The U.S. Army is looking to deploy facial recognition technology to further automate its drive-thru checkpoints. The Army issued a presolicitation under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) broad agency announcement.

The Army noted that it is looking for a small business to help it design and build a biometric recognition camera system that can be integrated with the pre-existing Automated Installation Entry (AIE) system and then deployed at drive-thru Army installation Access Control Points (ACPs). The new solution must be able to see through the windshield of approaching vehicles in various weather conditions during the day and night time, it will also be used to report security alerts.

The solicitation notice on notes that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) studied the biometric recognition performance of 189 algorithms from 99 different manufacturers and reported varying degrees of performance. However, the Army argues that “advances in high-resolution image cameras and identity analytics software are closing the performance gap with respect to errors encountered in the visual spectrum and illumination changes.”

The Army’s current efforts with facial recognition tech would use existing technology to develop a facial recognition system that can detect passengers in a moving vehicle and compare the captured image of the driver to a photo gallery of pre-approved users. The results would then be displayed to a human guard with a photo of the driver indicating an access granted or access denied response. The Army said this would allow uninterrupted vehicle traffic flow for approved users.

The project would be rolled out in three phases:

  • Phase one: Develop an overall system design that includes specifications of the high-resolution cameras and recognition technology.
  • Phase two: Develop and demonstrate a prototype system in a realistic environment. Conduct testing of an autonomous system to prove feasibility over extended operating conditions. The Government will provide access to a designated vehicle lane for setup, testing, and demonstration. A power source of 110 volts will be made available at the vehicle lanes.
  • Phase three: This system would now be ready for use in a broad range of military and civilian security applications where automatic entry are necessary – for example, in installation protection operations or in enhancing security in industrial facilities.

For the solution, the Army is looking for something that is platform-agnostic, easily scalable, mobile, and with 100 percent accuracy. The Army will begin accepting proposals on April 14 and the deadline for proposals is May 18.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.