Drive-Thru Access Control Using Face Recognition Technology

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Drive-Thru access control
Drive-Thru Access Control Using Face Recognition Technology


  • Manual identification using IDs or badges
  • Longer identity verification especially for daily contract workers
  • Drivers and passengers were asked to step out of the car for identity verification


  • Automated identification using facial biometrics
  • 2 x faster processing time
  • Identity verification can be carried out while sitting in the car

Challenge to Accomplish Secure and User-Friendly Access Control

Most visitors drive cars to enter the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) premises. Security staff had to check if they were indeed authorized before manually opening the access point. The system was both inconvenient and time consuming.

KAUST was extensively searching for a face recognition vendor to fulfill their high level of security requirements. They wanted to implement a new access control system that will not interfere with academic priorities while fitting in with the culture of the community.

  • Ability to identify the driver

    and every passenger in the car

  • 24/7 access control

    unaffected by light conditions, which can verify people with head coverings (particularly women wearing hijabs)

  • Update older images

    of enrollees recorded in the database

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Solution of Drive-Thru Access Control

Innovatrics SmartFace was integrated with the KAUST Visitor Management System (VMS), automating the identification of incoming visitors and entry into the compound.   

With the driver and front and back passengers staying in the car, not to mention the varying sizes of vehicles, multiple cameras had to be installed around the gate area for a more reliable identification. Since the VMS database contained old photos of employees and their relatives, DOT was used to enroll new employees and replace the old face images. The new system detects and identifies faces through the video streams, and matches the faces against the images stored in the database to grant access. The entire solution was deployed in record time, taking less than 4 months.

  • Quick and convenient

    granting of access permission via facial biometrics without stepping out of the car

  • Fast deployment

    and integration support

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Results Achieved with Facial Biometrics

With a pioneering access control system that lets visitors simply drive through, KAUST provides the best user experience without requiring much effort from incoming guests and employees. 

Even during rush hour, involving hundreds of cars and thousands of daily users, the Innovatrics face recognition system significantly improves the waiting time as there’s no need to step out of the vehicle. Moreover, less security staff are needed in any access point area. The access control system works in all lighting conditions. It can also precisely identify individuals with face masks or head coverings, even women wearing hijabs. Visitor information is instantly available on a security officer’s tablet, guaranteeing seamless operations.

  • Security costs are reduced

    with fewer staff members required

  • Faster processing

    of large numbers of visitors

  • Ease of use and enhanced user experience

    for the security staff and visitors

Security as a Priority

By instantly identifying people based on their facial features, granting access becomes much faster and more reliable than manual security checks.

No More Long Queues

The system eliminates congestion in the gate area as it allows drive-thru access permission, providing the administrator greater security and operational control.

Smooth User Journey

Combining the winning features of SmartFace and DOT, the KAUST system maximizes efficiency and convenience for both registered users and visitors.

““Choosing Innovatrics over the other more established players in the Saudi market paid off for us. They are masters in their trade and have a great team that supports us to ensure our transformation is scalable.””
Security Director
Hani Bukhari
Drive-Thru Face Recognition

CASE STUDY Drive-Thru Access Control Using Face Recognition Technology

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