Economic review

Face recognition, online technology expedite Chinese New Year travel rush

2018-02-12 14:13:00 (Beijing Time)         Global Times

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Through the increased application and implementation of technology at railway stations, this year's Spring Festival travelers should experience greater convenience and better service on their nearly 400 million trips by train. [Special Coverage]

A Chinese passenger scans his or her shenfenzheng national identity card and ticket at an entrance gate for the train platforms. The machine at the gate scans the passenger's face and if it matches the picture on the card, the gate opens. The process should take couple of seconds without the need for ticket inspectors.

Face recognition was piloted at a Wuhan train station in Central China's Hubei Province during the summer and is being expanded to railway stations across China.

The majority of travelers buy tickets online then collect their tickets at the station before travel. For a growing number of routes, travelers can board with their identity card, without a paper ticket.

Passengers no longer need to buy instant noodles at the station and carry them onboard but can instead choose online from a menu including fast food like KFC which a steward brings them en route.

The extra online choice and food delivery convenience has contributed to a plunge in instant noodle sales all across China.