facial recognition to be your future ticket on the london underground

facial recognition to be your future ticket on the london underground

using biometric data, such as palm and facial recognition, as your ticket for public transportation might not be too far in the future, according to CUBIC, a technology developer that designs systems, products and services focused in transportation. their ‘fastrack gateless gateline’ concept, which is currently conducting small user testing, eliminates physical barriers to form an extended corridor-like gateway that between 65 and 75 users can walk through in a minute, whilst their faces are being scanned and synced for payment with their smartphones. the technology advancement aims to improve efficiency at train stations, most specifically for the london underground, as the infrastructure expects passenger rates to double in the next 30 years.

between 65 and 75 people can be validated through the gateless gatelines in a minute 
all images and video courtesy of maynard



based on our heritage of building and maintaining the hardware, systems and infrastructure for revenue collection, CUBIC recognized the need to embrace a wide range of new technologies – some proven, some emerging – that together will transform the traveler experience,said roger crow, executive vice president and managing director, CUBIC transportation systems europe. ‘this project is another example of CUBIC’s partner collaborations to find innovative solutions and deliver benefits for travelers and operators alike.

the system will use facial recognition and bluetooth smartphone connections to validate passengers



CUBIC’s ‘fastrack gateless gateline’ system allows users to register their biometric data in advance and then sync it when at a station. although collecting more data, the technology isn’t drastically different to recognition software used by companies like apple and google. instead, the advancement aims to make identification more secure as easily stolen card validators will become unnecessary, although not completely withdrawn. those who have either mistakenly or purposely walked through the gateless corridor without validating will be highlighted to their error. as well, using software that tracks passengers as objects in stations and trains, travel enforcers are enabled to identify and reprimand those who haven’t paid.

unvalidated users will cause the corridor to flash red



in collaboration with go ahead group, mövement strategies, maynard group and bristol robotics laboratory, CUBIC’s ‘fastrack gateless gateline’ is a submission to the railway standards and safety board’s (RSSB) future ticketing detection competition.

the concept aims to improve efficiency at train stations, specifically on the london underground


passengers can still use other forms of validation at traditional gateways


a model interpretation of CUBIC’s fastrack gateless gatelines design

  • I still can’t believe Britain turned into such an 1984 caricature

    Lody Aeckerlin says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

technology news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
493,460 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample