In Dubai, which still embodies in many minds the country of excess? the time has come for savings. The time has come to save fuel and, consequently, CO2 emissions. To do this, the public transport sector is moving into the age of artificial intelligence.
Intelligent systems to optimize the routes of buses transporting people are, in essence, what the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority has introduced. In concrete terms, it involves using automatic learning algorithms to organize more efficiently the planning of the 150 routes used by 2,158 buses in Dubai. This is already no longer a futuristic possibility, but rather a reality, as the tests proved conclusive: “The test phase, which lasted 30 days, saved 13.3% of the time the buses spend on the road”. said Ahmed Mahboub, executive director of smart services of the government body.
User data put to use.
To feed the smart systems, roadmaps were used, based on users’ transportation cards. “This made it possible to determine which bus stops were busy all day, which were used during peak hours and which were under-operated,” explained the project manager. From now on, transportation companies can adapt their offer to provide express service, or schedules that vary according to the time of day.
A 13.3% reduction in time spent on the road, for vehicles that travel an average of 153 million kilometers a year, is no small feat. It should even lead to considerable savings, not only in fuel consumption but also in carbon dioxide emissions. It remains to be seen whether transport companies in Europe or the US are also planning to introduce such measures.