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Dubai's RTA approves $160m smart traffic infrastructure project

by Neha Bhatia on Nov 18, 2018


RTA has unveiled a plan to upgrade Dubai's smart traffic systems [image: Dubai Media Office].
RTA has unveiled a plan to upgrade Dubai's smart traffic systems [image: Dubai Media Office].
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Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has committed $160.6m (AED590m) to the expansion of smart traffic control systems in the emirate as Dubai seeks to become the world’s smartest city. The development is one of the initiatives under RTA’s Innovation Lab (Masar 2030), which is endorsed by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

Director general and chairman of the board of executive directors at RTA, HE Mattar Al Tayer, said the project includes “the design and construction of integrated infrastructure for Dubai smart traffic systems”. Al Tayer said the scheme also includes “the construction of a new traffic control centre at Al Barsha”. 

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He continued: “It envisages lifting the smart system coverage of Dubai roads network from the present 11% to 60%.”

Phase 1 of the project will expand the coverage of smart traffic systems to 60% of Dubai roads network. As part of the project, Dubai’s smart traffic systems will be upgraded and expanded through an integrated infrastructure of smart systems. This, and the construction of a new traffic management system, will “facilitate the management of traffic bottlenecks and accidents”, as well as enhance road safety and ease mobility. 

The project’s initial stage will be divided into five ‘bundles’, Dubai Media Office reported, due to “the massive nature and technical sophistication of the project”. Bundle 1 will cover traffic monitoring and data capturing systems, such as cameras, vehicle detection services, bluetooth devices, and weather sensors. Meanwhile, Bundle 2 will cover information signs that display dynamic messages. This bundle involves “the installation of 112 sign boards providing instant information to drivers about the road condition”, according to the report. 

“The third bundle involves constructing infrastructure such as civil works, fibre optic lines, and an electricity distribution network,” the Dubai Media Office report continued. “The scope of these works involves the extension of lines spanning over 400km.”

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Bundle 4 includes the advanced central traffic system that will support decision-making, ensure automatic responses, and support the integration of site devices and other traffic centres and operations systems. Finally, Bundle 5 includes the construction of the traffic control centre at Al Barsha South. The facility will accommodate the projected rise in the use of current and future smart traffic systems. 

The building’s location “in the middle of the emirate” has been decided to ensure it can keep pace “with the planned expansion” of Dubai’s smart traffic systems. Construction plans for the new centre include devices and ‘mega-display’ monitors that are user-friendly for operators and engineers.

Commenting on the scheme, Al Tayer said: “The project will cut the time of detecting accidents and congestion build-up, and accordingly accelerate the response time. It will also provide instant traffic information to the public about roads network through new variable messaging signs and smart apps. 

"The project will also step up the management of traffic movement at major events, such as Expo 2020.”

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