Gitex 2021: AI tech in cycling tracks to detect if riders are wearing helmets

An overview and live demonstration of the solution was presented at the RTA stand


New artificial intelligence technology in Dubai’s cycling tracks can detect if riders are wearing helmets, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Sunday.

The smart technology is being displayed at the ongoing Gitex technology week, which kicked off today, October 17. The first phase of the proof of concept (PoC) was implemented at the Nad Al Sheba cycling track in Dubai, RTA said.

The ‘Using AI in Cycling Tracks’ solution is a PoC developed by Evoteq, a digital transformation solutions provider, said Mohammed Yousuf Al Mudharreb, CEO of RTA’s Corporate Technology Support Services Sector. An overview and live demonstration of the solution was presented at the RTA stand at Gitex.

“This revolutionary solution aims to ensure safer roads for cyclists by deploying digital solutions that create a meaningful impact on people’s lives,” Mudharreb added.

Dubai is becoming an increasingly cycle-friendly city as the RTA developed 463km of cycling track in 2020 with plans to increase the total length of cycling tracks in the emirate to 739km by 2026. The department’s aim is to connect most vital areas in the emirate with various public transport stations, explained RTA.

How does it work?

Mudharreb said: “In designing the Smart Cycling Track, next-generation technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) have been used.”

The data gathered by this high-tech AI-enabled platform will be leveraged to detect cyclists, joyriders, including joggers, and scooter riders, on the track and determine the current track occupancy.

Jihad Tayara, CEO of Evoteq, said: “Throughout the first phase of the PoC implementation, we focused on the utilization of the latest AI and IoT technologies to validate the viability of the solution by building and testing four keys features: cyclist detection, helmet detection, speed and total occupancy. As the following step, we've developed an extended project roadmap for the complete track journey for cyclists, which aims to improve their safety and experience.”

The smart solution also identifies the speed at which the cyclists are travelling and detects if they are wearing a helmet.

“Moreover, further trend analysis will allow the collected data to predict and prevent critical cycling incidents like crowded tracks and accidents, and alert authorities of increased risk conditions based on the collected data,” Mudharreb said.

He added: “With the city’s aim of becoming the most cycling-friendly city, the use of next-generation technologies is essential as cycling is not only a sport but also a vital link to serve first and last-mile mobility needs."

Tayara said: “In Dubai, the solution will help boost the government’s efforts to make the emirate a bicycle-friendly city, as well as promote cycling as a form of sport and fitness activity."


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