|04 February, 2020

Smart technology helps Abu Dhabi retain its safest city tag

Abu Dhabi security has been boosted by the introduction of new technologies such as artificial intelligence

Abu Dhabi welcomes more than 10 million international visitors in 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Abu Dhabi welcomes more than 10 million international visitors in 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Abu Dhabi Culture & Tourism / Handout via Zawya

The use of new technologies has largely contributed to enhancing Abu Dhabi's security and hence the city has been ranked the safest in the world, an official with the Abu Dhabi Police has said.

Captain Ali Hassan Al Madfaei, division manager, Abu Dhabi Police Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) administration, said year on year, Abu Dhabi security has been boosted by the introduction of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cameras, sensors, drones and smart traffic systems to detect and control crimes and to improve safety on the roads.

Last month, Abu Dhabi was named the safest city in the world for the fourth year in a row. Abu Dhabi was ranked first in the list brought out by crowd-sourced global data website Numbeo. It topped the list ahead of 376 cities from around the world.

"From road systems developed to monitor traffic to systems that combat cybercrimes - these technological initiatives have made Abu Dhabi the safest city in the world," Al Madfaei told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) Innovation and Police Technology Summit in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

"The Abu Dhabi Police have introduced cutting edge technologies and the latest development in robotics and AI in all areas of operations. The force uses monitoring and control devices in public and private facilities to prevent crime and maintain public security in the emirate."

He added: "Unconnected technologies of different types, such as cameras, sensors and registration plate recognition are helping police control crimes and track down criminals."

The police had introduced 'smart glasses' or augmented virtual reality glasses that can help catch criminals or wanted persons. The glasses have a micro-camera that uses AI to automatically scan hundreds of faces and notify authorities when it detects a wanted person. The police are also using surveillance technology and monitoring software to ensure public safety.

The police are using drones to monitor traffic flow, detect congestions and direct patrols at hotspots. They also introduced smart towers system that alerts drivers on motorways through changing electronic messages, "catching red light runners", "traffic safety management", "analysing traffic accidents", "smart traffic awareness" and "diversions and heavy truck management".

Utilising drones in CBRN response

Captain Al Madfaei noted that the Abu Dhabi Police's major interest now is the utilisation of advanced drone robotics in enhancing capabilities of response to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) incidents.

"Currently, all the drones are in the research and development phase globally and no one has come up with a one-stop shop solution for utilising drones in the CBRN response," he said.

"This is why it's very important for the Abu Dhabi Police to be at the forefront of development as well, working with international partners and universities on how we can contribute to this knowledge field and how we can improve on the current research and development on the feedback about what we face in the field and how our feedback can help in researchers develop new drone products for this field."

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

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