Dubai unveils AI-powered robotic police for bicycle safety

The Roads and Transport Authority stated that there is an ongoing trial focusing on evaluating the robot’s accuracy in detecting violations, without issuing fines.

UAE flag waving in the sky, national symbol of UAE. UAE National day. UAE flag day.

Dubai is set to introduce an AI-driven robotic police officer to enforce bicycle and electric scooter safety regulations. The robot, equipped with facial recognition technology, will patrol the city’s streets, ensuring cyclists wear helmets and adhere to designated lanes.

Initially deployed along the public beach area, it will connect violations to individuals’ biometric identity cards, focusing on unauthorised cycling, improper parking, and exceeding passenger limits.

Hamad Alafeefi, Director of the Roads and Transport Authority’s Enterprise Command and Control Department, said that the trial phase, initiated last week, focuses on evaluating the robot’s accuracy in detecting violations. While fines will not be issued during this period, the robot will meticulously analyse video footage using AI-driven algorithms to identify and document violations.

As the trial progresses, the RTA stated it remains open to integrating additional technologies during subsequent phases, further enhancing the robot’s capabilities.

Why does it matter?

AI-powered robotic police are becoming increasingly common worldwide. For instance, Singapore is deploying patrol robots across the city-state following successful trials at Changi Airport’s Terminal 4, addressing manpower shortages due to its small population and low birth rate. While the UAE’s initiative appears promising, considerations regarding privacy, data security, and the accuracy and reliability of these robots in dynamically changing environments must be thoroughly assessed to avoid unintended consequences or errors in law enforcement.