SWISS has announced plans to trial the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to conduct the passenger count during boarding.
The trial will take place on selected flights between April and June, with a camera being temporarily installed in the cabin to record passengers as they embark and determine total numbers.
SWISS said that the recording would be used to train the AI application, for example to ensure that it can distinguish whether a passenger is carrying an infant in their arms.
The trial would also be used to establish that the application can “function faultlessly even in challenging lighting conditions”.
During the trial period cabin crew on the participating flights will continue to conduct a parallel passenger count “using the established manual procedure”.
The carrier said that it would be “putting a top emphasis on data security and data protection in the new procedure, and will ensure its full compliance with Europe’s and Switzerland’s strict data protection laws throughout the trial process”.
Recordings will only be used for passenger count purposes, and will then be deleted. SWISS added that no individuals would be identified from the visual recordings, and no audio recordings would be taken. Passengers will also be informed of the trial before they embark.
The airline hopes that if successful the technology could be introduced on flights, with the intention that it could “enhance security and simultaneously ease the workload of the airline’s cabin personnel”.
Artificial intelligence is increasingly being within the aviation sector to speed up processes – last month Amsterdam Schiphol announced a partnership with technology firm Pangiam, to explore how AI could be used to speed up baggage security checks.