Innovative Technologies Have Been Tested at The Lithuanian Border: It Will Make it Easier and Faster to Detect Violations

At one of the Lithuanian land border control points, new technologies were tested to help identify forged documents and violations of the border crossing procedure.

A new generation of tools for border guards based on artificial intelligence, block circuits and other technologies has been developed by D4FLY consortium partners from eleven European countries. Lithuania is represented in the project by the Baltic Institute of Advanced Technologies (BPTI) and the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania.

During the test years, Lithuanian border guards actually tested prototypes of new technological solutions, assessed their convenience and applicability in their work, and provided feedback to their developers. The tools developed by the D4FLY consortium partners will form a unified system that will not only increase the reliability but also the speed of traveler screening. 

“Participation in such a project allows one of the first to test future technologies focused on the protection of the European Union’s external borders. It is particularly important for us to be able to assess travelers’ identity documents more thoroughly and prevent counterfeiting without prolonging the inspection period. This is a challenge that is encountered at many border points in the European Union, and events at the Lithuanian border only confirm the need for such technologies. In addition, involvement in the project activities will further strengthen cooperation with officials of other countries and scientific institutions working in the field of border protection, ”says Laurynas Okockis, Chief Specialist of the Bilateral Cooperation Division of the SBGS International Cooperation Board.

The automatic document verification technology developed by BPTI will help to detect violations of the Schengen area when crossing the border for non-EU citizens. The system will automatically scan the travel route from the visa stamps in the passport of the person crossing the Schengen border. By analyzing visa validity information, periods of stay in the Schengen area, artificial intelligence will identify irregularities on a particular traveler’s route, as well as identify possible cases of visa stamp forgery. It was the officials who had to devote the most time to finding discrepancies in the validity of visas and assessing breaches of their stay in the Schengen area. 

“We are pleased to be able to participate in the project and offer our border officers modern tools that will improve the quality and efficiency of identity checks for travelers, reduce the number of forged documents, and shorten the process for both them and honest travelers. Recent events on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border have shown the critical importance of border protection. It needs to be strengthened through the most effective means, both physical and new. This is exactly what the tools we are developing with the D4FLY consortium partners offer, ”says Dr. Tomas Žalandauskas, Director of BPTI.

Other technologies tested during the tests will be used to verify the authenticity of documents, assess their security features, printing technologies. With the help of block chain technology, officials will be able to see where and how many times the presented identity document has been checked. An innovative image processing solution with an aging effect will provide an alternative to the traveler’s facial image in the document to make it easier for the border guard to identify cases of fraud.

The testing of new technologies in Lithuania took place by simulation at one of the currently inoperative border checkpoints, therefore it did not affect the travelers. The technology will then also be tested at border checkpoints in the United Kingdom, Greece and the Netherlands.

The D4FLY (Identification and Identity Fraud on the Road) consortium project is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and development program and aims to develop technologies that facilitate and speed up border crossing procedures. The project involves 18 partners from Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Norway, Finland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Poland, Latvia, Switzerland and Lithuania.