Human-carrying drone gimmick aside, the United Arab Emirates, and more specifically Dubai, is rapidly adopting drones for a variety of uses.
The city of Dubai has benefited from a number of government-backed initiatives under what’s called the “Dubai Smart Government Plan” to increase the use of a range of technologies, including augmented reality and 3D-printing. Here are four ways the city is incorporating drones into that initiative:
Drones for Police Patrol
Dubai Police is using drones in a few different ways.
- On the traffic end, drones are monitoring traffic to provide live data on areas with congestion or accident hotspots, which
helps police units coordinate their response and
improves the accuracy of information given to
- To fight crime, drones are able to track suspects, particularly in crowded urban areas.
- Dubai Police have also mounted water cannons to drones, which are then used for bomb disposal missions.
Drones for Cleanliness in Dubai
In Dubai, people who litter are subject to a $270 fine. And among the means of finding litterers? Drones.
Dubai’s waste management department now deploys drones in areas such as beaches and landfill sites to hunt litterbugs.
Drones for Travel and Transit
When it comes to drones and transportation, there’s a lot more than just strapping humans to a drone and flying them around the city.
Dubai anticipates shifting at least 25% of individual trips in Dubai into self-driving trips by 2030, whether it’s through a car, drone, or something else, according to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
But while no one is hopping in drones as easily as dialing an Uber, drones are already revolutionizing transit.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority is using drones to monitor streets and traffic, then sending that data back out to the public via social media and news to share information about traffic, accidents and even parking space availability.
Drones for Monitoring Infrastructure
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has deployed drones to monitor infrastructure, including searching for oil spills, detecting power line insulation fails and monitoring water and power infrastructure.
The drones use state-of-the-art upgradable technologies such
as high-definition cameras that are equipped with night-vision and laser technologies, GPS sensors, and can measure pressure, height, magnetic fields, and use ultrasound scanning,” according to Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA. “This limits risks and reduces costs, enables a quick response and is very accurate, making it easier to make informed decisions.”