Road and Transport Authority (RTA) have begun trialing smart signals technology in an effort to ensure a safe crossing for pedestrians and reduce the number of accidents in Dubai. The RTA have begun conducting tests and the sensor-based light system was installed by RTA on Al Saada Street, which is located in the densely-populated area close to Dubai's financial district.
CEO of RTA's Traffic and Roads Agency, Maitha Mohammad Bin Adai, explained the benefits of the sensor-based system and outlined the mechanisms behind smart signals technology. He said," The system of the signal is designed to eliminate the time allocated to pedestrians if it senses no pedestrians waiting on the pavement, thus providing more time for vehicles to pass."
In addition to this he explained that the sensor-based pedestrian traffic light is equipped with an optical ground system that works in-sync with traffic - and it tracks and monitors the movement of pedestrians on the pavement and alters the timing of the signal perfectly.
The system is specifically designed to ensure safe-road crossing for a large number of pedestrians - and the smart signals technology are automatically modifiable before or during the crossing of pedestrians. The system has been introduced on a trial basis and has successful come through a series of technical tests to make sure it functions correctly and smoothly.
Nadeem Shakir, a traffic management expert in Dubai said the new system would alleviate the issue of pedestrians dangerously scurrying across the road due to the signal cycle being so long. "Sometimes the signal cycle is so long that pedestrians are tempted to take a drastic step of scurrying across the road. Another problem with the pre-timed system is that the pedestrians must wait if the signal is red, even if the roads are empty. The sensor-based system fixes these issues and helps streamline the movement."
According to bin Adai, the RTA is now considering broadening the scope of the trial by installing more sensor-based signals at various locations on the Dubai road network. Watch out on Dubai's streets, you might see the technology live!