Innovations Leading the Way to the Future Travel Experience

In an EU-funded research project, a broad consortium of developers and researchers has laid the foundations for the smart border management of the future. Combining the highest security standards with convenient travel, the D4FLY project, led by Veridos, focuses on new solutions for identity and document verification, including AI and biometrics.

Increasing passenger numbers and ever- present security risks are putting pressure on authorities to adopt new approaches to border management. New technologies and solutions are essential to meet the challenges of a connected and highly mobile world.

To this end, the EU appointed Veridos to coordinate a consortium of leading experts from 11 countries, including border control authorities, research institutes, universities, and specialised companies.

While the consortium was able to complete its pioneering work for the D4FLY project, many of the approaches developed are now undergoing further elaboration or are already close to product maturity. Particular attention is being paid to the integration of the latest technologies to more efficiently verify travel documents and identities, speed up border crossings, and maintain the highest security standards.


Progressive digitisation and innovation in AI systems play a central role in the work of the D4FLY project, for example in the verification of travel documents.

One challenge in the development of forgery-proof ID documents is the balancing act between using a large number of different security features and ensuring the simplest possible verification processes. The more complex the individual elements, such as different printing technologies, special colour patterns, and visual effects, the more difficult it is for border officials to distinguish originals from forgeries.

The solutions developed by the D4FLY consortium therefore focus on digital and automated document verification. In particular, the development of new software solutions for the unambiguous verification of images in ID documents has been an important step in closing security gaps.

Currently, image morphing techniques, such as digitally merging two images, pose a significant risk. If successfully applied to passport images, this could allow two people to illegally pass the same passport through automated border control devices. To prevent this, advanced morphing detection algorithms have been developed that are capable of detecting morphed images.

Biometric corridor and smartphones

A biometric corridor was another innovation that will make border control more efficient and reduce waiting times in the future. Using AI, 3D facial recognition and iris verification, passengers will be able to pass through border control ‘on the fly’. Long queues at terminals could soon be a thing of the past. The prerequisite is that travellers voluntarily provide their data in advance for comparison.

The concept of biometric corridors is still in its infancy, but early pilot projects are promising. In practice, they should one day enable authorities to check identities quickly and securely, significantly increasing the efficiency of border controls.

To further advance the technology, Veridos is participating in a new EU-funded project, due to start in 2024, to improve the concepts and techniques.

Another focus of D4FLY’s research is the development of smartphone applications that allow border officials to check the identity of bus passengers on the spot, without the passengers having to leave the bus. This mobile application will greatly facilitate the work of border officials and contribute significantly to improving border security. Compliance with data protection regulations and consideration of ethical and social aspects are, however, essential to protect passengers’ privacy and avoid discrimination.