OSAKA: Osaka Metro Co. showed a next-generation automated ticket gate with a face recognition system to the media on Monday.
Aiming to introduce such gates at all of its train stations in fiscal 2024, ahead of the 2025 World Exposition in the western Japan city of Osaka, the subway operator will start on Tuesday a test of the gates with some 1,200 workers of the company.
Through the test, the Osaka-based company hopes to identify problems and make improvements. This will be the first such test by a Japanese railway operator, according to Osaka Metro.
The test, which is set to run through September 2020, will be conducted at four stations--Dome-mae Chiyozaki, Morinomiya, Dobutsuen-mae and Daikokucho. Each station will have face recognition gates developed by four different firms to compare their functionality.
On Monday, a gate installed at Dome-mae Chiyozaki Station was shown to reporters. When an Osaka Metro employee, whose facial data has been registered in advance, tried to go through the gate, a camera set up at the facility checked the worker's face against the data before the gate opened to let through the person.
"Elderly people and people with a stroller, for example, will be able to go through the gate without putting anything down on the floor," an official of the company said.
"We want to improve the station environment by introducing new technologies," the official added.
The gates to be tested were developed by Omron Social Solutions Co., Takamisawa Cybernetics Co., Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corp. and Nippon Signal Co.