RTA Announces New Initiatives At GITEX 2023: Public Transport Payments Via Facial Recognition & More

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai is set to reveal a range of projects and initiatives utilising artificial intelligence and metaverse technologies at GITEX 2023, starting on 16th October 2023, at the Dubai World Trade Centre. These include:

  • Smart gate for facial recognition payments of public transport fares.
  • The new “RTA Dubai Drive” app now allows convenient transfer of vehicle number plate ownership.
  • World’s first 3D-printed electric Abra model.
  • AI and big data technology to predict and manage public parking space occupancy.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and 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 to foster well-being in Dubai by offering diverse options for residents to transform Dubai into the best city for living in the world. Such efforts are made 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 is actively engaged in smart transport projects, including control centres for public transport and advancements in self-driving technology. Enabling the 4th Industrial Revolution, initiatives involve IoT, AI, machine learning, big data, robots, and electric energy solutions. Al Tayer states RTA’s commitment to Dubai’s smart, innovative, and sustainable future.

Aligned with the Dubai Strategy for Smart Self-Driving Transport, RTA aims for 25% of Dubai’s journeys to be smart and driverless by 2030. In collaboration with GM Cruise, RTA plans to deploy autonomous vehicles, reaching 4,000 by 2030.

New Dubai Drive App

RTA is unveiling a revamped Dubai Drive app featuring a redesigned user interface. Additionally, the upgrade includes infrastructure enhancements and incorporates data and AI technologies for improved functionality.

Plate Number Ownership Transfer

The Dubai Drive 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. This service provides a distinctive experience, enabling customers to complete transactions through the smart app. The process begins with registering in the system using the digital ID “UAE PASS,” followed by completing service procedures and securely signing the sales contract through e-signature.

Facial Recognition Payments

RTA also showcases new technology that allows payment of fares for public transport (Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, Buses, Taxis, Marine Transport) through facial recognition technology. No tickets, NOL cards, or Credit Cards are needed.

  • The system registers and identifies users using 3D facial analysis through cameras.
  • Captured image transformed into biodata, matched with the user’s face.
  • Fare deducted directly from the account.
  • The initiative enhances the integration of transport services.
  • Streamlines transactions, improving operational efficiency.
  • Reduces reliance on cash transactions.

Predicting Vacant Parking

RTA will utilize AI and Big Data to predict parking occupancy by analysing transactions and inspection data. The AI model processes 2.5 million parking reservations and 600 thousand inspection transactions. It predicts parking occupancy for every hour over two weeks and calculates it every 15 minutes. This initiative helps customers plan trips by providing expected parking lot occupancy rates through RTA’s smart apps.

3D-Printed Electric Abra

RTA will showcase a model of the world’s first Abra, produced through 3D printing technology in collaboration with the private sector. The Abra can accommodate 20 passengers, features eco-friendly electric motors, and maintains the traditional identity of Abras in its design. This initiative aligns with the government’s Dubai 3D printing strategy, aiming to cut Abra manufacturing time by 90%, reduce costs by 30%, and support RTA’s environmental sustainability strategy.

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