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Feds test facial recognition technology to cut down on semi truck traffic at border


Authorities are launching a new pilot program at the U.S./Canada border that officials hope will ease long wait times with the use of facial recognition technology.

The Peace Bridge Authority is teaming up with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to test facial recognition technology on commercial vehicle drivers at the Fort Erie border crossing, according to reporting from The Buffalo News.

The program will use cameras and artificial intelligence technology to identify truck drivers crossing the border from Canada into the U.S. The technology will compare images of truck driver faces captured at the border to those already stored in federal databases. Drivers without any issues could then more easily pass through the border. “Customs can know in advance who is coming and if there are any issues with that driver. It would have a significant impact on the time spent at the primary booth in the U.S.”

Similar technology is also being tested at the Ambassador Bridge border crossing in Detroit. If the pilot program is successful, officials hope that it will dramatically cut down on traffic and wait times at the border crossing. “By using technology on the Canadian side, we can assist U.S. Customs on the U.S. side to expedite the process. We could cut inspection time in half,” authority General Manager Ron Rienas explained.

Authorities say that if the Fort Erie facial recognition pilot program is successful, the same technology may become standard at other U.S./Canada border crossings as early as 2019.


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