Facial recognition tech spreads to car rentals

28/09/2021 20mins
Ajish Prakash


Imagine how convenient it would be to pass through a security point by simply facing a camera equipped with a software program that can scan your face and verify your identity, instead of taking out your wallet and ID. That would significantly speed up the process, so you’ll be on your way in just about 30 seconds.

That’s exactly what Hertz rental cars is aiming for. The company announces its recent partnership with Clear. Clear is the company behind the biometric face and fingerprint scanning you commonly encounter in security checkpoints at the airport.

The use of facial recognition technology is revolutionizing security checks and more industries, particularly airport systems are adopting it. This month, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has started rolling out the technology. Although, the offer is only applicable for the members of their Gold Plus Rewards program and has signed up for Clear. With the facial recognition technology, you can simply check out and drive off in your rental car by looking up at the camera from the car window, instead of fumbling through your wallet to present your ID. After scanning your face, the system will match the images to the stored information in their database.

The technology is expected to roll out to 40 more airport rental locations over the next six months.

The executives of Hertz and Clear both emphasized how the facial recognition and fingerprint scanning technologies can speed up the check-out process. The scanning can cut down the process to up to 75 percent. That is, instead of spending an average two minutes exit time, you can leave with your rented vehicle in just 30 seconds.

The technology also offers less friction and more convenience for the customers. Advanced cameras and software can identify an individual almost instantly so verification process is streamlined. ID cards are increasingly becoming outdated and biometrics seems to be the best tool now to prove someone’s identity. As a matter of fact, facial recognition is already used in various gadgets like the iPhones. Even the giant social media networking site, Facebook, is using facial recognition for tagging photos and posts of its users.

However, it is also important to warn people about the possible dangers associated with biometrics technology. People may face the risk of privacy and security issues as biometric information is more vulnerable to hackers. The dangers of facial recognition are imminent. There are already several instances where face scanning was abused and misused. Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft has even warned about the consequences of this technology.

It all boils down to convenience and making things happen faster and easier. Assuming the technology is used properly, there are actually a lot of potential benefits on both the company and customer’s sides.

As with Hertz Car Rental Company’s plans to adopt the advanced technology, one can only hope that the system will not be abused.

Overall, considering the convenience the biometrics technology offers, perhaps we can ask first if this convenience will be worth risking our privacy and security.


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