i3 - November/December 2019 - 21

COMING SOON:
A FLYING TAXI

P

assengers flying into Atlanta's HartsfieldJackson International Airport are often surprised to discover that the busy hub is a testing
ground for the latest in biometric technology.
In fact, the country's first-ever facial recognition terminal is
now being operated here.
This means that passengers flying direct to an international
destination on Delta, Aeromexico, Air France, KLM and Virgin
Atlantic can now opt in to use the latest facial recognition technology (FRT) from curb to gate. That means instead of using
boarding passes and other identification to check in, check a
bag or pass through security, passengers are now using their
own faces. Here's how it works:
● Passengers have the option of entering passport information
online before they even arrive. If they forget to do so, they can
enter the information at special kiosks in the airport lobby.
● These same kiosks are where passengers scan their faces
before dropping baggage at the counter and passing through
security.
● Passengers who opt into the biometrics option can board
their flights without ever showing additional identification or
passes at the counter in the lobby, the TSA checkpoint and
boarding gate, all of which are outfitted with cameras that
confirm someone's facial identification each step of the way
and right up until they board the plane.

KOHb/Getty Images

Because this technology is still in its beta stage, passengers
who opt out of using it are still able to proceed to flights as they
always have, though it seems that more travelers than ever are
eager to participate in the pilot program. Delta reported that
when the technology made its debut last year, most of the estimated 25,000 people who traveled through the concourse each
week were eager to use FRT (only 2% of travelers opted out).
A major appeal for travelers is that the new technology
immediately began shaving nine minutes of wait time on

C TA . t e c h / i 3

At CES 2019, the Bell
Nexus made headlines for
being what could become
the first-ever hybrid-electric flying-taxi service.
Created by Bell Helicopter
in Fort Worth, TX, the
Nexus could eventually
turn a 45-minute drive
into a 10-minute flight
when the first commercial
six-rotor vehicle takes off
from both Dallas-Forth
Worth and LAX in 2023.
Mitch Snyder, president
and CEO of Bell says, "As
space at the ground level
becomes limited, we must
solve transportation challenges in the vertical
dimension." He says this
type of on-demand mobility is not only a huge step in
the world of transportation, but a necessary one,
especially in regions where
roads are backed up with
traffic or even in remote
areas where reaching people quickly is vital.
The air taxi itself uses
hybrid-electric propulsion
that will initially be piloted
by a human with the hopes
of eventually operating like
a self-driving vehicle. The
prototype weighs about
6,500 pounds and has a
range of roughly 150 miles
with speeds reaching up to
150 mph. Bell has already
partnered with Uber Air on
the project, which means
that flying taxis could be
coming to a sky near you.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

21


https://cta.tech/i3

i3 - November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - November/December 2019

i3 - November/December 2019 - Cover1
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i3 - November/December 2019 - 1
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170506
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