Imagine a city without traffic congestion, no parking shortages, integrated transport systems and ‘live’ monitoring of every corner and street junction.
That’s exactly what is being planned in Dubai as part of the Smart City initiative launched by the Dubai government.
Taking the lead is Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which could well be building one of the biggest smart city initiatives in the UAE.
RTA is in the process of setting up an Enterprise Command and Control Centre (EC Cube) in Dubai. Schneider Electric, a specialist in energy and infrastructure management, is bidding for the project.
Mazen Zein, Director of Strategy and Business Development and Head of Smart Cities at Schneider Electric, told that his company is keen to contribute its expertise to various smart city initiatives of the government including setting up the EC Cube, which could emerge as one of the biggest smart city projects in Dubai.
“RTA will collect all the data coming from traffic across the city, including roads, Metro, tramways, buses, and everything related to mobility.
“Everything will be monitored on a real-time basis and decisions will be taken accordingly,” he said.
The real time monitoring could mean installation of thousands of cameras and related systems. The command centre will have access to the exact scene on the ground.
When there is an accident, immediately motorists on other connecting roads will be alerted. The linking of all transport networks would mean real-time status updates of the next approaching bus, the exact time it could take to reach your stop and updates on other modes of transport inter-linked.
A similar system already exists in Singapore as part of its smart city initiative.
“All this will be integrated in one building. The end result will mean more efficiency, less traffic, less pollution and more information to the people. Safety is a key element of the initiative,” he added.
The company is also working with Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (Dewa) for the implementation of smart grid and smart metering.
“We could be working with Dewa to implement the first phase of electric vehicles. The first batch of 100 recharging stations will be set up across the emirate during the next six months.
“We also have a partnership with BMW and Renault to bring in their electric vehicles,” he said
When asked to specify the progress of various initiatives he said, “We are on the right track to reach the 2021 deadline. Now we are at the end of the consulting phase. We are beginning to work with semi-government and other players.”