FastPass is an integrated project funded by the European Commission under its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The project is designed to establish and demonstrate a harmonized, modular approach for Automated Border Control (ABC) gates.
Border control is a key factor for guaranteeing mobility and security within the European Union; it has to comply with very different - when not opposite- kind of demands: privacy-compliant, quick, accessible and easy to use border crossing process for the travellers; secure, precise, highly reliable system able to detect several kind of threats by border crossing (piggybacking, counter-spoofing...) for the border guards. FastPass should provide an answer to these expectations and therefore develop an innovative solution centered on the end-users requirements, fully respecting the Data Protection concerns and innovating beyond state-of-the-art technologies for more efficiency. The final system will be then tested at the three type of borders: air (Vienna Airport, Austria), land (Moravita's border crossing point, Romania) and sea (Piraeus, Greece) to assess its transferability to the market.
To reach this goal, FastPass gathers different partners representing the whole ABC value chain in a strong European Consortium. The project's team is also in constant contact with end-users (travellers, border guards) to evaluate, customize and adapt the solution to what they concretely require. Last but not least, the Consortium relies on an External Expert Advisory Board for getting recommendations on privacy and technical concerns. In this framework, the FastPass team focuses its efforts on four main areas:
Innovative technologies: FastPass develops an innovative architecture gathering different technologies proper to enhance the security and the efficiency at border crossing. The Consortium will examine and fully exploit the potential of biometrics (face, iris and fingerprint recognition) for a faster traveller identification and minimal risk of spoofing. The security of document checking will also be enhanced against counterfeit or presentation attacks thanks to optimized document readers. Last but not least, innovative video surveillance features, like person separation, will enhance the support of border guards (g.g. detection of piggybacking and other threats).
Harmonisation: currently, European countries belonging to the Schengen area use diverse ABC installations, pilot solutions and procedures corresponding to different needs (type of border, nature of the throughput,etc.). In such a context, how to reach harmonisation while maintaining a necessary modularity matching each kind of expectation in terms of border crossing processes? FastPass provides an answer in two main points. First, the project will focus on a harmonised user experience: all the important facts linked to usability, both from border guard and traveller sides, have been compiled and will be used as basis for the development of the ABC technologies. Some elements of the process (for example, the passport check) will then remain the same, irrespectively of the place where the border control will be processed. Secondly, FastPass will elaborate a harmonised process for risks and security assessment, that can be used by all stakeholders involved in the management of a border crossing point.
Modularity: as mentionned above, each type of border presents different needs appealing for a modular border crossing process. For this purpose, FastPass is designing three scenarios for each kind of border, proposing a solution adapted to their particular requirements. The scenarios will be developed, having in mind the future elaboration of an Entry/Exist System for the Schengen Area, and then tested and evaluated at different demosites. Therefore, at the end of the project, the Consortium will be able to propose an innovative and modular process, proper to satisfy sea, land borders and air borders' expectations.
Usability: few of the processes setlled by border crossing points have been actually evaluated with respect to users’ satisfaction. Thanks to a in-depth work on requirements that lasted over 2 years, FastPass has anlaysed the main factors influencing the border guards' and travellers' experiences and will optimize ABCs to their needs.This enables the project to develop technologies complying with requirements on a technical, social, ethical or legal level. In this sense, the project elaborates, on the one hand, a new evaluated border guard/ user interface that will make their work smoother, and, on the other hand, a traveller/user interface, for a faster and more secure travel experience.
In definitive, FastPass will produce a harmonised border crossing solution, a modular system for land, air and sea borders, a highly reliable and privacy compliant architecture, and an improved, innovative user interface. A solution answering your needs...