One-upmanship between Guangzhou and Shenzhen over AI-driven subway technology is continuing to provide reporters with fun material. Last week, Guangzhou opened two “Smart Stations” on its Metro, powered by AI algorithms. This week it is Shenzhen’s turn to promote the rollout of automated customer service kiosks and announce the entire Metro Line 11 now has “brush-face” gates.
The new customer service kiosks allow riders to register their faces for purchasing tickets, topping up their Metro cards, and other services. Initially, only those who get to ride the line for free can use them to register for “face-brushing”, but they will be upgraded soon for paid ticketing. In the meantime, everyone can use the kiosks for performing a variety of other transactions.
Who rides for free? Why, seniors, of course! Didn’t you know that? Residents of the city who enjoy pension benefits, demobilized soldiers, survivors of martyrs, and retired military cadres, who are 60 years of age or older, go free, as well as disabled persons. Once registered, they will be able to walk into and out of the stations at ease, just by “brushing their face” at the scanners.
Even the under-60s are enjoying Line 11, although they have to pay for the convenience of the face-brushing.
“This year, the equipment will gradually expand to Shenzhen Tongka [the recharge card] ticket-card timeouts, and overtravel,” a Metro spokeman told the local media. Currently, there are at least two of the new kiosks at each of the 18 stations on Line 11.
The article concludes: “In the future, the self-service ticket processor will be fully promoted at the stations of the seven lines under the jurisdiction of the Shenzhen Metro, and will continue to create a beautiful subway in all directions.”