BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Facial recognition, big data analysis, robot receptionists and Virtual Reality Panorama navigation -- as the 2019 Spring Festival Travel Rush kicked off on Monday, multiple smart technologies have been introduced across China to ensure all travelers safer and easier family reunion trips.
Beijing Railway Station is among the first railway stations in China to launch a facial recognition system during the 2019 Spring Festival Rush.
It takes a passenger about 10 seconds to pass the turnstile by scanning their ticket, ID card and looking into the facial recognition screen.
A similar system has also been enabled at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport. With the facial recognition technology, the Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection at the airport launched a self-service lane.
Passengers for international departure can whisk through customs formalities within nine seconds.
As families gather, reunion parties are scheduled and travel spikes, security measures with cutting-edge technologies have been used to ensure nothing can snarl the most important annual event in China.
Last week in Wuhan, Hubei Province, an open house at the railway station showcased explosive-handling robots to passengers. The robot can be remotely controlled within 200 meters to handle and dispose of explosives.
In Zhengzhou, Henan Province, railway police are equipped with smart glasses to check suspects.
Akin to Google's Google Glass, an optical head-mounted display in the shape of glasses can take pictures of a suspect with an embedded camera and connect to the police database in real time.
A crowded railway station is almost every travelers' nightmare on their journey. Nanchang Railway Administration has rolled out a virtual reality panorama navigation system at several railway stations in southern China.
Passengers can get fully prepared for the annual "challenge" by having virtual experiences like checking-in and security checks on their smartphone.
Robots are also no strangers to the Spring Festival travel rush this year. Chubby robots that resemble R2-D2 in Star Wars can be spotted in multiple railway stations and airports this year, offering service like information inquiry, the collection of empty water bottles and even singing songs for tired travelers.
Since 2018, some artificial intelligence technologies have also deployed in railway stations with large passenger flows.
With the help of computer vision and data analysis, stranded passengers can be monitored in real time. Crew members can guide and redirect passengers to ensure everyone can get on the train in time.
A veteran crew member at Guangzhou Railway Station told reporters that in the past, he estimated the passenger flow by counting the plastic woven luggage bags on the station square.
China's Spring Festival travel rush started Monday, unleashing the country's largest seasonal migration of people as families reunite for China's most important traditional holiday.
The travel rush began 15 days ahead of the Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on Feb. 5 this year.