RTA buses
RTA uses big data to monitor physical distancing in public buses in Dubai. Image Credit: RTA

Dubai: Artificial Intelligence and Big Data is being used to monitor compliance with social distancing aboard Dubai public buses, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Sunday.

The RTA has set up a digital platform to detect any lack of compliance and take enforcement measures accordingly. The move is part of RTA’s continued efforts to enhance the implementation of precautionary measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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Khaled Al Awadhi, Director of Transportation Systems, Public Transport Agency, RTA, said, “This platform is linked electronically with the Control Centres of Public Transport Agency. It assists the concerned personnel to take appropriate decisions whenever a breach of physical distancing instructions between on-board passengers is detected. The platform relays details of incompliant buses including the route number, percentage of incompliance detected, date and time of the journey, driver details in addition to the extent and frequency of incompliance on the part of the involved bus.”

18 additional buses

He added, “The introduction of this technology is made as part of RTA’s plans to benefit from the applications of big data in improving services and operational processes of public transport means, especially under the prevailing challenges of Covid-19. Thanks to this platform, RTA decided to deploy 18 buses to ease the congestion and assist with the compliance of physical distancing; which contributed effectively to reducing such violations.”

“The objective of this technology is to control the spread of Covid-19 in public buses in view of their [popularity] amongst riders and their number highlighted by the deployment of 1,615 buses covering most parts of Dubai. Therefore, it was vital to use advanced technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence to ensure greater compliance with physical distancing and other preventive measures.”