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Next step in sustainability for Dubai: RTA to go paperless

As part of its sustainability efforts, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has introduced a new smart technology for testing its buses through an interactive voice system.

The system is aimed at eliminating the need for completing forms and using paper in the testing of buses. Instead, it works by converting the voice of the inspector into a written text.

Known for its insistence on putting innovative and futuristic practices in place to reduce carbon footprint, the RTA believes the new initiative will help it in upgrading performance and operations. It will also support the Smart Government drive in the emirate of Dubai.

“The use of smart technologies in maintenance works is no longer a luxury, rather a necessity dictated by our commitment to the optimal and sustainable utilisation of RTA’s assets and the delivery of safe and smooth transport services to all. It was therefore imperative to contemplate this new system, which enables the technical inspector or tester to carry out a visual inspection of the bus, without bothering to take paper, complete bus details or even carry a smart tab,” said Abdullah Rashid Al Maazami, Director of Maintenance & Services, RTA Public Transport Agency.

How it works

Al Maazami explains that the new technology features an interactive voice-recognition software between the inspector and a device worn on his waist connected by earphones.

The device on the waist dictates to the tester which testing steps are to be carried out in sequence and also to inspect key components and elements that have to be tested and diagnosed.

It also enables the tester to figure out parts of the engine, test them and diagnose faults by providing voice responses to a series of preset sequential procedures.

The system converts the voice of the tester into a written text, and captures images and uploads them to the database of RTA’s Asset Management Department.

The process reflects positively on the quality of testing and inspection, eliminates errors and omissions of key testing components, and reduces the response time for rectifying faults.

“The testing of buses using the interactive voice response is a further step towards leveraging Dubai’s endeavours to rank as the smartest city in the world,” Al Maazami explained.

Electric cars and flying taxis

The RTA has already made it mandatory for taxi firms to have electric and hybrid cars in their fleet.

By 2021, half of the city’s taxi fleet will be hybrid cars, a move that is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 34 per cent, slashing total fuel consumption by 33 per cent.

In addition, the authority signed an agreement with US automaker Tesla to buy 200 electric-powered cars earlier this year.

The RTA has also announced its plans to launch driverless flying cars later this year.