Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has recently announced it had collaborated with the United Nations Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science in a project that focuses on developing big data, artificial intelligence, and data science. This collaboration is part of an ongoing partnership between the two entities and marks a significant step in transforming this collaboration. The goal is to share knowledge and experiences to improve the efficiency of transport services and other public services offered by the RTA.
This collaboration aims to empower RTA’s data-driven transformation to enable better decision-making and provide accessibility to reliable data for both local and global use. Nine teams have been formed within RTA to tackle various challenges related to methodology, quality, technology, data access, legislation, and privacy. These teams are also responsible for conducting suitable cost-benefit analyses using big data.
Mohammed Al Mudharreb, CEO of RTA’s Corporate Technology Support Services Sector, highlighted the crucial collaboration between the RTA and the Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science. “RTA is committed to advancing its extensive data capabilities as it recognises its importance in modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and other technologies that form critical components of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. RTA attaches paramount importance to these technologies, considering their role and contribution to realising Dubai’s goal to become the world’s most intelligent and happiest city.
“As an active member of the UN Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science, RTA joined two critical working groups. These groups focus on several areas: using mobile phone data for transportation statistics, providing training, skills development, and capacity building in big data, data science, and artificial intelligence as part of the Mobile Data Task Force. RTA plays a dual role as co-chair and member and is instrumental in developing a comprehensive guide in collaboration with the Committee. This guide offers valuable insights and methodologies for using mobile phone data effectively in transportation planning and decision-making.
Al Mudharreb, explained that the partnership perfectly aligns with RTA’s vision to become a data-driven entity and supports the UAE’s objectives to enhance digital government services and practices. By utilizing mobile phone data, building capacities, and fostering international collaboration, RTA will be a pioneer in transportation innovation, not just in the UAE but also across the Middle East and North Africa.
“The involvement of RTA in the training, competencies, and capacity-building team highlights its commitment to sharing knowledge and enhancing skills in big data and data science. This participation is aimed at enriching the skills of transport specialists, adopting the latest technologies, and fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration.”
Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the Statistics Division at the United Nations in New York, stated that his office has been successfully working with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre in the UAE on big data-related projects for several years. He anticipates a fruitful cooperation with the RTA in developing data-driven public policies and services for sustainable transportation. Additionally, he hopes that the RTA will contribute to the collaboration with the Regional Hub for Big Data in the UAE. This collaboration aims to build capabilities in big data, artificial intelligence, and data science for the Middle East and North Africa statistical community.
“The UAE’s Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre now hosts the United Nations Platform headquarters. RTA is actively collaborating with both entities in big data and data science. This headquarters focuses on facilitating big data and data science use for official statistics and sustainable development goals. It also shares new methods, algorithms, and tools and provides training on big data, AI, and data science for the region,” explained Schweinfest.
The United Nations Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science has participation from approximately 31 countries. The committee comprises of 16 international organizations, including the World Bank, and has over 100 global experts working together to develop and share modern methods, technologies, and best practices in data science and big data. Additionally, the committee provides cloud services as a part of its international platform to support global cooperation in advancing data science by utilizing new data sources and innovative methods.