Dubai: Social media users in the UAE have been left wondering what these irregular-shaped objects were doing on random roads in Dubai.
In response, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) have clarified that these devices are in fact "traffic counting devices" that are used when collecting traffic information, such as car counts, speed and space between vehicles. Through collecting such details, organisations are then able to analyse the junction of the location.
According to the RTA, this service enables a government authority or a private company, usually a consultant or a contractor, to carry out a vehicle count.
In order to install the devices, organisations are required to first obtain a permit to place traffic counting devices on Dubai roads from the RTA.
Consultants and contractor are eligible to apply for this service and comply with the privacy standards of the emirate.
And its not only private companies that are looking to gain access to raw data from Dubai residents.
Gulf News previously reported that Smart Dubai intended to kick-start the process of commercializing its data collected throughout the emirate.
The government agency Smart Dubai will split its data sets, which it gathers from multiple sources including sensors dotted throughout the city, into three categories: raw data; contextual data; and government-only data.
The data will be collected via a number of different sources, including through Smart Dubai’s partnership with du, information provided to government agencies, and from public sensors measuring things such as road traffic and footfall.
This type of monitoring can also be seen in the US, where the Department of Transportation Data uses the information on traffic volume, vehicle classification, and truck weight as a basic measure to many highway and transportation functions.
The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's), Office of Highway Policy Information in the US has also traditionally maintained national programs to track traffic trends, vehicle distributions, and weight to meet data needs specified in federal highway legislations.