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SDO Signs MoU with DSOA, RTA and Derq to Use Cutting-Edge Artificial Intelligence in Traffic Accident Prevention

08 Oct, 2017

The Smart Dubai Office (SDO) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, and Derq Systems on the side-lines of the 37th Gitex Technology Week 2017.

In line with the Dubai Government’s strategic direction on smart cities that focuses on six pillars – life, society, mobility, economy, governance, and environment – SDO has joined hands with DSOA, RTA, and Derq to pool their energies and resources to examine and promote the use of artificial intelligence “AI” in accident prevention, by facilitating the exchange of information, innovation and ideas. It builds on the existing strengths of the organisations and establishes a framework for cooperation.

HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), renewed RTA’s support to initiatives and projects undertaken by start-ups. “Such a policy is adopted in implementation of the directives of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council, to make Dubai a destination for start-ups in the region, encourage entrepreneurships, and embrace sophisticated technologies,” he said.

“On this day we celebrate signing a MoU with the start-up Derq to experiment the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology developed in the American Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to enhance the safety at junctions witnessing overlapping traffic between vehicles and Dubai Tram. This technology is based on installing special sensors at junctions to figure out the speed of vehicles and the distance remaining for vehicles to cross the signal. Through using AI technology, the Tram driver will be alerted before arriving at the junction to be cautious of a vehicle about to jump the red light signal,” he explained.

Commenting on the MoU, His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman & CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority said: “In the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai strives to catalyse innovation and push the limits of leveraging technology to benefit people. At Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, we are dedicated to shaping synergies with relevant entities across diverse sectors to actively exchange knowledge and expertise, as well as best practices and successful smart city solutions. Our latest partnership aligns with our aim to support the research and development of new mobility technologies, and serve as a testbed for pilot smart city applications, such as the use of artificial intelligence in the prevention of traffic accidents.”

His Excellency Dr. Al Zarooni added: “Building a holistic smart city requires coordination and commitment among all stakeholders, as well as integration across services. The government, businesses, and the public must work closely together to contribute to Dubai’s transformation into the smartest and happiest city in the world. This collaboration testifies to the confidence entrusted in Dubai Silicon Oasis as a renowned proof of concept for ground-breaking technology advances and a key contributor to our leadership’s Smart Dubai vision.”

“Smart Dubai was created to carry out our wise leadership’s vision to spread happiness among the people of Dubai,” said SDO Director General Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr. “We embrace technology and innovation in our quest to make Dubai the smartest, happiest and safest city in the world. Our Smart Dubai 2021 plan addresses smart transformation in the emirate from every conceivable dimension, namely: economy, lifestyle, governance, environment, people and mobility – the latter being the area to benefit directly from this collaboration to bring artificial intelligence into the transport sector to ensure safety.”

Al Tayer reiterated RTA’s keenness on applying advanced and smart technologies to enhance the safety of all road users, be it related pedestrians, the tram or vehicles.

For his part, CEO of Derq Dr. Georges Aoude, added: “we are excited to have built our organization and grown our talent in Dubai to develop cutting edge AI-based connected vehicle technologies to predict and prevent road accidents. We are proud to have the support of SDO, RTA, and DSOA to bring our solutions to Dubai’s roads. Our key objectives are aligned with Dubai Government’s priorities to significantly reduce accident rates by 2021, contribute to enhancing the mobility of the city of Dubai, and enable the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles by 2030.”

Derq is a Dubai-based technology firm with the specific mission to eliminate road accidents by using AI and connected-vehicle technology, while leveraging smart-city infrastructure. Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Derq’s patented technology predicts and prevents car accidents for both conventional and autonomous vehicles.

The agreement outlines a set of concise objectives, including demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of connected vehicle technologies for road safety on conventional and autonomous vehicles in Dubai; implementing and developing innovative AI solutions for collision prediction and prevention in the emirate; mining and analysing Big Data for road safety applications and other smart mobility solutions; and, finally, working together to improve and share knowledge and understanding in all four participating entities.

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