Funding Amount: 
2015-01-06 to 2018-10-31
Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy

BODEGA aims are investigating and model human factors in border control to provide innovative, ethically and societally compatible socio-technical solutions for enhancing border guards’ performance.

It directly tackles with current challenges in border security, such as:

  • The "presumed ability" of border guards to perform the border control tasks cannot be quantified. The limits of their abilities (psychological, technical, knowledge, training status) are unclear and differ considerably within the border guard community across Europe.
  • Automated systems, such as automated border control (ABC) gates, document scanners, and face detection algorithms are spreading steadily within the border control process. How much does this influence the abilities of the border guards? Does it improve to decrease certain abilities? Are there learning effects? Are there other effects like familiarisation, which leads to a shifting of responsibility to the machine?
  • Operational challenges are often not addressed in holistically include human factors. An additional factor is that operational environment, traveler flows, and profiles and working methods vary between different border control points and countries in EU. Growing border crossing volumes put heavy pressure on border crossings points, which manifest themselves as queuing and crowds. In this current situation, the necessary rate of organizational changes brings challenges. It is crucial that attention is paid to making the working procedures more and more effective.
  • Automated border controls are also quite new for travelers and not all the potential users are aware of the concept of automated border control and the possibility to conduct border control processes independently with self-service. Travelers’ behavior and problems with using the system reflect directly on border guards’ work and their efficiency.
Value Proposition: 

BODEGA applies a holistic approach to human factors to further scientific understanding of psychological aspects, affecting border guards’ task performance. The project researches, develops and demonstrates human factors at all different border types: land (both road and rail), sea and rail.

BODEGA investigates the psychological abilities, needed for border guards’ optimal performance by

  1. conducting literature review about psychological abilities such as attention/concentration, face recognition, detection of lies, as well as analysis of psychological factors which might affect task performance of border control stakeholders, and
  2. summarizing and comparing different studies already performed by border guard authorities and
  3. performing additional studies testing the abilities of border guards to performing several critical border control tasks.
  • Scientific results on the shortcomings/limits of the current border control process due to human factors.
  • Recommendations for the split of work between humans and machines and overall performance in border checks.
  • Contributions for the effective implementation of the Smart Borders initiative.
  • Insights on how to improve the travelers’ experience towards a more efficient and easy understanding of the automated border control experience

BODEGA develops the PROPER toolbox (Proactive Enhancement of Human Performance in Border Control) which integrates the BODEGA results and solutions, providing information, measures, software and other practical tools to empower border stakeholders to take justified actions. The PROPER toolbox targets border control guards and authorities as well as decision-makers and industry.

Business Impact: 

The overall regular passenger flow continues to grow at European external borders. In total it has been forecasted that in 2020 there will over 700 million border crossings over the Schengen external borders. Frontex emphasizes that the growth of regular traffic in recent years has required increased resources from the border authorities to maintain security and facilitate travel. Because of the situation, new approaches and innovative solutions to increase the efficiency of the currently available resources are necessary.

BODEGA enables a leap to border control towards improved effectiveness and harmonisation across Europe. It supports the security of EU borders by introducing means to support new technology implementation and the preparedness and willingness to possible changes in border control procedures introduced by the Smart Borders package, and subsequent initiatives.

BODEGA and the toolbox to be developed take account of the complexity of the duties performed by officials at the border and establish tools to make progress in their professional lives. BODEGA shows how important it is for border guards and the border management and border authorities to take interest in the human factors, ethics and user experiences of the travelers.