First Automatic Fare Collection System with Integrated Explosives Detection Undergoes Operational Testing as part of Baltimore Pilot
Cubic Corporation and GE's Security business, today announced the successful conclusion of the first real-world operational test of the companies' jointly-developed automatic public transit ticket vending machine with integrated early warning explosives detection and supporting faregate capability.
The Baltimore Rail Security Study tested and collected data from the Cubic and GE explosives-detecting ticket vending machine, the Early Warning Explosives Detection System (EWEDS), deployed in a Baltimore Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) subway station throughout the month of June. This pilot focused on the system's ability to identify the possible presence of explosives compounds on passengers as they purchased tickets prior to passing through the faregates to board trains.
The study was a cooperative effort of the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology unit, the MTA and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), with technical support provided by Cubic and GE Security.
"The pilot appears to have met expectations and we were able to collect all the data needed in a shorter than planned test period," said Earl Lewis, assistant secretary, Maryland Department of Transportation. "While the formal results aren't in yet, the information gathered during this first-of-its-kind pilot appear to be good enough to take this potentially useful technology further along the commercialization testing path. This is the latest example of following through on Governor Ehrlich's commitment to evaluate and test new security technologies in Maryland's transportation systems."
Final test data is currently being reviewed and is expected to present to the sponsors later this summer.
The Cubic and GE Early Warning Explosives Detection System is designed to detect explosives residue on passengers as they select their ticket before boarding a train. If such residue is detected, the system activates further capabilities to alert security or law enforcement authorities of the potential threat and deny the passenger passage through the faregates or turnstiles. In the study, passengers who activated the explosives detection system were identified for further screening.
The Cubic ticket vending machine with integrated GE Security explosives detection trace technology is the first element in the companies' joint vision for the future of public transit security solutions incorporating a wide range of automatic fare collection "touch points". The ticketing machine incorporates GE's innovative fingertip trace detection analyzer, the Itemiser FX, into Cubic's advanced automatic fare collection (AFC) system.
The ticket vending machine is a result of a development agreement between Cubic Corp. and GE Security announced last year that is intended to create and introduce new security solutions to help make public transit systems and passengers safer.