In-car Artificial Intelligence deployed to monitor the conduct of taxi drivers and passengers

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has started the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to monitor the behaviour of taxi drivers on the road.

The step aims to identify weaknesses in the professional performance of taxi drivers while sitting behind the wheel.

“RTA started to use artificial intelligence technologies to monitor the conduct of taxi drivers in collaboration with Acacus Technologies, the developer of the smart cameras installed on-board Dubai taxis.

“This project aims to verify the compliance of taxi drivers with the applicable rules and regulations as regards the safety of both the driver and passengers,” said Khaled Al-Awadhi, Director of Transportation Systems at RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

“Unlike surveillance cameras fitted to taxis to verify complaints from passengers, this technology is a proactive measure to know the driver’s on-road behaviour on the spot. Through this technology, we can figure out the performance of the driver on the road in a continuous manner. It helps us to send alerts to drivers or subject them to rehabilitation courses in case of repeated violations such as speeding, sudden stopping or unnecessary use of brakes,” he added.

Al-Awadhi continued: “AI technologies also enable us to know the underpinning factors that prompt drivers to make unacceptable practices. We take into consideration the road condition or other circumstances triggering such conducts. The technology enables us to be fully transparent and objective in taking appropriate action against the driver.

"The quality of images about driver's on-road behaviour captured by the AI systems and transmitted to the monitoring centre for analysis is as high as 99.92%. We are working with Acacus to raise this quality of such images to 99.98%. We will also improve the notification system and carry out a comprehensive assessment of drivers' performance assisted by AI technologies."

Talal Ben Halim, Founder & CEO of Acacus Technologies said: "We pride ourselves in cooperating with RTA, one of the biggest government entities in Dubai and the UAE and places much emphasis on the comfort and happiness of taxi riders. Taxis are a means of transport that have to maintain privacy and deliver high-level safety and quality services in line with RTA’s vision of "Safe and Smooth Transport for All.

“This technology will also help us in monitoring the conduct of drivers and riders as regards to the compliance with the precautionary measures in place to fight the Coronavirus such as the physical distancing and the wearing of face masks."

RTA has previously used Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, such as computer vision and machine learning algorithms, in detecting and reporting violations of preventive measures undertaken to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19). Such monitoring covers physical distancing and wearing of face masks onboard taxis, whether for passengers or drivers.

Image credit: Dubai RTA

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