15 smart pedestrian crossings to be ready by next month at Dubai’s busiest locations
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Dubai: Commuters in Dubai can now book a ride on the Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) latest luxury offerings, the Tesla taxis, through Uber, Gulf News can confirm.
The Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC), a subsidiary of RTA last month introduced 50 Tesla Model S and Model X cars in its limousine taxi fleet, which were initially available only at the Dubai International Airport and some select hotels.
Speaking to Gulf News, following the opening of 37th Gitex Technology Week, Dr Yousuf Al Ali, CEO of DTC, said that Dubai Taxi has tied up with Uber to make its Tesla fleet available through their e-hail app.
“We have already signed a deal with Uber and the Tesla limos will be available through Uber as Uber One. However, since there only 50 Tesla limos on road, the availability of the vehicles will depend on their proximity to the customers,” said Al Ali.
He added that the Uber One service will be available to public very soon “and with 75 more vehicles to join the DTC’s Tesla fleet next year, more people will be able to enjoy the ride.”
The fare for Uber One will be similar to other limo fares, starting with Dh25 and a tariff of Dh5 per kilometre.
The fully-electric vehicles with autonomous features are part of RTA’s plan to replace 50 per cent of the taxi fleet with greener vehicles.
“We have introduced 900 hybrid vehicles to our fleet of 6,000 taxis and gradually we will continue to add more, replacing the conventional fleet,” he said.
Following a successful trial of a smart pedestrian crossing, which was launched earlier this year, the RTA is now planning to roll out the sensor-enabled pedestrian crossings at 100 locations by the early next year.
In the phase one of the project, 15 such crossings will be in place at some of the busiest areas of Dubai such as Binyas, Satwa, Al Barsha and City Walk.
“We are very happy with the results of Smart Crossing as it has proved to safe as well as efficient. It plays a big role in improving safety of pedestrians, so by next month we will roll out our phase one, which will cover 15 crossings at key locations,” said Maitha Mohammad Bin Adai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency.
First installed on Al Saada street, the crossings are not only expected to save time for the pedestrians but also enhance their safety.
The ground based sensor of the crossings detects pedestrian movement near the crossing and adjusts the green time for both the vehicles and the pedestrians depending on the demand.
The system ensures that if there is no pedestrians the vehicles get continuous green time, while if there are no vehicles the pedestrians get more green time.
Using public transport in Dubai is going to be more rewarding for commuters as the RTA has announced a loyalty programme that will award one point for every dirham spent through Nol.
The points, which could be redeemed through e-vouchers for coffee shops, food outlets or recreational facilities, could also be accrued through retail purchases or use of Nol for any payments.
According to Khalid Al Awadi, Director of Nol at RTA, commuters can also have free Metro and bus rides by redeeming their points.
“Nol Plus is the first loyalty programme announced by any government entity in the UAE and we will be announcing different packages for our loyalty programmes soon. The loyalty programme will be live for the end of this year,” said Al Awadi.
RTA also launched the Dubai Integrated Mobility Plaform of S’hail on Sunday that offers commuters all the transport modes available in Dubai on a single app.
Through the app, commuters can study different options available and compare the fare and time take to travel and make a choice. At a later stage, the app will enable commuters make payment for all modes of transport including e-hail, monorail and Dubai Trolley.
With the success of Smart Yard Test pilot project that was launched last year at Dubai Driving Centre, the RTA is now rolling out 15 more Smart Yards across all the driving schools in Dubai.
The automated yard tests that removes human intervention while testing a trainee have proved hugely successful.
“So far we have conducted 319 tests with a 33 per cent pass rate, which is on par with our manual tests, but with new yard tests having better capabilities we will see that the pass rate will improve and the efficiency of the system will also improve,” said Arif Al Malik, Director of Drivers Training and Qualification at RTA.
Arif said that the Licencing Agency is also doing a trial on a smart yard simulator which allows the trainees to practice and get used to the test process.
“The Smart Yard brings greater transparency, reduces human error in judgment and also gives more confidence to the trainees, who tend to get more nervous when they have an examiner sitting with them,” he added.
Trucks to be tracked
More than 2,000 heavy truck have been installed with tracking devices in Dubai that not only tracks their movement in the emirate but also monitor the driver behaviour and adherence to safe driving practices.
The tracking programme, which is currently mandatory for all 20 year old trucks, will cover more than 60,000 heavy vehicles of Dubai over the next three years, including private and public transport buses.
Aimed at improving road safety and reduce truck related accidents, the system monitors 24/7 through a central command centre any rash driving behaviour like harsh braking, speeding, non-stop driving for more than four hours, accidents etc. and communicates immediately with the driver.