RTA begins second phase of Smart Pedestrian Signals project

The smart signal technology is operated by a system reliant on sensors connected to a ground optical system synchronised with the signal’s light operation

The second phase of its Smart Pedestrian Signals project is now underway according to Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The new phase incorporates 10 new sites and, by 2024, the organisation said the total number of locations will rise to 28.

According to a statement, the launch of the second phase follows the successful outcomes of the first phase, which involved the installation of smart pedestrian signals at various key locations throughout Dubai.

The project’s expansion is said to demonstrate the RTA’s commitment to utilising cutting-edge smart technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) to ensure seamless traffic management and enhance the safety of both pedestrians and motorists.

Mohammed Al Ali, the Director of Intelligent Traffic Management Department, Traffic and Roads Agency at the RTA said, “The system proved effective in improving pedestrian safety in cases involving those who require more time to cross, like elderly residents, people of determination, and individuals with luggage or pushchairs.”

In mid March 2023, the RTA said a US $217mn contract was awarded for the Al-Shindagha Corridor project and, in early April, the RTA said that two bridges and a tunnel at Falcon Interchange were open.

“Results showed that no pedestrian accidents occurred since the introduction of smart pedestrian signals, which confirms the effectiveness of the project in raising traffic safety at intersections. It also improved the vehicle flow by eliminating the pedestrian mode in case no pedestrians detected thus offering more time to motorists,” he added.

The smart signal technology is operated by a system reliant on sensors connected to a ground optical system synchronised with the signal’s light operation. It perceives pedestrian movement on the pavement (before crossing the street) and on the pedestrian crossing (while crossing). This significantly enhances pedestrian safety, while also boosting the efficiency of traffic light operations and ensures better management of signal timing, the RTA explained.

This RTA initiative will contribute to bolstering Dubai’s ambitious vision of becoming a leading smart city and a global trailblazer in intelligent traffic systems, remarked Al Ali.

The selection of sites for installing smart pedestrian signals is guided by criteria set in coordination with strategic partners, highlighted by the proximity of pedestrian crossings to each other, the rate of pedestrian incidents at the signal, the street classification (speed limit, number of lanes in each direction), locations & distance to footbridges, and the road design, he concluded.

Later in April 2023, Saudi’s Ministry of Transport and Logistics launched a trial of its first self-driving vehicle.


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