Travel time drops 20% on Dubai roads thanks to smart traffic monitoring technology

Dubai ITS Centre is the hub for traffic management
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) have improved incident monitoring by 63 per cent, shortened the response time to emergencies by 30 per cent, and cut the travel time by 20 per cent.

The figures were released on Sunday as Mattar Al Tayer, RTA’s director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, confirmed that the initial phase of ITS expansion project, which was completed in November 2020, had expanded ITS coverage of Dubai’s main road network from 11 per cent to 60 per cent.

“Such improvements are credited to using dynamic message signs, integrating with RTA’s Enterprise Command and Control Centre, and linking with Dubai Police’s Command and Control Centre,” he said.

RTA is gearing up for the second phase of the project over the next few months, which will cover the entire main roads of the emirate. Thus, the total length of roads covered by the ITS in Dubai will jump from 480km to 710km.

“Expanding the ITS coverage is a key element in supporting the government’s drive to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world, which involves the use of smart technologies and software to ease mobility around Dubai.”

Dubai ITS Centre

Al Tayer added that the ITS project is a technology hub for managing traffic movement in the emirate using the latest applications of artificial intelligence, big data, Internet of Things, and communication systems. It has a host of traffic-monitoring devices, information-capturing gadgets, and other smart services. Through ITS, the Centre manages current and future road networks all over Dubai.

At the ITS Centre, Artificial Intelligence is helping officials process data to make faster decisions
Image Credit: Supplied

The centre’s advanced (iTraffic) system, which is linked with field devices, works under an integrated technology platform to collect and analyse big data. It also supports instant decisions to manage traffic movement, incidents, and mega events.

Dynamic signs

The initial phase also saw upgrading and installing 112 dynamic message signs that relay real-time information to motorists about roads condition such as congestion and incidents. They also transmit messages, guidance, and key tips about traffic safety and event management to enhance the efficiency of traffic management. The signs are located in selected locations along Dubai roads as well as nearby the sites of mega events. For instance, 623 messages were displayed on signs around Expo 2020 Dubai.

read more

Surveillance cameras

The first phase also involved the installation of traffic monitoring and data capturing systems including the installation of 116 traffic cameras, which brings the total number of surveillance cameras installed to 235 cameras.

As many as 100 incidents-detection and vehicle-counting devices were installed, raising the total number to 235 devices. A total of 115 transit time and speed computing devices were installed together with 17 Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS).

Works completed also included the construction of a 660km fibre-optic network for communication between on-site devices and central systems, which increases the total length of the optical fibre network to 820km.

The project also included upgrading the software of the advanced central traffic system that supports decision-making and provides an automatic response line. The central system integrates with field devices, analyses the data received, and activates appropriate plans.