15 Oct 2023
Exhibiting the first Abra made using 3D printing at GITEX 2023
(Among many other initiatives such as paying public transport fees through facial recognition)
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is unveiling an array of projects and initiatives applying artificial intelligence and metaverse technologies at GITEX 2023, which kicks off, Monday 16th October 2023, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
At its stand, RTA is showcasing a smart gate for paying public transport fares through facial recognition. Additionally, it will be introducing the transfer of ownership of vehicle number plate service on “RTA Dubai Drive” app, eliminating the need to visit customer service centres. Exhibits also include a model of the world's first electric Abra manufactured using 3D printing technology and the application of AI and big data technologies to forecast the occupancy of public parking.
RTA is set to unveil the revamped version of its app, reflecting its commitment to achieving leadership in delivering government services and maximising customer happiness. The app's user interface has been overhauled, adhering to top-tier standards in application design and user experience. This redesign also incorporates enhancements to the infrastructure and leverages data and AI technologies in the app's development.
His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, RTA said: “RTA is committed to harnessing emerging technologies and AI to boost productivity, elevate operational efficiency, and enhance customer services. This drive is aligned with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, to foster wellbeing in Dubai by offering diverse options for residents with a view to transforming Dubai into the best city for living in the world. Such efforts echo the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council, to enhance Dubai’s global competitiveness and set it as a benchmark in developing governmental business, ensuring high efficiency, and a fully digital life.”
“RTA has numerous key projects and initiatives in smart transport systems such as smart control centres for public transport systems, and self-driving transport, as well as enablers of the 4th Industrial Revolution such as the Internet of Things, AI applications, machine learning, big data, the incorporation of robots, and electric energy technologies and solutions in mobility,” commented Al Tayer.
“RTA is keen to keep pace with the future direction of the Dubai government, in transforming into smart, innovative, and sustainable cities using cutting-edge communications technologies and digital solutions. RTA is seeking to realise the Dubai Strategy for Smart Self-Driving Transport, to transform 25% of mobility journeys in Dubai into smart and driverless journeys by 2030. In cooperation with the American company GM Cruise, RTA is gearing up to deploy autonomous Cruise vehicles for taxi and e-hail rides. The number is set to grow gradually to reach 4,000 vehicles by 2030,” he explained.
Facial recognition technology
At its stand, RTA is displaying the smart gate that allows paying fares for public transport (Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, buses, taxis, marine transport) via facial recognition technology, without using tickets, nol cards, or credit cards.
The system operates by registering and identifying the user. It recognises the face using cameras and analyses it in 3D. This image is then transformed into bio data matched with the image, and then the amount is deducted from the account.
The initiative contributes to integrating transport services and other systems, facilitating the processing of transactions, elevating the operational efficiency of services, and reducing cash transactions.
Transfer ownership of plate number
Demonstrating its commitment to adopting the latest technologies, RTA will introduce a service for transferring ownership of vehicle number plates via the RTA Dubai Drive app. The app allows customers to complete the selling procedures using the digital ID "UAE PASS", eliminating the need to visit any of RTA’s service centres.
The service offers a unique experience, allowing the customer to complete the transaction via the smart app, complete the sales procedures that begin by registering in the system using the digital ID “UAE PASS”, complete the service procedures and securely sign the sales contract using the e-signature.
RTA will display a model of the world’s first Abra, manufactured using 3D printing technology in partnership with the private sector. With a capacity to accommodate 20 passengers, the Abra employs eco-friendly electric motors and boasts a design that preserves the heritage identity of Abras. This initiative contributes to supporting the government’s efforts to achieve Dubai’s 3D printing strategy, slash the manufacturing time of Abras by 90%, reduce the manufacturing cost by 30%, and support RTA’s strategy for environmental sustainability.
Predicting vacant parking
RTA is leveraging AI and big data to predict parking occupancy based on analysing transactions and parking inspection data. The AI model analyses and processes around 2.5 million parking reservation transactions and 600 thousand inspection transactions, by predicting the parking occupancy for every hour for two full weeks in advance and calculating the occupancy for every 15 minutes. This initiative enables customers to plan trips by knowing the expected occupancy rates for parking lots through RTA’s smart apps.
As part of its initiative, RTA is also displaying the smart kiosk, the integrated platform for monitoring and managing the operations of soft mobility service providers, an indicator for measuring the risk of drivers, monitoring passenger movement at stations, and a congestion index.