The growing flows of land travellers along with the rising global mobility increases the number of required border checks, which is raising concerns for border and transportation security as a pivotal function in protecting individuals and ensuring land security, while not negatively impacting processing time and traveller flows, which otherwise may negatively affect a good travel experience. The magnitude of the task is substantial - covering thousands of miles of land borders, and millions of individual motor vehicles, rail cars, and cargo containers. In parallel, the more and more increasing number of travellers at border crossing points (BCPs) of land, arise serious concerns about human error in handling passenger’s authorization and authentication in an adequate manner.

Improving life quality of EU and non-EU people crossing EU borders

Millions of EU and Non-EU citizens cross EU borders on a daily basis for different purposes: employment, business, and tourism. Waiting time at borders might be long especially where no fast lanes are provided. The SMILE project aims at improving the service quality at land borders by offering travellers fast lanes and online information about traffic situations at borders which can be consulted at any time by travellers in order to better plan their trips.

Improving the security of EU citizens

The main idea behind SMILE is to improve throughput at border crossings by making this process more automated. In spite of this fact, the SMILE project does not aim in any case to compromise security at the borders. That is why a combination of multimodal biometrics, the potential use of eID cards during the enrolment process and potential extra checks (if needed) is foreseen in this project.

Enhancing EU policies

In October 2011, and in the context of the “Smart Border initiative”, the European Commission adopted a communication setting out the main options for using new technologies to simplify life for foreigners frequently travelling to the EU and to better monitor third-country nationals crossing the borders. By developing the SMILE framework, we intend to provide an advanced prototype implementation showing the feasibility of such solutions and consequently to encourage EU states to move forward and adopt the relevant EU policies. SMILE contributes to the eAccessibility European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 through the design and development of appropriate services for persons with disabilities.

Fighting against illegal immigration and organised crime

The SMILE project will address this issue first of all by using multimodal biometrics. Organized crime, though capable of bypassing standalone biometrics will find it difficult to fake and bypass multimodal biometrics. In addition to that, SMILE will also be considering interconnection with European national databases storing information about the persons to whom visas were delivered. VIS (Visa Information System) is an example of such databases. Moreover, interconnection with databases listing people involved in organized crime is also foreseen.

Enhancing EU expertise in the cross border security field

Instead of starting from scratch, the work in SMILE will use the expertise acquired from previous successful European projects such as UbiPOL, EMYNOS and STORK and enhance it further. The enhancements will be targeting key technologies such as eID documents’ interoperability, biometrics, and mobile applications.

Strengthen collaboration between different EU stakeholders in the cross border security area

In SMILE, there are partners from countries with diverse expertise (security, border police, solutions for people with disabilities providers, software development companies, research institutes and universities) that will collaborate together to shorten the path to the deployment of Next Generation land border control solutions.

Link the existing systems to the Next Generation cross border checkpoints

The current border gates, most (if not all) of them do not enable the use of biometrics and smartphones. In SMILE, these solutions and products will be mapped to the defined requirements in terms of “smart borders”. This will improve compliance to the European exigencies.

Inclusive growth

SMILE will aspire to connect European citizens across boundaries irrespective of geographical locations to foster new and diverse social and economic groups generating new employment opportunities.

Smart growth

SMILE is an excellent example for integrating existing knowledge and innovation to generate leading edge solutions for smart borders using a combination of biometrics, web applications and eID cards with a special focus on mobile users. The development of these new technologies will promote growth in revenues for solutions providers as they will offer products with extra features targeting security and safety.

Sustainable growth

SMILE’s goal aims to guarantee secure and fast land border crossing using smartphones and biometrics. This will provide new opportunities for companies with know-how in the area of web applications, biometrics and data analytics. Additionally, the design and development of solutions for persons with disabilities poses new challenges enabling novel applications in this field.