Facial recognition coming to Redstone next week

Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 7:55 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Flashing your CAC card to enter Redstone Arsenal may be a thing of the past.

On Monday, Redstone will launch a facial recognition pilot program at Gate 9 and Gate 1.

The DoD pilot program will provide employees a new, quicker method for getting through the gates.

Anyone who uses a Defense Common Access Card for entry are automatically registered in the pilot programs database that includes military personnel and private contractors.

The Facial Recognitions Lane provides rapid and continuous vetting and a non-stop transition through the gates via a camera at each identified lane. The camera will view the vehicle operator’s facial features and compare them to the operator’s photo on file in the Automated Installation Entry system using facial recognition software.

The new technology will be in lanes 3 and 4 at Gate 9 and lane 3 at Gate 1. The pavement in the lanes will be marked with “SOV”, meaning single occupancy vehicle.

All Arsenal employees, members of the military, and retirees and their dependents who utilize a Defense Common Access Card for entry to the installation are automatically registered in the pilot programs database via hand-held scanners at the Gates. Once the initial scan is complete, the registered individual is clear to use the Facial Recognition lanes.

The requirements for drivers to utilize the Facial Recognition lanes are; vehicles must have only the driver as the single occupant, no motorcycles or bicycles allowed due to face obscuring helmets and safety gear, drivers should remove items such as hats and masks that would impede a facial scan, and vehicle dashboards and windshields should be clear of clutter.

The technology works a lot like your iPhone.

“It takes an algorithm and it checks your face for 14 points against our existing database,” said Redstone Garrison Commander Col. Glenn Mellor. “When it finds a match you will see the lanes go from a red X to a green arrow. When the green arrow comes on you will be admitted into Redstone Arsenal.”

Mellor said this will speed up the process of getting people onto Redstone Arsenal and make sure only the right people get on.

“There’s no exchange of IDs or anything, you don’t even have to roll down your window with facial recognition,” he said. “It just measures some data points on your face and then allows you to roll through at about 3 to 5 miles per hour through the gate so you never even have to stop.”

Redstone is the only post in the country to have this state-of-the-art technology.

The team is using it as a test try and will report the findings back to the Department of Defense in three or four months. The goal is to equip all military posts across the country with this technology.

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