You’ll see messages, more cameras on Dubai roads

Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 11 November 2020: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the Dubai Intelligent Traffic Systems Centre, constructed by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), at a cost of Dh590 million.

It comprises five key projects that include:

  1. The revamp and installation of 112 dynamic message signs to display instant information to motorists about situations in road networks such as congestion and traffic incidents. The signs also transmit important messages and guidance relating to traffic safety to enhance the efficiency of traffic movement. They are placed at selected areas of the network and in the vicinity of places where big events, such as Expo 2020, are held.
  2. Systems installed included 116 traffic monitoring cameras that raised the total number of such cameras to 245.
  3. In addition, 100 incident-monitoring and vehicle tracking devices were installed, increasing the total number of these devices to 235.
  4. The project works also included the installation of 115 devices for computing travel time and average speed, and 17 road weather information systems.
  5. Power lines and fibre optic communication network extending 660 km were added to link site devices with central systems. This brings the total length of the fibre optic network to 820 km.

The centre, which employs smart technologies and software to ease mobility across Dubai, expands the coverage of intelligent traffic systems from 11 percent to 60 percent of the roads network in the emirate. The new facility will improve the time for detection of road incidents and prediction of congestions, apart from facilitating a speedy response to them.

The centre is also fitted with technologies for predicting traffic congestion and traffic control systems at intersections. The briefing also included the integration and linking of RTA’s traffic surveillance cameras and Dubai Police traffic cameras, which will improve the effectiveness of traffic management in Dubai, specifically during large events or emergencies.

Sheikh Mohammed and other attendees witnessed a live demonstration of a traffic incident management process to assess the speed of arrival of patrols at site, incident handling and vehicle clearance to restore normal traffic flow.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid reviewed the results of the trial operation of the RTA-Dubai Police joint traffic incident management project, which was implemented in September 2018. The project was on trial on the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and Expo Road over a sector extending 72 km. It featured the rapid deployment of 11 clearance vehicles and six vehicles to speedily manage traffic movement and vehicle clearance following light or medium traffic incidents or vehicle breakdowns on roads. The project contributes to improving traffic safety and vehicular flow and reducing the overall time required to manage and safeguard incident sites.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, RTA Director-General and Chairman stated that the project contributed to reducing traffic fatalities by 42 percent, increasing the traffic flow on the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road by 5.5 percent, and achieving a public satisfaction rating of 99 percent. He also noted that over eight months, the project handled 12,906 traffic cases including 5,071 traffic incidents at a rate of 633 incidents per month. The project also achieved high scores on performance indicators for incident response time and incident clearance rate.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid also reviewed the road and bridge projects RTA has accomplished at Jebel Ali extending 119 km, built at a cost of AED4.6 billion. These projects are intended to serve Expo 2020, Jebel Ali Industrial Area, Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, Dubai Investment Park, International Media Production Zone, and Al Maktoum International Airport.

The projects also included transforming Al Houdh Roundabout on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road into a flyover enabling free traffic movement in all directions. The project works included improvements of roads extending 26.6 km, which will enhance the capacity of the junction to 57,000 vehicles per hour. Improvements conducted for the 7th interchange on Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Yalayes Road as well as the extension of First Al Khail and Al Asayel Roads saw the construction of roads and bridges extending 18.5 km that facilitate an increase in intake to 29,000 vehicles per hour. Works also included upgrading JAFZA bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road through the construction of flyovers extending 2.5 km with a capacity of 6,000 vehicles per hour.

The project, featuring improvement of the roads network in the areas surrounding the Expo site over a sector spanning 71 km, involved the construction of bridges extending 13.4 km and tunnels stretching 450 metres. The overall capacity of the flyover has increased from 10,000 to 69,000 vehicles per hour.

Expo Site

The improvement of the roads network leading to the Expo site included upgrading several intersections such as Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed-Expo Roads along with entry points to the site of Expo from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road. Works covered the intersections of Expo and Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Roads; the Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Road at DIP with Al Yalayes and Expo Roads, and the Emirates and Expo Roads, apart from the construction of new roads and improvement of existing ones.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid reviewed the Digital Transformation and 4th Industrial Revolution Roadmap of Dubai Transport outlined in the Self-Driving Transport Strategy 2030, Digital Transportation Strategy, Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2025, and the Improvement of the 4th Industrial Revolution Transportation Lab.

Application of future technologies

Al Tayer stressed that RTA will continue to pursue the application of future technologies such as blockchain, paperless transactions, big data, artificial intelligence, self-driving transport, and the internet of things. The briefing also touched on key future projects set to enhance the role of the Emirate in the transportation industry such as the ‘Smarter Vehicle Quicker Response’ project, preparation of the infrastructure of autonomous and connected vehicles, and future smart mobility projects up to 2071.

Mattar Al Tayer concluded by pointing out that the projects accomplished by RTA contributed to the UAE’s No. 1 global ranking in the satisfaction index for roads and highways in 2020, and its first position regionally and eighth globally in the Self-Driving Transport Readiness Index 2020. They also contributed to reducing the traffic congestions index in Dubai to 1.21 in 2019, placing it ahead of cities like Paris, London and Singapore. Meanwhile, road fatalities in the Emirate plummeted to 2.3 cases per 100,000 of the population in 2019, which ranked Dubai amongst the world’s best cities in traffic safety.

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Dubai Gazette