Dubai Taxi RTA
The smart gates will be applicable to Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, buses, taxis and marine transport fare payments. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Making further headway with smart technologies, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will soon be enabling public transport commuters to pay their fares through facial recognition.

Announcing this today, ahead of GITEX 2023 which kicks off in Dubai tomorrow, RTA said it will be unveiling a showcase of the smart gate among an array of projects and initiatives applying artificial intelligence and metaverse technologies at the technology fair.

How it works

The smart gate at the RTA stand will demonstrate how commuters can paying public transport fares through facial recognition. The smart gates will be applicable to Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, buses, taxis and marine transport fare payments. Commuters will not be required to use 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.

There are many other smart projects that will be on display.

Transfer ownership of plate number

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.

RTA will introduce a service for transferring ownership of vehicle number plates via the RTA Dubai Drive app Image Credit: Supplied

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.

3D Abra

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.

RTA has a host of new smart projects lined up for implementation. Image Credit: Supplied

Boost productivity

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.

He said, "Such efforts echo the directives of 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.”

Smart projects

“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.