Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is preparing to adopt biometric payment technology as it looks to streamline the way public transport users pay fares.
At the Dubai World Trade Centre, last week the RTA unveiled several new projects including a smart gate for paying public transport fares through facial recognition.
The smart gate would remove the need for users to pay fares using tickets, nol cards, or credit cards and could be applied to several types of public transport such as Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, buses, taxis and marine transport, the RTA said in a statement.
The system operates by first registering and identifying the user so their face can be recognised using cameras and analysed in 3D. This image is then transformed into bio data matched with the image before the fare amount is deducted from the account.
According to the RTA, the initiative would help with the integration of transport services and other systems. Among its benefits, it would facilitate the processing of transactions, make public transport services more efficient, and reduce cash transactions.
The RTA also showcased several other services that are in the pipeline. For instance, it is leveraging AI and big data to predict vacant parking occupancy based on analysing transactions and parking inspection data.
The AI model analyses and processes around 2.5 million parking reservation transactions and 600 thousand inspection transactions. This incudes predicting the parking occupancy for every hour for two full weeks in advance and calculating the occupancy for every 15 minutes. This initiative would enable customers to plan trips by knowing the expected occupancy rates for parking lots through RTA’s smart apps.
His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, RTA said: “RTA is committed to harnessing emerging technologies and AI to boost productivity, elevate operational efficiency, and enhance customer services. This drive is aligned with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, to foster wellbeing in Dubai by offering diverse options for residents with a view to transforming Dubai into the best city for living in the world.”
He added: “RTA has numerous key projects and initiatives in smart transport systems such as smart control centres for public transport systems, and self-driving transport, as well as enablers of the 4th Industrial Revolution such as the Internet of Things, AI applications, machine learning, big data, the incorporation of robots, and electric energy technologies and solutions in mobility.”