Take GZ Metro through face recognition!

BY :Becky Lin, Louis Berney

UPDATED :September 23, 2019


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Guangzhou Metro has adopted facial recognition at the Canton Tower station on APM line and Line 3, and at the Tianhe Smart City station on Line 21 (on trial runs), as of September 9, allowing for faster and easier entry.

Canton Tower station on APM line

Instead of using transport cards, tickets or swiping their cellphones, passengers can glance at a screen and unlock the electric gates in about half a second. This facial recognition technology is now available to passengers at Canton Tower station on APM line, while the systems at the other two stations are still under test. If they run well, the technology will be rolled out across the city in the near future.

Passengers can access the service after completing a real-name registration on Guangzhou Metro's official mini program called "广州地铁乘车码" on WeChat, or on the mobile app, "广州地铁"(Guangzhou Metro).

The fee will be deducted automatically from the payment methods designated by subway riders on their mobile phones. One drawback of the new technology, however, is that it will not grant passengers 40% off the tickets in the rest of the month after 15 metro rides.

According to the metro's staff, the facial recognition will not be disturbed by people wearing makeup, but passengers are advised to take off hats and glasses to enjoy a swift entry.

Canton Tower station on Line 3

Facial recognition machines at Canton Tower station on Line 3 are only open to passengers eligible for free rides, including people aged over 70, the severely disabled and staff members who participate in system testing. They can enjoy the service after registering on the station's intelligent customer service machines.

Tianhe Smart City station on Line 21

Besides facial recognition technology, voice-activated ticket machines are being used at the Tianhe Smart City station on Line 21 (on trial runs).

Passengers can buy tickets by simply speaking out their destination station and the quantity of tickets (for example, "Guangzhou East Railway Station, two tickets") in front of the machines and pay. For now, the machines can only recognize mandarin; Cantonese and English may be added in the future.

Another intelligent system at the station also can recognize questions asked by passengers and offer navigation services as well as transportation guide in Guangzhou. The system is equipped with a process to block background noises so as to recognize messages more clearly.