Taxis in Sharjah will have a new artificial intelligence system to monitor the behaviour of taxi drivers in a bid to reduce accidents.
Sharjah Taxi said the technology will detect drowsy drivers or those who use mobile phones behind the wheel.
Sensors and cameras will be installed in vehicles to monitor and detect driving patterns in real time.
Khalid Al Kindi, executive director of Sharjah Taxi, said the ‘smart taxi’ will be equipped with a mobile data unit connected to an integrated system.
“The technology will help us to understand the performance of the driver on the road in a continuous manner,” Mr Al Kindi said in a statement.
"Our aim to raise the level of services provided to the public with highest standards of security and safety.
“The system will analyse the reasons behind drivers’ wrong manners, like using the phone while driving, being sleepy or distracted while driving.”
The system monitors the car's condition, including the efficiency of electronic parts, to detect any misuse of the taxi by the driver.
“The system helps regulate flow of traffic and facilitate access to key places,” Mr Al Kindi said.
The notification system will help officers identify and understand the reasons for poor driving and help the compiling of a comprehensive assessment of on-the-road performances.
The cars will be connected to a control centre that will operate nearly 750 taxis in Sharjah.
Security cameras were installed in Abu Dhabi taxis in 2015 to monitor journeys to ensure the safety of the driver and passengers.
Dubai introduced a new AI system for its taxis in 2020 to monitor and track the behaviour of drivers. The emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority said the technology will be used to detect drowsy and distracted driving.
In March 2021, Ras Al Khaimah introduced a new AI system to monitor bus and taxi drivers. Known as Shaheen, the system includes cameras fitted to the front of each bus and taxi to assess stress levels and signs of fatigue on drivers' faces. It also tracks the speed of the vehicle and can ascertain if the motorist is braking too hard, making sudden turns or is distracted.