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U.S. Army looks to facial recognition access at bases

The single occupancy vehicle lane at a gate at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., offers facial recognition technology as part of a test for new identification systems. Photo courtesy of NASA
The single occupancy vehicle lane at a gate at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., offers facial recognition technology as part of a test for new identification systems. Photo courtesy of NASA

April 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army is seeking to install face-recognition cameras at base entrance checkpoints, it announced in a contract call for a recognition biometric camera system.

In a request for proposals last week, the Army said it seeks a camera system which can be integrated with existing checkpoint systems and can "see through the windshield of approaching vehicles in various weather conditions during the day and nighttime."

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Images of approaching drivers and passengers could be matched with images in the Army database, and "the results would be displayed to the guard with a photo of the driver, indicating an access granted or access denied response," the request added.

The first, six-month phase of the plan has a budget of $259,613 and will be operated through the Army's Small Business Innovation Research agency, according to the request, first reported Monday by Defense One.

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The second phase will involve development of prototypes, to be tested at simulated checkpoints, which will need to perform at a 100 percent success rate, according to the Army.

Redstone Arsenal, Ala, is currently is the only Army base in the United States using facial recognition technology.

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"It is a safety measure for us," Col. Glenn Mellor, Redstone Garrison Commander, told WZDX News in March.

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"There's no exchange of ID's or anything else. You [the driver] don't even have to roll down your window with facial recognition. It measures some data points on your face and allows you to roll through at about three to five miles an hour at the gate. So, you never even have to stop," Mellor said.

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