The adoption of ubiquitous computing, mobile devices, and rich sources of data are changing how we live, work, and play in urban environments. Driverless electric cars and smooth flowing traffic are just some of the revolutionary technologies UAE residents can expect over the next few years as the Emirates enters the era of Smart Cities.
Last year, Dubai announced plans to transform itself into a Smart City and has so far earmarked €100 million for innovation including developments in transport.
Smart transportation is one of the biggest game changers and is essential towards the development of a Smart City. Dubai will look closely at smart transportation to better synchronise traffic flow. Technologies like M2M will allow for the backhaul of data in real time from devices, which enables new use cases to be implemented, and this will have a great impact on Smart Cities, specifically in transportation.
Today, countries around the world are afflicted with traffic problems, and Dubai is no exception. Over the years Dubai has put in place several solutions including developing public transportation and launching 150 e-services, 23 through of them through smartphones in an effort to curb congestion.
Currently private car ownership in Dubai stands at 541 cars for every 1000 people. The Dubai population is expected to increase by 296 per cent in the next six years and Road Traffic Authority (RTA) expects the number of private cars to increase to 1.5 million by 2020.
Mobile technology based communication is the best and sometimes the only way to connect vehicles with traffic management and road infrastructure systems. It enables smart management based on the latest traffic and road safety information, emergency information and road tolling information which is, for instance, directly transmitted via a vehicle on-board unit equipped with an automotive grade wireless module.
When employed in road networks, wireless technology can make road signs communicate data and give drivers real-time updates on road conditions. The technology opens the door to intelligent telematics services that aim to improve drivers’ safety and provide them with traffic information so that optimised routes can be suggested to shorten time and reduce fuel consumption and associated CO2 emissions.
Technology doesn’t stop there; top car brands are attempting to create the world’s first driverless car. These cars represent the automobiles of the future.
However while technology of the future is developing at a rapid rate, growing concerns around security have also increased. Security is a key requirement and as a result governments have expressed their commitment to strengthening security and developing frontline protection against cyber-attacks.
We are living in an increasingly connected society and securing the digital world has become a top priority for most businesses in the region. In order to guarantee service continuity, it is essential that ICT systems that control a Smart City be designed with cyber-security, privacy and data protection in mind.