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Using facial recognition in railway station can help to enhance the overall level of safety provided by existing security protocols.

Enhancing Travel Security using Facial Recognition in Railway Station

Author: admin | 01 Jul 2024

Imagine you’re standing at a railway station platform. There is a crowd surrounding you of hundreds and thousands of people, not a single one of which you know. Any one of them might be a thief, a registered offender, or other criminal with ill intent, and you would never be able to tell in time. But there is a system that can. This is the benefit that implementing face recognition in railway station provides.

From attacks using sharp weapons like knives in many major cities in Europe including Paris, Germany, and London, to a bomb found under a train in Pakistan late last year, people across the world are dealing with large amounts of crime on train stations. In some places, India for example, there was a doubling of the amount of crime in just one city’s railway stations in the last two years.

Using advanced face detection technology can help to create safer travel spaces. Combine that with the swifter and more convenient customer experiences that this form of technology can enable, and you find the perfect scenario for the implementation of a facial biometric security system.

The Crowd Security Dilemma

A significantly large crowd means high difficulty in being able to discern the identity of each individual, a major problem for train station security.

One of the inherent problems of public areas like train stations comes from the crowding that is a natural part of the functioning of these spaces. When a significantly large number of people congregate in an effort to get onto a public transport vehicle with a small entry point, crowding becomes to some extent inevitable.

This creates quite a major dilemma when it comes to railway security, in which conventional security implementations, like a large number of guards and security officers, often become inefficient. While recognizing someone you know inside of a crowd is something human beings are good at, spotting someone unfamiliar would be a much more difficult task to be asked of the average guard or security officer.

In addition, even if you do end up spotting a criminal or other suspicious individual, getting to them through a large and bumpy crowd before they can get on to a train might be next to impossible anyway. Because of this situation, train stations are a common choice for individuals with ill intent for criminal activities.

Keep Reading: AI Facial Recognition is stepping up pedestrian detection! By analyzing camera footage, AI can identify people in real-time, even in crowded areas.

How Facial Recognition Technology Can Help

Modern advancements in facial biometrics have provided a solution to this problem in a way that was not possible before. This innovative technology utilizes the power of artificial intelligence and computer vision to be able to analyze hundreds of faces in a crowd in seconds to identify a criminal or suspicious individual.

Compared to manual identification, this system allows for much quicker identification that can happen from much larger distances than the human eye would allow, and can further integrate into systems that can ensure appropriate response.

There is one specific mechanism or mode of operation of modern live facial recognition that is used in these scenarios:

One-to-Many Face Searching

In one-to-many face searching (1:N), passenger identification occurs by cross-matching the face of an individual seen by a CCTV camera against faces in a massive database or group of databases with identification records of citizens, records of criminal activity, and so on.

Modern face scanning systems that work on this mechanism have become fast enough that they can easily outperform human beings either sitting in a surveillance room or standing on a railway platform floor when it comes to identification speed.

Uncover More: Facial recognition technology is changing the way we interact with the world. This detailed guide to Facia dives deep into how it works, exploring everything from facial mapping and identification to its growing applications in security, entertainment, and even personal devices.

Practical Implementation of Facial Biometrics

The use of facial security in railways can provide many different benefits depending on the form of its implementation.

Facial biometrics can be implemented at railway stations for the purposes of detecting criminals, access control, identifying missing people and creating better passenger experiences.

Detecting Criminals

The most general use case as stated above would be as an enhanced railway monitoring system, created by implementing the technology into the already existing CCTV surveillance system of the railway station and network. 

This would allow for the detection of individuals with a criminal record, who might be on the run from law enforcement, leading to quicker apprehension with little inconvenience to other passengers.

A role can be played by humans through effective priority management in these systems. A system constantly detecting and analyzing each face that passes through would be a major waste of resources. Thus, creating high match-percentage thresholds (where a system only detects faces highly similar to a target suspect) can help to create a more productive allocation of resources.

Effective Access Control

Tying into the previous point, facial recognition technology can help to reduce crime taking place on railway stations in the first place through automated management of entry gateways and doors and access terminals.

As an example, if a system detects a criminal on a railway platform, it can automatically lock the doors of the train to prevent them from getting on it, or it might be able to prevent them from getting inside the station in the first place by detecting them at the station entry point.

This kind of door automation can also help to lock a criminal in a certain location or space, like a railway compartment until security or police officials can reach them to detain them or make an arrest.

Detecting Missing People

Railway station security does not only have to be limited to detecting criminals or suspicious individuals, they can also be effectively utilized to find missing people. 

The reality of these situations is such people can often move through public spaces easily without being detected. This is why they can often be seen at train stations as they allow them to travel from one place to another with little chance of being recognized.

Law enforcement and security officials that they do pass by might not even know that the individual is someone being searched for by their family. A facial recognition system in this scenario can help to identify these individuals and get them the help that they need.

Better Passenger Experiences

While the security benefits of this tech as stated above are massive and undeniable, that is not the only benefit that it can and does provide. 

Facial scanning can also help streamline and speed up passenger boarding and ticketing procedures, making them happen much faster, while also making the experience much more user-friendly than conventional ticketing and boarding procedures, which usually require some form of manual instruction.

Using facial recognition, a user can be identified and be allowed entry onto the train without the need to generate, carry, and manually get verified a paper ticket and/or pass. Your face would act as a highly secure biometric boarding pass that could be automatically scanned at the platform to allow entry much faster, minimizing any possible friction caused by a lack of user understanding.

Continue for More: Role of facial recognition for finding missing people. Let’s explore how this technology functions and how it differs from traditional recognition tools.

Current Use and Future

While facial recognition technology is still in the initial stages of widespread adoption, there are a few early adopters who are already using this technology effectively. The most recent example of this implementation is in India. There was also a recent case of multiple people arrested through the use of facial recognition at a railway station in the UK.

China has been at the forefront of implementing facial recognition technology in public spaces for security, and that includes its many train stations. Many stations including ones in Beijing and Wuhan, have been using facial recognition effectively since the early to mid 2010s.

As for the future, facial recognition solution providers like Facia are making it easier to implement these technologies in a wider range of scenarios and situations, and for a much larger group of countries because of its ease of implementation into already existing systems, and the ability to customize solutions to your requirements. This means that no matter what the conditions, requirements, and constraints of a certain area may be, we will have the solution for you. To learn more about how Facia can help to enhance your security system, contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Facial Recognition technology enhance security at railway station?

Facial recognition can effectively enhance security by being implemented in the surveillance systems of public spaces like railway stations. This allows for much quicker detection of suspicious or criminal individuals, leading to much faster apprehension of wanted individuals, potentially even before they have the chance to commit any crime

What are the benefits of using facial recognition technology in train stations?

Facial recognition technology provides many benefits at a train station, the most obvious of which is the enhanced security. It can highly enhance passenger monitoring at train stations and inside trains compared to manual oversight by guards or security officials in a surveillance room.

Another major benefit of this technology is the added convenience and ease that they provide to passengers. Facial recognition can make boarding and ticketing procedures much faster, while reducing the possibility of user error and providing the most frictionless experience possible.

How does facial recognition ensure passenger safety?

Facial recognition can be utilized for effective access control to ensure passenger safety in case a criminal or other person with ill intent does come to a train station. The system can automatically lock the doors of the train, preventing the criminal from getting entry, or it might lock them into a certain compartment until law enforcement can come to apprehend them.