Dubai to use ‘Artificial Intelligence’ to cut road crashes

By Sheena Amos

DUBAI 9 October 2017: The authorities in Dubai have signed up to use ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) to prevent traffic accidents and reduce roads deaths and injuries, apart from damage costs.

Smart Dubai Office (SDO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), and Derq Systems on the side-lines of the 37th Gitex Technology Week 2017.

Derq is a Dubai-based start-up technology firm with the specific mission to eliminate road accidents by using AI and connected-vehicle technology, while leveraging smart-city infrastructure. Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Derq’s patented technology predicts and prevents car accidents for both conventional and autonomous vehicles.

The AI technology enhances the safety at junctions witnessing overlapping traffic between vehicles and Dubai Tram. This technology is based on installing special sensors at junctions to figure out the speed of vehicles and the distance remaining for vehicles to cross the signal.

“Through using AI technology, the Tram driver will be alerted before arriving at the junction to be cautious of a vehicle about to jump the red light signal,” said Mattar Al Tayer, RTA Director-General and Chairman.

Al Tayer reiterated RTA’s keenness on applying advanced and smart technologies to enhance the safety of all road users, be it related pedestrians, the tram or vehicles.

The agreement outlines a set of concise objectives, including demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of connected vehicle technologies for road safety on conventional and autonomous vehicles in Dubai; implementing and developing innovative AI solutions for collision prediction and prevention in the emirate; mining and analysing Big Data for road safety applications and other smart mobility solutions; and, finally, working together to improve and share knowledge and understanding in all four participating entities.

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Dr. Mohammad Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman & CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority said: “Our latest partnership aligns with our aim to support the research and development of new mobility technologies, and serve as a testbed for pilot smart city applications, such as the use of artificial intelligence in the prevention of traffic accidents.”

SDO Director General Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr. “We embrace technology and innovation in our quest to make Dubai the smartest, happiest and safest city in the world. Our Smart Dubai 2021 plan addresses smart transformation in the emirate from every conceivable dimension, namely: economy, lifestyle, governance, environment, people and mobility – the latter being the area to benefit directly from this collaboration to bring artificial intelligence into the transport sector to ensure safety.”

CEO of Derq Dr. Georges Aoude, added: “We are excited to have built our organization and grown our talent in Dubai to develop cutting edge AI-based connected vehicle technologies to predict and prevent road accidents. We are proud to bring our solutions to Dubai’s roads. Our key objectives are aligned with Dubai Government’s priorities to significantly reduce accident rates by 2021, contribute to enhancing the mobility of the city of Dubai, and enable the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles by 2030.”