Watch: Inside the smart control room that monitors traffic in Al Ain

A 157-kilometre network of fibre optics connects the centre with the smart devices installed along major motorways in the emirate

Inside the smart control room that monitors Al Ain's traffic

Inside the smart control room that monitors Al Ain's traffic
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An intelligent control room in Al Ain helps to monitor traffic, avoid congestion on the roads and reduce the emergency response time in the event of an accident.

The control room in the traffic management centre became fully operational in May.

A 157-kilometre network of fibre optics connects the centre with all the smart devices installed at 81 intersections and major motorways in the emirate.

The control room also livestreams and monitors images from 87 traffic cameras across the city.

"The control room responds to any incident through a fully adaptive and integrated traffic management system that was put in place in 2017 and became fully operational in May 2020," said Hamad Al Afifi, acting director of the traffic management division.

“Previously, Al Ain city had a few traffic junctions that operated on an isolated system. Today, we have a world class fibre-optic network that connects this control room with all vehicle detection sensors and traffic signals.

“In case of an accident or if a vehicle breaks down, we verify it through the video surveillance camera and dispatch our nearest road service patrol car for assistance.

“Our patrol car usually reaches the location within 15 minutes of receiving the alert. We also inform road users about the incident through Variable Message Signs and advise them to use alternative routes.”

VMS is an electronic traffic sign used on roads to alert motorists.

Fourteen VMS signboards are installed on the roads across the emirate to give real-time traffic updates and alert driverstof traffic congestion, accidents or bad weather.

There are also 1,400 vehicle detection sensors that can identify traffic congestion and alert the control room.

“These sensors count the number of vehicles and send this data to the control room through the fibre-optics network. It automatically alters the green interval time of the traffic signal and minimises the waiting time at intersections,” Mr Al Afifi said.

“The smart system can control and readjust the parameters on its own, according to the traffic.

“This has reduced delays at junctions, reduced travel time for road users by 20 per cent to 30 per cent and improved the response time to incidents by 25 per cent through the video surveillance system.”