A boarding system using a facial recognition technology was introduced at the Yamaman Yukarigaoka Line, a train service in the city of Sakura, Chiba Prefecture, on Saturday.

According to Yamaman, the operator of the line, it is the first time that a facial recognition-based boarding management system for general passengers has been put into practical use at a public transportation system in the country.

After registering their face photo data and credit card information in advance on a dedicated website, passengers can board trains, without buying tickets, via cameras installed at the ticket gates at stations that recognize their faces. Passengers with commuter passes can also use the system.

Yamaman also introduced the system also to its bus service the same day.

The company expects to see an increase in the number of users of the facial recognition system as commuters are seen opting for the system when they renew their passes.

An official of Yamaman, which also runs a real estate business, said that the company wants to introduce the system to the whole community.

Facial recognition systems, including for train ticket gates, are being tested in many parts of the country.

Osaka Metro, which offers subway services mainly in the city of Osaka, has introduced a facial recognition system for its employees on a trial basis.

It plans to start using it for passengers by the end of fiscal 2024.