Soon passengers boarding the Eurostar won’t need to present their passports as the cross-Channel rail operator prepares to introduce facial recognition technology.
The scheme is similar to facial recognition technology in place at major airports including London’s Heathrow and Shanghai’s Hongqiao.
Set to launch in March 2021, the Eurostar system will be a first for rail travel, allowing for passport-free train journeys between the UK and France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
With the new tech, a passenger’s face will be scanned and their visage will then be matched to a photo uploaded from a smartphone to the Eurostar app.
The traveler will then be able to pass through ticket check and passport control without having to produce their passport.
The biometric technology is intended to speed up the boarding process.
It will also reduce queues at the train station and eliminate physical contact between Eurostar staff and passengers in the wake of coronavirus.
The technology will be introduced by March next year for travel between the UK and France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The brains behind the tech is British company iProov who were given a £ 388,000 grant yesterday by the Department for Transport to finalize the system.