The Transportation Security Administration's move toward airport security without human-to-human contact has taken another step forward with new equipment that allows agent and passenger to keep a shield between them.
The touchless self-service system is currently getting a field trial in TSA PreCheck lanes at Washington's Reagan National Airport. The machine takes a live photo of the passenger and matches it against an ID inserted into a scanner at the station. A previous test at Las Vegas required handing the ID to the agent. The scanner can handle U.S. driver licenses, passports, military ID and cards from 'trusted traveler' programs.
The photos taken by the machine are not stored, but passengers still have the option of choosing not to be photographed; they will have to scan their IDs and be matched by an agent. Passengers using the system will also be invited to take part in a survey. Although the current Covid-19 crisis is pushing the technology forward, the ultimate goal is to speed boarding by automating the passenger verification.