RTA starts a trial-run of drones, nanotechnology at Dubai Metro

Drones will enhance the speed of inspections; enable access to hard-to-reach spots; and generate accurate reports

RTA starts a trial-run of drones, nanotechnology at Dubai Metro
RTA starts a trial-run of drones, nanotechnology at Dubai Metro

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has revealed its intention to start a trial-run of drones to begin inspecting 14km of Dubai Metro tunnels on both the red and the green lines, according to the director-general and chairman of the RTA’s board of executive directors, HE Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer.

The use of drones will not only enhance the precision and speed of inspecting the condition of RTA assets, but will also enable accessibility to hard-to-reach spots while generating accurate reports about the condition of tunnels.

Commenting on the drone initiative, Al Tayer said: “This initiative, which is in line with Smart Dubai Strategy 2021, uses custom-made drones fitted with multiple cameras enabling pictorial monitoring of tunnels via high-definition lenses.”

Al Tayer added: “It also enables the inspection of tunnel walls through infrared radiation. The technology generates instant reports easing the assessment of the condition of assets, monitoring the maintenance works and detecting faults. The process is linked with RTA’s Maintenance Department, and provides a paperless digital inspection platform that curbs potential human errors.”

Al Tayer revealed these details during a visit to the Dubai Metro Depot at Al Rashidiya accompanied by the chief executive officer of the Rail Agency, Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younes, both of whom reviwed initiatives and projects that aim to improve the operation and maintenance of the Dubai Metro.

The Rail Agency has also begun a trial-run of using nanotechnology at the Noor Bank station.

The technology reduced the cost of the station exterior cleaning by 35%; decreased the cleaning and maintenance frequency; and enhanced the protection of front-ends and floors of both stations and trains.

The use of nanotechnology also enhanced floor resistance to scratching and adhesion, facilitated self-cleaning and boosted thermal insulation characteristics.

During the visit, Al Tayer was also briefed about the digitisation of the Dubai Metro, including the use of onboard smart screens to relay passenger information and ads; the automated hi-tech fare gates that facilitate passengers flow besides improving security and safety aspects; and the use of giant screens spanning 80m at the metro stations platforms.

The Smart Stores at the Dubai Metro Depot also drew the spotlight, with the RTA becoming the first government entity to implement smart storage system.

The implementation increased the storage capacity by 700% and increased operational efficiency by 50%, the government entity revealed.

Al Tayer also reviewed the latest developments on the manufacturing of metro parts using 3D technology which saved time and money and improved quality.

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