Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, praised the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to launch the e-Government initiative 20 years ago.
He pointed out that the subsequent projects and smart transformation of Dubai into a city that delivers services via advanced smart applications has proved effective, not only in Dubai but across the UAE. Thanks to that drive, it was possible for government departments to ensure business continuity and deliver high-quality services during the lockdown forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The RTA was among the first public entities to deliver all services through user-friendly and innovative smart platforms. It kept increasing and improving the quality of its smart services on offer. Thanks to those efforts, RTA now offers services via four digital channels and a website,” Al Tayer said.
“Our smart services proved highly effective during Covid-19 lockdown. The number of digital transactions rose sharply by 40 percent compared to the same period last year. Equally, transactions carried out through Mahboub Chatbot doubled to 100 percent. Consequently, the RTA’s happiness index of digital services clocked 90 percent, and customers’ use of digital and smart services rocketed by 300 percent during the National Disinfection Programme compared to last year,” he added.
RTA has completed 80 projects as part of its digitisation, smart and 4th industrial revolution projects. Nine of these were completed last year highlighted by the 3D printing technology of metro parts, automated fare of marine transport services, Phase III of nol Plus loyalty points programme, Enterprise Command and Control Centre, an interactive device for marine transport services, virtual driving, building capacities in data science, robot, and the smart route.
To build capacities in data management, the RTA trained a data science specialist, established the first laboratory dedicated to transport data science and artificial technology in the MENA region. Initially, it developed 16 user cases and trained 16 employees. Two employees obtained a Masters’ degree in data science. Under Phase II of the programme, 136 employees will be trained, some will pursue a Masters’ degree, and 86 user cases will be developed.
In the field of sustainable and smart transport, the RTA established a link with 114 limo companies, seven e-hail companies, and two shared transport companies (hourly rental) using the Al-Merqab system, which streamlines and monitors the performance of limo and e-hail companies. The system is installed in 6,000 limos operated by 114 firms and tracked 19 million journeys of e-hail companies (Uber and Careem). The RTA linked 10,375 taxis with a central monitoring and managing system of surveillance cameras. It also installed smart cameras and dashboards for monitoring the behaviour of taxi drivers.
Among the projects completed in 2019 is the automated fare collection system (digital nol) of marine transport systems. The system is installed in 20 marine transport stations and completed more than a million transactions. The RTA installed 100 solar-powered nol card top-up machines which had performed more than three million transactions.
The RTA’s improvements in infrastructure and smart vehicles included the smart route system for testing drivers, which completed 800 transactions. The system reduced the time of retrieving video records of drivers testing by 75 percent. It enabled the development of 10 new guidelines for improving the quality and governance of testing. The system reduced the time of reporting accidents and vehicle faults by 75 percent.
The Smart Route uses artificial technologies, Internet of Things, face-recognition technology, three-dimensional panoramic photography, GPS and others. More than 2000 people were tested through the virtual driving system reached, and the success rate achieved was 79 percent.
About 3,000 transactions were processed through the trial parking booking system. nol Plus loyalty points systems processed about 86,000 transactions and the system attracted 6,635 subscribers till the end of last year.
In the field of Artificial Intelligence, Mahboub Chatbot completed about 245,000 transactions. The system reduced the number of calls to the Call Centre by 40 percent and provided 130 services. Thanks to this success, Mahboub won the biggest chatbot award in the region. The Robot (Pepper) delivered eight orientation workshops for new employees, and three training workshops for drivers attended by 30 drivers. The system was also used in eight exhibitions.