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Eurotunnel to be first non-airport border crossing to use automatic face recognition technology

Posted: 13 February 2019 | | 1 comment

By reinforcing security whilst improving the flow of travellers at borders, passenger satisfaction will be improved.

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Eurotunnel’s terminals are to be equipped with SAS PARAFE (E-Gate) technology, as used at airports, at the road and rail border between UK and France following Eurotunnel’s recent partnership with IN Groupe.

This is the result of collective work carried out over several months between Eurotunnel and IN Groupe, under the authority of the Minister of the Interior in France. This hi-tech investment financed by Eurotunnel will make it easier for passengers holding biometric passports to cross the border.

The use of this technology contributes to the modernisation of operational border management and the evolution towards intelligent management. It also makes possible the objective of facilitating more and speeding up border crossings.

For the first phase of this project, the 51,000 passengers travelling by coach every year, mostly tourists, will be the first to use the facial recognition PARAFE gates from the beginning of April. In addition, two sets of nine PARAFE gates (five for departures, four for arrivals) with new generation facial recognition will be installed in France and the UK.

Later phases will focus on equipment for Eurotunnel’s Flexiplus services and then a broader roll out of the technology.

Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France region, said: “In the context of Brexit, Eurotunnel and IN Groupe have taken the lead regarding the important issues of safety and fluidity. This technology does not replace people but allows us to face new challenges and save time. The Hauts-de-France region is ready, thanks to Imprimerie Nationale technology which will help passengers. It is tried and tested technology: It provides safety and comfort.”

“With our innovative border control solutions, we provide a powerful and immediately operational response to the security challenges of each state. We are proud to equip the first non-airport border crossing point in Europe,” said Didier Trutt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IN Groupe.

Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Getlink, said: “By becoming the first terminal on the Short Strait to be equipped with facial biometric recognition technology, Eurotunnel demonstrates its mission to enable easier and faster travel for its customers.”

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