The Victorian Police Force has announced it will be implementing new number plate recognition and in car video technology, thanks to a AU$17.3 million deal with Motorola Solutions. Under the five-year deal, 220 police vehicles will be fitted with high-resolution, cloud-based Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology that enables the rapid scanning through thousands of vehicle number plates to identify dangerous and unauthorised drivers in real-time. By March 2021, Highway Patrol vehicles will also be kitted out with new in-car video technology that will allow officers to record audio and video footage of road policing activities, including roadside intercepts. According to the state government, the number plate technology is part of a AU$43.8 million investment to boost Victoria Police's capacity to target dangerous drivers and unregistered vehicles. "By combining ANPR detection with in-car video, this solution will provide high quality visual and audio corroboration of incidents and offences witnessed by police," Motorola Solutions VP and MD Steve Crutchfield said.
Some passengers travelling internationally via Qantas will be trialling biometric technology at Sydney Airport, with the first stage using facial recognition for them to complete automated flight check-in and bag drop, gain access to the lounge, and board the plane itself. Additional steps proposed for future trials include mobile check-in and automated border processing, allowing passengers to use their face as their access identification. As the launch partner for the trial, Qantas worked with the airport "from the outset", with Qantas chief customer officer Vanessa Hudson noting the airline is focused on increasing the use of technology to drive innovation for customers. "There is an increasing need for airlines and airports to offer faster and more convenient airport experiences and we're excited to see what results the trial produces," she added. Sydney Airport said consent is actively sought from all passengers and the "strictest level of privacy" is adhered to on behalf of those participating in the trial.
If you're the type of traveler that can never remember which pocket you put your passport in when asked to produce it by airport officials, then Australia's plan for a major overhaul of its checking systems is likely to appeal. The nation's Department of Immigration and Border Protection is aiming to do away with the need for passports at its international airports by introducing systems for biometric recognition of the face, iris and/or fingerprints, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported. International arrivals could speed through airside without ever interacting with a human official as the new technology -- part of the government's high-tech Seamless Traveler initiative aimed at transforming the border experience -- will eradicate the need for passport checks and passenger cards. Besides making the arrival experience more efficient, officials also believe the system will be better at identifying passengers on watch lists. While a number of airports have for several years been using so-called smart gates that prompt travelers to scan their passports upon arrival, the new system, which the government wants in place within the next three years, goes much further.
Australia's international airports are in the process of automating 90 percent of air traveler processing by 2020 by implementing facial recognition technology that involves biometric recognition of faces, irises and/or fingerprints, hence eliminating the need to carry essential traveling documents such as passports. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection, while building on the Seamless Traveller initiative announced in 2015, said Sunday that it will make a transition toward a "contactless" system for arrivals this year, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Under the new system, manned counters will be replaced by automatic electronic booths and the existing SmartGate that scan passports electronically will also be overhauled. Before introducing it to a major airport (scheduled for November), the program is to be piloted in July at Canberra Airport where international flight operations are limited to New Zealand and Singapore. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is scheduled to implement the technology in all major airports by March 2019.
Facial recognition could be used to replace swipe cards on public transport, the New South Wales government has suggested, but the opposition and digital rights groups say it would pose a risk to privacy. The transport minister, Andrew Constance, said on Tuesday he wanted commuters "in the not too distant future" to be able to board trains using only their faces, with no need for Opal cards, barriers or turnstiles. "I'm about to outline some concepts which may seem pretty crazy and far-fetched," he told the Sydney Institute on Tuesday. "But look at it this way – who would have thought in 1970 that you'd be able to use a handheld device to have a video conversation with someone on the other side of the world? "I want people to not think about their travel.