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Smart crossing, Integrated mobility platform, autonomous air taxi and more innovations from RTA Dubai

Smart crossing

Photo credit: Dubai RTA

At the ongoing 37th Gitex Technology Week 2017, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai launched and exhibited a number of innovations in line with Dubai’s smart city initiatives.

Smart crossing

RTA is exhibiting a Smart Pedestrian Signal in Gitex 2017. The technology aims to ensure a safe crossing for pedestrians through carefully planned moves to install the signal in a host of selected locations of similar nature.

The pedestrian signal has a smart operation system triggered by sensors connected to a ground optical system synchronised with the operation of the signal. It reads pedestrians’ traffic on the pavement (before crossing) and the pedestrian path (while crossing). It automatically adjusts the remaining signal time according to that reading to ensure a safe and smooth crossing of the largest possible number of pedestrians.

MoU to use AI for traffic accident prevention

The Smart Dubai Office (SDO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the RTA, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, and Derq Systems on the side-lines of Gitex, to use cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Traffic Accident Prevention.

Derq is a Dubai-based technology firm with the specific mission to eliminate road accidents by using AI and connected-vehicle technology, while leveraging smart-city infrastructure. Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Derq’s patented technology predicts and prevents car accidents for both conventional and autonomous vehicles.

This MoU aims to use AI technology to enhance the safety at junctions witnessing overlapping traffic between vehicles and Dubai Tram. This technology is based on installing special sensors at junctions to figure out the speed of vehicles and the distance remaining for vehicles to cross the signal. The Tram driver will be alerted before arriving at the junction to be cautious of a vehicle about to jump the red-light signal.

Integrated Mobility Platform

The Integrated Mobility Platform in Dubai (S’hail) offers customers access to the entire transit system in Dubai through a single window (smart app). It involves integrating RTA’s transit services (metro, tram, buses, waterbus and taxis) with the transit services of other parties in Dubai such as the e-Hail, Uber and Careem. In a later stage, the Platform will integrate with other marine transit services such as limousines, Palm Monorail and Dubai Trolley via a single app enabling clients to book the service and pay the applicable fare.

Dubai Drive

Photo credit: Dubai RTA

RTA launched its smart app, branded Dubai Drive in Gitex2017. The Dubai Drive app is an upgraded version of RTA’s earlier Drivers and Vehicles app; which is now integrated with Salik services (Dubai’s toll road system). It enables clients to chat instantly with customers’ service staff of RTA. They can check the latest transactions such as the payment of parking fees, and top-up Salik account, and earn green points with each transaction completed through smart devices.

It enables inquiry about offences, payment of traffic, Salik and parking fines, checking the latest petrol price per litre, buying vehicle plates and applying for a driver license in replacement of lost or damaged one.

The user’s documents, such as the driver license, vehicle registration, number plate ownership certificate etc. can be saved for retrieval when required by other government departments such as the Dubai Police. The app services include renewing vehicle registration or driving license, applying for multiple vehicles owning certificates or distinctive plate in replacement of a lost or damaged one. Additional features include locating ATMs, displaying prayers time and running Google Maps to direct users to their destinations. The upgrade of the app has been built on the views and suggestions of the public.

Autonomous air taxi and Enterprise Command & Control Centre (EC3)

Photo credit: Dubai RTA

Other exhibits from RTA include the autonomous air taxi (AAT) and EC3. The electrically powered AAT has high safety features, thanks to its design comprising 18 rotors ensuring safe cruising and landing in case of rotor failure.

RTA will integrate the AAT with mass transport systems such as the metro, tram, buses, marine transit modes and taxis and the AAT service will be offered to the public via the Integrated Mobility app. A message would be sent to the customer showing the flight details and the booking reference. The customer can track the movement of the AAT en route. Upon the arrival of AAT to the location, the customer has to enter the Booking Ref in the interactive screen of the AAT. The AAT would then start flying to the intended destination, which is fitted with an exclusive landing pad

The EC3 which was launched in June, provides integrated control of various transit systems, enables informed decision-making through big data analytics, supports the organisation of mega events, assists in emergency and crisis management, and facilitates the investigation of transport accidents. It will also exhibit the smart shopping, smart yards for testing driver license applicants, manoeuvres, climbing hills, parallel parking and sudden braking, booking of minibuses on demand and the smart towing of vehicles.

nol Plus

nol Plus is a customers’ Loyalty Points Programme (nol Plus) enabling nol card (smart card to pay for RTA’s transport modes) users to earn points when using their cards in commuting aboard public transit means.


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