Japanese facial recognition

JAPAN: Light rail and bus operator Yamaman Co has added facial recognition to the Jorudan Style Point&Pass ticketing system used on its 4·1 km six-station Yukarigaoka Line and local bus services.

Passengers need to register online and provide a passport-style photo and credit card details to use Eucalyptus Pass facial recognition. Cameras at the stations then recognise them, open the barriers and charge their credit card; there is a flat fare of ¥200, with a day ticket costing ¥500.

The ticket vending machines which previously issued magnetic tickets are being modified to issue paper tickets with QR codes for use by occasional and non-registered travellers.

The rail deployment follows on from a pilot scheme on bus services in 2021. Suppliers J MaaS and Panasonic Connect are hoping to expand the technology’s use throughout Japan after assessing its performance on a small network.

Implementation cost around ¥60m, which was supported with a government subsidy. The scheme is expected to reduce the cost of issuing tickets by 30%.

The transport operator’s koala theme comes from the presence of eucalyptus in the area.