Baltimore/Washington Airport deploys lidar to aid social distancing

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Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) says it has launched a pilot program to generate and display social distancing information for customers waiting at security checkpoints.

The system uses lidar to detect the location and direction of travel of passengers, coupled with analysis software from project partner CrowdVision to monitor, analyze and report on physical distancing of passengers using the security checkpoints.

Customers are notified via overhead displays if distancing is deemed sufficient and prompted if greater separation is necessary. The hardware behind the system was already in situ as it was originally intended to monitor wait times at checkpoints.

BWI’s executive director, Ricky Smith, commented, “Since the outset of the pandemic, BWI Marshall Airport has implemented many measures to help protect passengers and employees. This innovation provides real-time data on passenger flow so that we can notify travelers and manage separation.”

The airport believes that it is among the first in the world to use lidar to monitor and report on security wait times, which it hopes will help improve the passenger experience.

“Our software solution helps BWI Marshall Airport improve passengers’ travel experience and, more importantly, keeps them safe and gets them flying again,” noted Mike Cunningham, president of CrowdVision.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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