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IMS introduces innovative tech to enhance safety, eliminating cooler searches

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — There are about two weeks left until the Indianapolis 500, and track safety teams are ready to put a groundbreaking security system to work before the main event.

With the new technology, people will not have to empty pockets or rummage coolers.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is ramping up its security with this battery-powered technology that’s been tested internationally.

“We really started focusing really hard on that in 2013 after the Boston bombing and we continue to do that. That’s why I’m so excited about this technology,” Doug Boles, President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said.

“We hear more and more after every Indy 500 how our fans want us to continue to increase the safety here at the speedway, so this is something I think our fans will appreciate as well,” Boles said.

There will be 56 of these metal detectors outside the gates during the 107th running of the Indy 500.

They’re called OPENGATE designed by the company Ceia.

It’s the first and only fully open, active walk-through detection system consisting of two freestanding pillars that target weapons.

According to Boles, the batteries will last multiple days. He says there will be backup units and backup batteries in case the devices need to be swapped.

Boles says there will be Ceia staff on site working with law enforcement to monitor the system.

Authorities can manage the metal detectors by using the OPENGATE app designed for smartphones and tablets.

“You can range it a little bit, so that it won’t pick up, for example, a beer can in your cooler. That’s one of the things we’ll be going through, but this is the best technology out there. This has been used at the Super Bowl. It’s been used at a lot of other big events,” Boles said.

Boles says if someone walks through and triggers the gate, there will be secondary lanes to wand them manually and get their coolers checked.

“We’re excited to try this opened gate system that we have because we think it’s going to allow our customers to walk through us not having to open up a cooler. We’ll be able to know what’s in those coolers and make sure that we can continue to keep people safe,” Boles said.

Boles says they’ll begin using the new system this week and that people should keep away from taking things out of their pockets.

He says they’re looking at using this technology for years to come.

“When they start doing that, it slows the line up, so the idea behind this is you can walk right through and you can walk right through with your cooler and hopefully, if you don’t have anything you shouldn’t have, you’ll be able to go right through these gates and then you go on to get your ticket scanned, and then you can go on to your seats,” Boles said.

Even though there’s this new technology, IMS is asking people that if they see something, say something. There will be law enforcement in and around the area keeping a close watch.