11,231 cameras watch over Dubai to keep you safe

Mohammed Opens RTA’s Enterprise Command & Control Centre

DUBAI 23 May 2017: Why is Dubai one of the safest cities of the world? Because it has some of the best technologies – including 11,231 cameras – to watch over you and help keep you safe.

And the latest and best in keeping the city functioning smoothly and safely –  the Enterprise Command & Control Centre (EC3) – was inaugurated yesterday by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,  in the presence of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council.

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The EC3 is the biggest and most sophisticated control room of its kind worldwide in terms of utilising smart technologies and the ability to control and integrate various transit means of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA).

It also enables the development of proper mobility plans to cope with various transport challenges in the emirate. The EC3 enables the control of all mass transit systems namely the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, public buses, taxis and marine transit modes in addition to the traffic control systems. The cost of the new centre, which meets the requisites of hosting Expo 2020, amounted to Dh335 million.

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Mattar Al Tayer, RTA Director-General and Chairman made a presentation about the centre , which has a built up area of 6,996 square meters. The building, which has a total area of 10,900 sqm, comprises a ground floor and five levels. It is fitted with a helipad and has a main control room rising 13 meters in height and spanning an area of 430 sqm.

It has five subsidiary control rooms for various uses, two multi-purpose halls (Gold & Silver) overlooking the main control room. They have access to the mass transit and traffic systems to enable the leadership team to take appropriate decisions during emergencies and crises. It also has ample office space for RTA’s agencies & strategic partners, press , and training halls.

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The building design is compatible with the green buildings specifications and will be qualified for awarding the environment-friendly green buildings – Gold Class of Leed Classification.

The EC3 links the controls of RTA operational agencies with a central, integrated and control system unit connected with all RTA agencies during the initial stage, and with other entities of relevance to RTA business in subsequent stages. The centre has multiple roles to play highlighted by supporting the controls of RTA’s agencies & sectors, managing crises, planning and managing events, managing and integrating transit means, managing and analysing information, compiling data and generating strategic reports, and managing the information security.

Sheikh Mohammed inspected the main control room which has a capacity to accommodate 36 operational staff. The Control Room is linked with 34 technological systems within the RTA and is capable of forging real-time integration with these systems. It can also link with external systems outside the RTA, besides receiving and managing the feed of about 11,231 surveillance cameras.

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It uses artificial intelligence (AI) in the management of accidents and crises and data of mobile phones in planning and managing the movement of crowds through automated identification of population density and directing transit modes to serve them.

Thus it ensures maximum benefit from the transport systems by matching people movement with the transport means movement, and simulating the virtual presence on the ground using 3D technology, and monitors the mobility movement using drones.

Crowds Management

Sheikh Mohammed attended real-life experiments for utilising the massive flow of information in managing crowds through the population density feature. This feature reads the movement and assembly of mobile phones using GSM technology and analyses it in conjunction with the telecommunication providers and reflects it on the main display screen of the operation platform. The human density points appear as heat maps through which it will be possible to quantify the density and spread of people in a specific point.

The relative population density program specifies the population density for the use of transit means by specifying the starting and terminal points of the journey. So it will be possible to figure out the people’s movement during a specific time.

The Mobility Planning Room (The Cave) is a room that displays a 3D map on the main screen enabling the analyser or planner to emulate the reality to use modern technologies in events planning. A model 3D map of Dubai Downtown (Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall) was displayed, and some transit means were displayed in the simulation of the reality for a specific time.

Artificial Intelligence

Sheikh Mohammed was briefed on the application of artificial intelligence features in responding to crises and emergencies. The centre is a sophisticated platform for communication between emergency teams support with AI technology enabling the reception of voice commands and instantly entering them in the system instead of the traditional printing of commands.

The system is fitted with a machine learning feature and can build the system potentials by engaging in various scenarios for tackling emergencies in a way that ensures quick response and reduced human error.

Objectives of EC3

The EC3 aims to be a world leader and model of excellence in the control of roads and transport systems as it is unique and smart in simulating real-life scenarios. It has the potential of propelling the ability of Dubai in hosting and organising global events, supporting central decision-making in respect of all transit means, assisting the strategic transport planning tasks and integrating with RTA’s main systems and traffic controls.

The centre also supports RTA’s efforts in transforming Dubai into the world’s smartest city in the field of mobility. It will contribute to easing snarls, reducing mobility time & cost, curbing traffic accidents, and limiting the environmental pollution by smart planning for coping with the transport challenges in the emirate.

It will enhance the experience and happiness of customers by providing instant information about transport systems in the Emirate, integrating with social media channels and raising the people’s happiness indicator by easing the use of mass transit means.

It will also step up the coordination with various controls through the use of simulators and the smart forecasting of smart transit services. It can improve the coordination in managing crises, planning & managing events, and organise mobility during mega events in Dubai. Accordingly, the Centre will play a key role in serving mobility for Expo 2020.

By Rajive Singh

Dubai Gazette