During this year's Spring Festival some railway stations have adopted face recognition technology to identify passengers.
Railway stations in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Zhengzhou, and Xi'an are now equipped with cameras on their automatic ticket checking machines that capture an image of a passenger's face and compare it with the photo on their identity cards. If they match, the passenger will be allowed to pass through the ticket checking gate.
It takes just three to six seconds for each passenger to be checked by having their "face swiped", which eases the congestion of passengers entering the railway stations, and is conducive to the management of passenger flows at the stations especially during busy periods such as Spring Festival.
At present the technology will not be applied to all passengers. Passengers with discounted tickets such as student tickets or tickets for the disabled still have to have their tickets checked manually. In addition, if a passenger's appearance has changed to any great extent from that in their ID photo, such as those who have had cosmetic surgery, the technology will likely fail to recognize them, and they will have to go through a manual ticket checking channel.