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Biometrics may replace paper tickets on UK railways

17 Feb, 2017 09:00 am

Train passengers in the UK could one day pay for tickets and pass through turnstiles by using their fingerprints or iris scans, after railway industry officials announced plans to trial a new ticketing system.

@ Fotolia

The new pilot project unveiled by Arriva's Chiltern Railways will first roll out a ticketless payment system that will use the Bluetooth and geolocation functions of passengers' mobile telephones to track their travel and automatically bill them at the end of the day for all journeys made.

Meanwhile, the UK's Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said a further development of the scheme could involve using biometric technology similar to the facial recognition systems used at UK airports to more quickly process travellers.

The new pilot will be rolled out on Chiltern Railways' route between Oxford Parkway and London Marylebone.

UK railroad capacity is under pressure as the number of passengers have more than doubled to 1.69 billion passenger trips in 2015/16, compared to 735 million trips in 1994/95, according to Office of Rail and Road figures.

Read more at Silicon

Biometrics identification, such as fingerprint and iris scans, could help to replace paper-based ticketing systems in the near future.
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