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Bengaluru: Face recognition tech to replace smart cards at Namma Metro

Published on May 19, 2022 05:45 PM IST
Bengaluru's Namma Metro will soon be using facial recognition technology and artificial intelligence in place of smart cards, tokens and passes.
Bengaluru's metro will soon be imbibing the latest technology like artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to be used as monthly passes.(PTI File)
ByYamini C S | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan

In a push to make processes hands-free in the IT hub of India, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) will reportedly replace smart cards, tokens and passes with face recognition technology at the automatic fare collection (AFC) gates of the Namma Metro stations.

The BMRCL has partnered with tech giant Google and is in the process of introducing monthly passes by using artificial intelligence to scan faces.

Anjum Parwez, managing director of the BMRCL, was quoted as saying that passengers can soon walk through the AFC gates and it will automatically open after using the AI facial recognition tool.

The BMRCL had launched one-day and three-day passes on April 2 to increase the Namma Metro's ridership. The one-day passes were priced at Rs. 200, while the three-day passes are priced at Rs. 400.

However, there were few takers.

The BMRCL noted a strong demand for monthly passes and decided to introduce them with facial recognition technology so that multiple riders cannot use the same card simultaneously.

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The BMRCL on Tuesday joined hands with Alphabet's Google by signing a Memorandum of Understanding, with Parwez telling reporters that the search engine operator will be providing real-time train movements on their Google Maps based on data provided by the rail corporation. This will help commuters know where a train is regardless of their location.

The metro's anticipated Phase 2 project, meanwhile, is on hold and will likely be delayed further due to civil work undertaken near KR Puram, like shifting of gas pipelines. This will affect the heavily congested Silk Board junction. 

The BMRCL suspended boring work for Namma Metro 713 times due to unfavourable geological conditions. The difficult underground rocks and soil between Shivajinagar and MG road has also made it even more difficult for BMRCL to complete the Namma Metro’s phase 2 underground section.

Having finished only 40% tunnelling work thus far, the BMRCL said it would take the corporation another 1.5 years to complete the remaining tunnelling work, with Metro operations on the Pink Line to commence by 2025.

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