Police Now Using Facial Recognition to Bust Cyclists in Shanghai

By That's Shanghai, September 21, 2017

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Shanghai's traffic crackdown continues. 

In the latest of the city's attempts to curb traffic disobedience, cyclists who disobey the rules are set to be tracked down with facial recognition software and fined.

According to SHINE, smart cameras have been installed at the intersection of Zhongshan Bei Lu and Jinshajiang Lu (near East China Normal University) to help detect cyclists riding the wrong way down the bike lane. Similar technology has already been introduced at other crossroads around the city to bust jaywalkers after debuting in Shenzhen earlier this year.

Cameras catch cyclists

Camera catches cyclists

How do the cameras work? Facing a bike lane intended for north-south travel, the cameras will start snapping images once they detect a human face traveling towards them in the opposite direction (south-north). Like the facial recognition system used to catch jaywalkers, the images of offending cyclers will then be sent to police for evidence collection and matched against identity card photos in their database. 



If the system detects a 90 percent match between the ID card photo and the surveillance images, then police will trace and call them up to pay a RMB50 fine at the district police office. Culprits will be given 15 days to come pay the fine. Otherwise, their faces will be displayed at bus stop displays and other digital billboards around the city for all to see. Habitual offenders will also receive the same punishment.

Facial Recognition

Shame!Similar "name and shame" punishment tactics are being used against pedestrians at bus stops around the city.

The idea of humiliation tactics was tried and tested last year when police from Huangpu district began randomly posting shots of jaywalkers in Xintiandi on social media to expose them. The same methodology is also currently being used to catch pedestrians.


Facial recognition

Name and shame

Name and shame

Name and shame

name and shame

name and shame

name and shame

name and shame

So far police say they've identified 30 pedaling wrongdoers, mostly people riding bicycles, e-bikes and motorbikes. Pedestrians have also been snapped, though police admit that they aren't being targeted in this particular crackdown.

Of the 30 who've been IDed since the end of last month, nine have paid the fines.

Police say more cameras will be installed to catch naughty cyclists at other intersections around the city, including Wuning Lu and Changshou Lu in Jing'an. The busiest intersections are their highest priority.

Cyclists and pedestrians aren't the only ones being targeted in the wider traffic crackdown. Drivers who ignore pedestrians are also getting fined too.

[Images via SHINE/Shanghai Daily]

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