Making travel across Europe simpler for tourists and workers

A four-year EU project involving researchers at the University of Oxford is developing new technologies to enable quick and easy border crossings for holidaymakers and business travellers in Europe.

passport gate

The Oxford Internet Institute is a partner in FASTPASS, an EU-funded project aiming to enable quick and easy automated border crossings for travellers, while ensuring border guards can use a range of technological identification tools to prevent the movement of illegal immigrants and terrorists.

New algorithms, technologies, and scenarios developed for border control have to comply with very different, and often competing, demands: the legal requirements for privacy for individuals, the desire for a quick and easy to use process for those travelling, and the need for security, precision, and reliability in discovering potential threats.

Researchers are designing systems that include new technologies like biometrics and video surveillance to help improve the speed of border crossings and reduce the resources required to maintain them.

The project brings together researchers with businesses, government authorities, airport, seaport and land border management, and travellers themselves across ten EU countries: the UK, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland and Romania. While national governments could fund their own individual projects, the collaboration across Europe ensures that the knowledge gained and ideas and products developed will create a global standard. Having a standard approach to border control across the EU will improve the service for ordinary citizens while maintaining security.

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