Los Angeles will be the first US city to start equipping its subways with body scanners. But the Southern California metropolis isn’t using the bulky, slow-operating models that populate US airports: Instead, LA’s Metropolitan Transit Authority will deploy portable trunk-sized scanners that can survey people from 30 feet away at a rate of 2,000 individuals an hour.
LA MTA will use the scanners, made by Thruvision, in response to threats of terrorism or to scan large crowds heading to protests or sporting events, according to the Los Angeles Times. A spokesperson said they’ll cost around $100,000 apiece, use radio waves to pick out guns and nonmetal explosives beneath clothing and highlight them on a split-screen display. They are calibrated to pick out weapons capable of mass harm.