Korean researchers develop gate-free contactless smart ticketing solution

Korean gate-free contactless smart ticketing system illustration
GATELESS: The researchers envision the smart block system being applied to the whole transport network

Researchers at the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) in Uiwang-si are developing a “smart gate-free system” that will enable passengers using public transport services to automatically pay their fares from their mobile device by walking across a “smart block” in the floor.

“The smart gate-free system is a technology that allows passengers with smart devices to pay fares without physical contact, such as getting on/off tags, when using public transportation such as city railroads,” the KRRI explains.

“A smart block installed in the floor where passengers pass recognises the smartphone app or smart token the passenger has and collects usage fees.

“Even when passengers get on and off, such as commuting to and from work, the location of numerous passengers, such as platforms, routes and gates, is accurately recognised in real time through Internet of Things (IoT) technology and fares are settled.”

In addition to removing the need to tap a physical card or mobile device, the system will also mean that “transportation-disabled people, such as the elderly, the disabled, [passengers with] strollers and people with bulky and heavy luggage” will no longer have to pass through narrow ticketing gates and that transportation agencies will be able to resolve “chronic fare settlement disputes” more easily, the KRRI adds.

To date, the researchers have developed a smart block with a recognition range of about three metres and now plan to conduct further research and development “to enable accurate and precise location tracking within one square metre within a short time”.

The research project is scheduled to run until the end of 2023.

Seoul’s light rail network began trialling ‘tagless’ face recognition ticketing in January 2021 and inter-regional buses in South Korea’s Gyeonggi-do province piloted a tagless fare payments system based on Bluetooth technology in June.

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