Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched a series of new smart services to coincide with this week’s Gitex event including a booking app that will eventually work with autonomous drone taxis.
The other announcements include a smart pedestrian crossing signal, a driving app and a loyalty points system for the metro card system nol.
The mobility app, known as S’hail, will allow customers to book and pay for all of Dubai’s transport options through a single platform including metro, tram, bus, waterbus, taxi, e-Hail, Uber and Careem sevices.
At a later stage, the platform will also be integrated with other marine transport options, the Palm Monorail, Downtown’s Dubai Trolley and the two-seater Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT) service the authority is testing with manufacturer Volocopter. The first test flight of the system, which has a flight time of 30 minutes and a maximum airspeed of 100 km/h, took place last month.
“In Gitex, RTA would focus on the integration of the AAT with mass transport systems such as the metro, tram, buses, marine transit modes and taxis as well as the procedures of offering the AAT service to the public via the integrated mobility app,” said RTA director general and chairman HE Mattar Al Tayer.
The app will allow users to see their flight details and booking reference and track the air taxi en route. Upon arrival they would then need to enter the reference on the interactive screen for the drone to start flying to the intended destination, according to the official.
Other innovations being showcased by the authority include a smart crossing system that is triggered by sensors connection to a ground optical system. This determines pedestrian traffic on the pavement before crossing and while crossing the road and automatically adjusts the signal time to allow them sufficient time to cross the road.
The RTA has also unveiled an upgraded version of the drivers and vehicles app that is now integrated with Salik (road toll) services. This features an option to chat with RTA customer service staff, a transaction history setting for parking and other services, the ability to top-up a Salik account and earn green points for each transaction completed.
In addition, motorists can enquire about traffic and parking offences and payments, check petrol prices, buy vehicle plates, apply for a replacement driving licence, renew their vehicle registration or licence, locate ATMs, see prayer times and run Google maps.
Finally, the customer loyalty programme for nol cards, known as nol Plus, will enable users to earn points when utilising public transport.