HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has inaugurated the Enterprise Command & Control Centre (EC3) in the presence of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council. The EC3 is the biggest and most sophisticated control of its kind worldwide in terms of utilising the smart technologies and the ability to control & integrate various transit means of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA). It also enables the development of proper mobility plans to cope with various transport challenges in the Emirate. The EC3 enables the control of all mass transit systems namely the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, public buses, taxis and marine transit modes in addition to the traffic control systems. The cost of the new centre, which meets the requisites of hosting Expo 2020, amounted to AED 335 million.
Upon arrival at the EC3, HH was received by HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA. Al Tayer made a presentation about the centre , which has a built up area of 6996 square meters. The building, which has a total area of 10,900 square meters, comprises of a ground floor and five levels. It is fitted with a helipad and has a main control room rising 13 meters in height and spanning an area of 430 square meters. It has five subsidiary control rooms for various uses, two multi-purpose halls (Gold & Silver) overlooking the main control room. They have accessibility to the mass transit system and the traffic system to enable the leadership team to take appropriate decisions during emergencies and crises. It also has ample office space for RTA’s agencies & strategic partners, press , and training halls. The building design is compatible with the green buildings specifications and will be qualified for awarding the environment-friendly green buildings – Gold Class of LEED Classification.
The EC3 links the controls of RTA operational agencies with a central, integrated and control system unit connected with all RTA agencies during the initial stage, and with other entities of relevance to RTA business in subsequent stages. The Centre has multiple roles to play highlighted by supporting the controls of RTA’s agencies & sectors, managing crises, planning & managing events, managing & integrating transit means, managing & analysing information, compiling data & generating strategic reports, and managing the information security.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum then inspected the main control room which has a capacity to accommodate 36 operational staff. HH attended a briefing about the Control Room which is linked with 34 technological systems within the RTA and is capable of forging real-time integration with these systems. It can also link with external systems outside the RTA, besides receiving and managing the feed of about 11,231 surveillance cameras. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) in the management of accidents & crises and data of mobile phones in planning and managing the movement of crowds through automated identification of population density and directing transit modes to serve them. Thus it ensures maximum benefit from the transport systems by matching people movement with the transport means movement, and simulating the virtual presence on the ground using 3D technology, and monitors the mobility movement using drones.
HH attended to real-life experiments for utilising the massive flow of information in managing crowds through the population density feature. This feature reads the movement & assembly of mobile phones using GSM technology and analyses it in conjunction with the telecommunication providers and reflects it on the main display screen of the operation platform. The human density points appear as heat maps through which it will be possible to quantify the density & spread of people in a specific point. HH also reviewed the relative population density program; which specifies the population density for the use of transit means by specifying the starting and terminal points of the journey. So it will be possible to figure out the people’s movement during a specific time. HH also visited the Mobility Planning Room (The Cave); a room that displays a 3D map on the main screen enabling the analyser or planner to emulate the reality to use modern technologies in events planning. A model 3D map of Dubai Downtown (Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall) was displayed, and some transit means were displayed in the simulation of the reality for a specific time.
HH was also briefed on the application of artificial intelligence features in responding to crises & emergencies. The Centre is a sophisticated platform for communication between emergency teams support with AI technology enabling the reception of voice commands and instantly entering them in the system instead of the traditional printing of commands. The system is fitted with a machine learning feature and can build the system potentials by engaging in various scenarios for tackling emergencies in a way that ensures quick response and reduced human error.
Objectives of EC3
The EC3 aims to be a world leader and model of excellence in the control of roads & transport systems as it is unique and smart in simulating real-life scenarios. It has the potential of propelling the ability of Dubai in hosting & organising global events, supporting central decision-making in respect of all transit means, assisting the strategic transport planning tasks and integrating with RTA’s main systems & traffic controls.
The Centre also supports RTA’s efforts in transforming Dubai into the world’s smartest city in the field of mobility. It will contribute to easing snarls, reducing mobility time & cost, curbing traffic accidents, and limiting the environmental pollution by smart planning for coping with the transport challenges in the Emirate. The Centre will also enhance the experience & happiness of customers by providing instant information about transport systems in the Emirate, integrating with social media channels and raising the people’s happiness indicator by easing the use of mass transit means. It will also step up the coordination with various controls through the use of simulators and the smart forecasting of smart transit services. It can improve the coordination in managing crises, planning & managing events, and organise mobility during mega events in Dubai. Accordingly, the Centre will play a key role in serving mobility for Expo 2020.
Benefits of EC3
The centre has a wide array of benefits topped by achieving leadership & excellence worldwide in the control of roads & transport systems rendering Dubai as the smartest city in the world. It will play a pivotal role in streamlining mobility during main events & exhibitions in the Emirate, such as Expo 2020, supporting the strategic transport planning, and integrating it with RTA’s main systems & controls. It will also enhance customers’ experience & happiness by providing real-time information about the traffic condition and transport network condition. It will also enable the management & planning of events on a wider & connected scope, assist emergency & crises management, and facilitate the investigation of transport accidents. It will establish an integrated communication hub enabling the holding of press conferences and media coverages in the event of crises to keep the public and the media informed of the latest developments. It will also assist in the analysis of bulk data and information management for supporting decision-making, and monitor the information security for protecting RTA’s operational, technological systems from threats & security risks.