EMT to pilot blockchain and face recognition ticketing in Madrid

An EMT bus in Madrid
TRIAL: Passengers will be identified and charged by a face recognition system fitted to buses in Madrid

Madrid public transportation operator EMT has announced plans to run two next-generation transportation payments pilots. The first is a blockchain-based mobility-as-a-service platform while the second involves a six month pilot of face recognition based ticketing on the city’s buses.

For the blockchain project, the goal is to create a single mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platform that can be used across the Spanish capital’s bicycle rental, car sharing, electric vehicle charging, motorcycle rental, scooter hire, subway, bus and taxi services.

The face recognition biometrics pilot, meanwhile, is due to begin this month on a single EMT bus line. “If the project is successful, the deployment to other lines will be evaluated,” EMT says.

To take part in the pilot, travellers will need to download a mobile app, enter their payment details and take a ‘selfie’-style picture of their face with their phone’s camera.

Cameras placed on participating buses will then be able to automatically identify the passenger and charge the relevant fare to the payment method linked to their account “in a single gesture.”