Being trapped in a security check queue when your train is close to departure time is a passenger’s worst nightmare during China’s Spring Festival travel rush — also known as chunyun in Chinese.
Now the problem may have a solution. The deployment of facial recognition security systems in train stations across China means people may spend less time waiting in lines during chunyun. They will not need to wait for IDs to be checked manually.
In some train stations in cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, passengers can get through security checks in three seconds. Finding people inside the station also becomes much easier. All you need is a photo.
Airports are catching up as well. Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport in northwestern Gansu province is the first in China to use facial recognition technology in its security check and boarding process.
“It’s convenient because it saves time, you can walk straight in,” a passenger at Zhongchuan Airport said.
Facial recognition software is just one of many new technologies that are making travel during the Spring Festival break less frustrating. Airline companies are introducing onboard Wi-Fi to accommodate passengers’ needs for internet when flying.
Public transportation in China also utilizes social media to meet the need of customers. The bus station in Ji’nan, eastern Shandong province, allows passengers to customize their travel routes through crowdfunding. If 15 people pay for the same destination and time slot, the station will assign a bus to make the trip.
Technology is helping to make the trip home for Spring Festival more enjoyable than ever.