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The TSA started testing a new system recently which may make security screenings a little easier. The goal is to greatly increase the speed and accuracy of passing travelers through the airport security screening process. The system uses improved body scanners and artificial intelligence techniques. This isn’t exactly like Total Recall, but it’s not too far off either.
The new technology was developed by a Boston startup backed by Bill Gates. It will use a new type of full-body scanning which doesn’t require the chamber in use now. Passengers will not be scanned one traveler at a time so this has the potential to significantly speed the overall process.
To further speed the process, the project will use facial recognition cameras. Special software will process facial expressions and posture which may indicate a security risk posed by a traveler. As with the current system, these scanners will not show specific detailed body scans to screeners. This will protect traveler privacy and will only alert agents when passengers may pose a threat.
The TSA wants to find “innovative and emerging capabilities to enhance aviation security,” to improve the passenger experience. according to TSA officials. For now, they scheduled pilot projects at train and metro stations in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. Denver International Airport will also conduct a pilot test for flying passengers.
Although the TSA will pilot test at DEN, the TSA expressed they would not deploy this at airports yet. Any large-scale roll-out must meet their “stringent security standards,” according to the agency officials. Evolv provides similar crowd scanning technologies for public places and events such as nightclubs, shopping centers, and sporting venues.
The TSA is seeking innovative solutions to make the passenger clearing process faster after the Memorial Day weekend delays last year. Besides testing this proposal, the TSA is seeking other improvements to reduce wait times. They have announced they will hire more officers and work closely with airlines to find innovative solutions.