership with Eurostar, and with Canadian travel and immigration solution specialists WorldReach Software. It is planned to be in live operation by March 2021.
"We are very pleased to be working with iProov on this important innovation,” said Gareth Williams, Strategy Director and Company Secretary at Eurostar. “We’re convinced it will enhance our passenger experience and offer a live illustration of how innovation can benefit the high speed rail and international transport industries."