These Four Trends Are Putting Digital Identities in the Spotlight

Digital identity solutions are not only the basis for secure and convenient travel, they are also the key to important services and greater control over personal data. Four key trends are currently crystallizing in identity technologies. 

Digital identification and identity solutions are an important part of global technological progress. In addition to simplifying and streamlining processes such as dealing with government agencies or traveling, proof of identity is directly linked to fundamental human rights. For these reasons, the development of technologies and solutions plays a crucial role. And there has been a lot of progress. Veridos, a global leader in identity solutions, outlines here the four most important trends and developments in the field of identity technologies:

Travel is becoming more digital and more secure. New technologies are paving the way for a new level of security in electronic passports. Self-check-in terminals and biometric data on microchips, for example, are helping to speed up the boarding process at airports. The next step in this development: the physical passport will no longer be the only way for travelers to verify their identity. With Digital Travel Credentials (DTC), the travel document of the future can also be displayed completely digitally and much more conventiently – on a mobile phone or smartwatch, for example.

The passport is becoming more sustainable. The travel and tourism industry is responsible for an estimated eight to eleven percent of global emissions. To meet the industry’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, research is increasingly focusing on recycled materials for documents that can ensure more sustainable supply chains. The days of passports with virgin plastic-based components may soon be numbered in favor of new, eco-friendly ID documents. The digitization of ID documents can help reduce the need for physical ID cards.

Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is becoming relevant. Self-sovereign identity puts individuals back in control of their data. This revolutionary concept allows individuals to choose what information to share, when, and with whom. Presenting an ID card to a car rental company, for example, reveals a great deal of sensitive information about an individual, whereas an SSI solution allows for the selective release of required information. With this zero-knowledge proof approach, citizens will be able to protect themselves very effectively against data mining and misuse of their information in the future. But SSI also has great advantages on the digital level – for example, the technology can be used as an identification process in the Internet of Things. Drivers could use it to confirm their identity at electric charging stations, for instance, without having to do anything themselves.

Identity is becoming increasingly digital. People without legal proof of identity are denied access to essential services and human rights, such as voting, education and banking. That is why the United Nations has set a goal of enabling everyone to register their identity by 2030. Universal solutions from leading providers are increasingly focused on digital and phygital technologies – a mix of digital and physical technologies. Not only are they more secure and convenient than purely physical ID cards, they also open doors to electronic services, are easier to manage and offer higher levels of security.

“The world is becoming increasingly digital. We see a growing expectation among users to be able to store important documents on mobile devices,” said Marc-Julian Siewert, CEO of Veridos. “There is certainly still a long way to go before government documents are fully digitized, but the groundwork has been laid and research is making great strides.”

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Nearly $1 Billion in Grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Improve 114 Airports Across the U.S.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is awarding $970 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Investing in America agenda to 114 airports across the country, spanning 44 states and three territories. This announcement, which Secretary Buttigieg will make as part of the Administration’s Investing in America tour, delivers on President Biden’s commitment to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure while lowering costs for families, creating good jobs, and advancing opportunity for all Americans.
This funding will help meet the growing demand for air travel and launch projects that will improve passenger experience, accessibility and sustainability while creating good-paying jobs. Investments enhancing the passenger experience include new baggage systems, larger security checkpoints, increasing gate capacity and modernizing aging infrastructure throughout terminals and ground transportation. These investments further increase terminal sustainability and improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Nine grants will address the needs of aging air traffic control towers. 

“Under this administration, we are doing more to improve the travel experience than ever before, from expanding consumer protections to modernizing the physical infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These investments we’re announcing today, made possible by President Biden’s historic infrastructure package, will make it easier for passengers to get to and through airports, create jobs, and increase safety for all.”
“Today’s funding not only helps modernize airports to meet the needs of travelers today and for years to come but also creates good-paying job opportunities in communities both large and small,” said FAA Associate Administrator for Airports, Shannetta R. Griffin, P.E. 
These awards are on top of the nearly $2 billion for airport terminals announced over the past two years. The vast majority of these terminal projects are under construction.

Many grants contain an element that will build new or expanded terminal facilities. Among them are:

  • $35 million to Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia: This award funds a portion of the construction of a 14-gate, 400,000 sq. ft. terminal building including connections to the Aerotrain and Metrorail.
  • $20 million to Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah: This award funds a portion of the Concourse B terminal expansion that will include 16 gates.  
  • $10 million to Hector International Airport in Fargo, North Dakota: This award funds a portion of the rehabilitation and expansion of the existing terminal. Rehabilitation includes upgrades to lighting, reconfiguration and expansion of hold rooms, and improve Americans with Disabilities (ADA) compliance. Expansion includes four new gates for a total of nine, increasing hold room space, expanded ticketing/baggage handling, expanded restrooms and post-security concessions. 

Many grants contain an element that will improve the passenger experience by improving security-screening areas, providing faster and more reliable baggage systems, and increasing accessibility for passengers with disabilities. Among them are:

  • $40 million to Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Illinois: This award funds improvements to Terminal 3 to include increasing the central passenger corridor width, a reconfigured TSA checkpoint, new hold room, a new ADA compliant and family restroom, and updates to the baggage system. 
  • $26.6 million to Denver International Airport in Colorado: This award funds a portion of the baggage handling system replacement, including the control system. In addition, the new system will improve energy efficiency and increase capacity. 
  • $8.6 million to Kahului Airport in Hawai‘i: This project funds the construction of a new two-story security screening checkpoint facility at the south end of the ticket lobby (South TSA Checkpoint). The facility will include six new TSA screening lanes. A pedestrian bridge will connect the new checkpoint facility to hold room A and will span over the existing service road.
  • $7.5 million to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport in Kentucky: This award funds a portion of the Terminal A security screening expansion project, which consists of adding four screening lanes to the security checkpoint.
  • $2 million to Spokane International Airport in Washington: This award funds up to two additional ticket counters and passenger boarding bridges, and portions of the HVAC, mechanical, electrical, plumbing upgrades, shared use & hearing-impaired technology, smart glass, solar energy connection, baggage handling systems, and other considerable ADA improvements.
  • $1.5 million to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska: This award funds the installation of 110 audio and visual monitors and stations throughout the terminal to better serve the passengers. 

Many grants will increase access to other modes of transportation or improve roadways. Those include: 

  • $31 million to Los Angeles International Airport in California: This award funds two areas of the Auxiliary Curbs at ITF West and ITF East which includes a combination of new, extending, widening, and utility improvements of surrounding roadways. This also includes underground Low Impact Development (LID) storm water containment systems. 
  • $8 million to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida: This award funds a portion of the reconfiguration and expansion of the terminal access and curbside roadways.
  • $7 million to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Louisiana: This award funds construction of the foundation for the North/South Connector Road’s north phase. The foundational piling operations will provide structural resiliency to withstand future climatic events, which have deteriorated the soil and created environmental concerns in past years. The new road will connect the airport’s North and South terminals and will link the terminals to the airport’s upcoming multimodal transit facility that has passenger rail service.

Nine grants are awarded to airports to refurbish their airport owned airport traffic control towers. Among those are: 

  • $10 million to Duluth International Airport in Minnesota: This award funds the relocation of an Airport Owned Airport Traffic Control Tower, a non-standard tower commissioned in 1963. The project includes design, project formulation, site preparation, line of sight obstruction removal, and other related actions.
  • $5.4 million to Martin State Airport in Middle River, Maryland: This award partially funds a new Airport Traffic Control Tower that has reached the end of its useful life.
  • $4.5 million to Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas: This award funds approximately 25% of the construction costs of a new sponsor owned Airport Traffic Control Tower. This project replaces the existing tower that has an identified line of sight impediment, is not ADA compliant, and has structural integrity issues. Funding for this phase focuses on the foundation and base of the tower construction.

Many grants contain an element that will increase terminal sustainability. Among them are: 

  • $31 million to San Francisco International Airport in California: This award will replace critical mechanical and electrical components (VFDs, fans, dampers, actuators, control valves, sensors, and other associated elements) of the HVAC system at the International Terminal. Replacing these components will improve fire-life safety compliance, reduce energy usage, reduce maintenance costs, and improve resilience.
  • $27 million to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina: This award funds the replacement of up to 16 Passenger Boarding Bridges and associated Ground Power Units and Pre-Conditioned Air units. 
  • $3.4 million to Appleton International Airport in Wisconsin: This award funds the Expansion and Modernization Project that includes a four-gate concourse expansion and will include a 60,000 sq. Ft. expansion increasing the number of gates to 10.  This award will partially fund the final phase of the concourse expansion project, including Passenger Boarding Bridges, a solar and sustainability program, and mechanical equipment.

Several grants contain an element that will go to improving airport access in smaller communities. Among them include:

  • $10 million to Punta Gorda Airport in Florida: This award funds a portion of the terminal rehabilitation and expansion project, which includes renovating the security checkpoint and adding public circulation, hold room, and restroom space. 
  • $6.5 million to Presque Isle International Airport in Maine: The airport will construct a new terminal to replace the existing undersized terminal. The new terminal will be ADA compliant, include appropriate life safety upgrades, and improve energy efficiency. This award will fund the early stages of the project, including construction of the superstructure and building enclosure. 
  • $700,000 to Standing Rock Airport in Fort Yates, North Dakota: This award funds construction of a new general aviation terminal building. There is no current terminal building, or other protective structures, for pilots to get out of the elements. The airport is used for recreational activity along with flights for medical emergencies and delivery of hospital and emergency staff to the area. 

Dexory Aims to Re-define North American Logistics and Warehousing Technology Market

er of cutting-edge AI and robotics solutions, has announced its expansion into the North American market. Dexory is set to disrupt the market through its autonomous robotics and AI-powered analysis solution, DexoryView. The company is already working with global partners with a significant U. S. presence such as DB Schenker, Menzies Aviation, Maersk and ID Logistics. To lead the expansion, Todd Boone has joined the team as its Head of North American business.

The driving force behind the expansion is the rapidly evolving landscape of logistics and warehousing. End customers continue to demand quicker turnaround times while warehouses address the urgent needs for improved space utilization and increased efficiencies while wrestling with ongoing labor scarcity. Dexory combines powerful analytics with autonomous robots capable of capturing rich image and sensor data from across a warehouse. This powerful combination provides comprehensive visibility across warehouses of any size, as well as connecting warehouses across the global supply chain through Dexory’s digital platform, DexoryView.

One customer that has recently deployed Dexory’s solutions in its warehouses is the international contract logistics group, ID Logistics. The collaboration aims to increase warehouse operation accuracy and enhance overall efficiency to improve the service provided to their customers.

Benoit Boiron, group Innovation manager at ID Logistics commented, “This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the evolution of inventory management and warehouse data acquisition. The precision and real-time monitoring capabilities have transformed our day-to-day operations, bringing accuracy to new heights.”

“Following successful customer deployments in Europe, we have seen an increased demand from the North American market,” said Andrei Danescu, CEO and co-founder of Dexory. “We are excited to be expanding our offering and see that there is tremendous opportunity in the region. Organizations across the globe are getting to grips with the challenging demands of modern supply chains, and DexoryView allows businesses to gain rapid insights into their operations and make informed decisions that drive better efficiencies across their businesses.”

Dexory says their technology helps businesses to understand, in real-time, what happens in their warehousing operations, which is imperative to closing the visibility gap that occurs when there is a misalignment between expectations and reality. The ever-increasing pace within warehouses is causing the visibility gap to grow, and so worldwide, companies are embracing Dexory’s solution to unlock real-time visibility and insights that minimize the visibility gap while maximizing warehouse performance and reducing costs.

As part of the expansion, Dexory has appointed Todd Boone to lead its North American business. Boone joins Dexory from Zebra Technologies, where he served as director of product management in robotics and automation. With Zebra Technologies he held several leadership roles and worked closely with Fetch, an established AMR provider in North America. Along with his experience in large organizations such as Motorola Solutions and Psion Teklogix, Boone has also acted as an independent advisor for technology companies, providing advice on go-to-market strategies.

“Having an industry veteran such as Todd Boone lead our expansion in the North American region is paramount to our success,” adds Danescu. “Boone has in-depth knowledge of the landscape and the challenges our customers are facing. In addition to this, he is a proven leader and has a track record of delivering value to customers as well as devising strategies that are disruptive and value-driven for our industry. We are pleased to have him on board to spearhead our growth in the region.”

“Many businesses across the globe are struggling with a visibility gap, where they do not have the necessary insight into their warehouse and supply chain operations,” comments Todd Boone, head of North America at Dexory. “The opportunity to lead Dexory’s expansion into the North American market comes at an exciting time for the industry. The technology is truly innovative and disruptive. The combination of robots and DexoryView has already delivered significant benefits to customers in Europe, and North American businesses can expect a transformative effect on the everyday efficiency, productivity and accuracy of their warehouses.”

Floating Sauna Saves the Day

Two people were stuck in middle of icy fjord after escaping a sinking car. Then a floating sauna showed up and rescued the people. According to Reurters, a Tesla crashed into frigid waters in Norway on February 1. The floating sauna then came to the rescue. See image.

First Responders in Texas Should Be Concerned About Autonomous Trucks, Attorney Amy Witherite Warns

024 is the year many companies are promising to place tractor-trailers on Texas highways without a driver in the cab. One major route will be along I-45 between Dallas and Houston. Attorney Amy Witherite, an expert in trucking safety, warns that these 80,000-pound vehicles may pose a special danger to first responders.

According to the American Automobile Association, “every year about 23 roadside workers and first responders (one every two weeks) loses their life at the roadside and hundreds more are injured while tending to disabled vehicles.”

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a Tesla did not respond correctly when a fire apparatus and police cruiser with emergency lights activated were used to block an accident scene in California.

Using a fire engine to protect first responders at accident scenes is a widespread practice. According to the NTSB, “when the vehicle ahead of the Tesla changed lanes to the right to go around the fire truck, the Tesla remained in the HOV lane, accelerated, and struck the rear of the fire truck at a recorded speed of about thirty-one mph.”

The NTSB noted, “the probable cause of the Culver City, California, rear-end crash was the Tesla driver’s lack of response to the stationary fire truck in his travel lane, due to inattention and overreliance on the vehicle’s advanced driver assistance system.”

“Imagine the tremendous damage an 80,000-pound autonomous truck would have caused in this same situation,” said Witherite. “Automation is important and can make driving much safer, but it is fair to ask whether it is safe to place fully automated trucks on the road at this time.”

California is not the only state struggling with this issue. According to the Austin Monitor, “an internal reporting system used by Austin firefighters and police describes Cruise cars coming within inches of parked fire trucks, ignoring police directing traffic and – in one instance – almost cutting off an ambulance flashing its lights on the way to Sixth Street. On other occasions, firefighters wrote, Cruise employees struggled to move their own disabled vehicles out of the way of traffic.”

The results of AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey show that while there is still a high level of interest in partially automated vehicle technology, attitudes toward fully self-driving vehicles have become increasingly apprehensive. This year there was a major increase in drivers who are afraid, rising to 68% as compared to 55% in 2022. This is a 13% jump from last year’s survey and the biggest increase since 2020.

“We owe it to those who put their lives on the line to protect ours to make sure that fully automated vehicles don’t increase the already high level of risk associated with working accident scenes on our state’s highways,” says Witherite.

Flock Freight Wins 2024 BIG Innovation Award for its Shared Truckload Solution, FlockDirect

Flock Freight, the only FreightTech company creating a smarter, more sustainable supply chain by pooling freight at scale, today announced that its guaranteed, terminal-free shared truckload solution, FlockDirect, has been named a winner in the transportation category of the 2024 BIG Innovation Awards presented by the Business Intelligence Group.

FlockDirect eliminates the hassles of the hub-and-spoke freight shipping model using patented technology that matches locations, schedules, and compatible shipments, finding the best options to pool freight among trillions of possible combinations. Shipments stay safe and in a single truck, driven by a single driver, all the way to their destination enabling shippers to only pay for the space they need and enabling carriers to earn more from every linear foot of capacity — all while slashing carbon emissions by up to 40% compared to traditional shipping methods.

“In 2023, we delivered on our strategy of integrating A.I. across our tech stack, fusing machine learning with operations research. As a result, in 2023 Flock pooled over half a billion pounds of freight – a 7x increase since 2020,” said Lu Saenz, Chief Technology Officer at Flock Freight. “Shippers are leveraging FlockDirect to build efficiencies into their supply chain logistics, leading to significant cost savings and over 46 thousand metric tons of CO2e avoided – a staggering 13x increase since 2020. We’re now on track to enable the pooling of trillions of pounds of freight in shared truckloads each year, further reducing the sizable carbon footprint of the logistics and transportation sectors.”

“Innovation is driving our society,” said Maria Jimenez, chief nominations officer of the Business Intelligence Group. “We are thrilled to be honoring Flock Freight as they are leading by example and improving the lives of so many.”

Organizations from across the globe submitted their recent innovations for consideration in the BIG Innovation Awards. Nominations were then judged by a select group of business leaders and executives who volunteer their time and expertise to score submissions.

NEC Achieves TX-RAMP Level 2 Certification for Suite of Biometric and Face Recognition Solutions

NEC Corporation of America (NEC), a provider and integrator of advanced IT, biometrics, communications and networking solutions announced that several of its top-ranked solutions have received Level 2 Certification from the Texas Risk and Authorization Management Program (TX-RAMP). The certification encompasses Integra-ID, NeoFace Reveal (NFR), and Insights for NEC Advanced Recognition Systems (ARS). This expanded certification underscores NEC’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions with a rigorous security-by-design approach to ensure privacy for all.

Integra-ID provides users with multimodal biometric search and storage services. Designed for accuracy and speed, data and transactional archiving, and auditing and reporting, all with cloud hosting capabilities. Integra-ID is backed by a comprehensive range of tools for editing, selection, image enhancement, comparison, and verification.

NeoFace Reveal is a face recognition application providing government agencies the ability to identify facial images (ranging from good to very poor quality) by performing either a one-to-many (1:N) search or one-to-one (1:1) verification against a database of any size. NFR can be used by government agencies to support investigations and detect and prevent fraud. NFR stands out for its ability to provide reliable face recognition, capturing, enhancing, organizing, and matching video and graphic images to specific individuals.

Insights including Archive, ERT and Workbench, is a super suite of applications for system administrators to manage, operate and use the NFR system. From a secured web browser, administrators can ascertain overall system status from a customized dashboard, manage user accounts, monitor processed transactions and perform auditing and reporting of all user activity and events.

The TX-RAMP certification is a significant achievement for NEC, as it highlights the company’s dedication to meeting and exceeding the stringent security and compliance standards set by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR). The program, established in response to Texas Senate Bill 475 passed during the 87th Legislative Session, sets forth a standardized approach for the security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring of cloud computing services processing state agency data.

TX-RAMP security criterion requirements are derived from the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). FedRAMP is a United States federal government-wide compliance program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.

“We are proud to receive Level 2 Certification from TX-RAMP for our ARS Law Enforcement Biometric Product Suite. This recognition reflects NEC’s unwavering commitment to providing advanced and secure solutions while prioritizing privacy,” said Gary Lac, NEC vice president of solutions development, ARS. “We understand the importance of safeguarding sensitive data, and this certification reinforces our dedication to maintaining the highest standards of security and compliance in the industry,” he added.

With the TX-RAMP certifications in place, NEC is well-positioned to support state agencies and law enforcement in Texas, ensuring that they have access to cutting-edge technology that meets the rigorous security standards mandated by the state.

Chess Dynamics Hawkeye MMP Delivers Electromagnetic Compatibility Performance 

UK surveillance specialist Chess Dynamics says their vehicle surveillance system, Hawkeye MMP, has demonstrated electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) performance as part of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency’s (NDMA) Observation Targeting and Surveillance Systems (OTAS) project. 

In meeting the requirements set by the NDMA, Hawkeye MMP has demonstrated its ability to meet the needs of the modern battlefield and survive, communicate and operate in the tough electromagnetic conditions. 

The unique requirements set out by the NDMA included standard EMC tests such as MIL-STD461 and specifically the precise Nuclear Electro Magnetic Pulse (NEMP). This was alongside more bespoke requirements to ensure compatibility with the vehicle’s existing high frequency, very high frequency and ultra-high frequency radio systems without any internal frequency interference.

Chess developed a multi-staged approach which included board-level testing, meeting UK-based EMC qualifications and complete vehicle system tests, as well as designing novel modular solutions to pass the NEMP testing at the first attempt. Steps were taken alongside the NDMA so that requirements were met while ensuring environmental and usability needs were not impacted. 

“The demands of the battlefield today are increasingly complex and require adaptable, high-performance solutions. The NDMA required a technology of this kind that also met its own strict EMC requirements, and we are thrilled to have succeeded in this. This is a major achievement for Chess, and we believe this technology will be vital as resilience becomes increasingly important to surveillance capability,” said Chris Henderson, Electronics group leader at Chess Dynamics.

“Chess Dynamics was able to provide a solution that passed the EMC tests, proving Hawkeye MMP’s ability to perform while remaining resilient on the battlefield,” according to their client. “We look forward to our continued work with Chess as we look to continuously improve our surveillance capabilities.”

Car Crashes Into White House Gates

A driver crashed a gray sport utility vehicle with a Virginia license plate into one of the exterior gates near the White House around 6 p.m. Monday, January 8. The driver was taken into custody according to Secret Service. The agency says it is still conducting an investigation into whether or not the crash was intentional.

“We can definitively say that there’s no risk to the complex or the adjacent neighborhood, and the investigation into his motivations continue,” Anthony Guglielmi, the spokesman for the Secret Service, said in a statement. President Biden was not at the White House during the occurence.

The car stopped before a security checkpoint at the perimeter of the White House complex. No damage was visible, but the photos did not show the front of the car.

The Washington fire department responded to the area and said the scene was cleared by 7pm. Guglielmi said on X (Twitter) shortly after 7:30 p.m. that the vehicle had been cleared by local police and that the streets around the White House that had been closed to traffic would be reopened.

Police Use Extreme Measures to Extract Suspect

Police deployed an armored vehicle to pry open the cabin of a truck on a highway in Texas, after the driver refused to stop or get out of the cab.
Officers had used spike strips to stop the vehicle, police said, but the driver still refused to get out of the vehicle.

After using an armored battering ram to pry open the cabin of the 18-wheeler the officers sent a police dog in to subdue the man. Then they were able to arrest the driver following an hours-long standoff on Wednesday, December 27.

Police stopped the truck, because it was moving slowly and erratically but the driver refused to exit the vehicle. They used a vehicle known as rook, to tear through the cabin’s window and passenger side door and used a police dog and gas canisters to subdue the driver. Aerial footage showed a SWAT team dragging the driver out of the cabin.