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Telematics devices to monitor UAE drivers

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has hired computer giant IBM to develop a special traffic tracking system to help curb road accidents that have reached deadly proportions, a statement said.

Under the four-year contract, worth up to $125m, the “telematics” devices will be installed in tens of thousands of vehicles, whose drivers are deemed among the world’s worst, in pilot projects over the next four years to allow police to better manage chaotic traffic in the state.

“The contract with IBM will help reduce highway accidents among the UAE’s two million drivers”, the statement quoted CERT Telematics, a special traffic unit set up by the UAE government that commissioned the devices, as saying.

Similar in concept to the black boxes found in aircraft, the new telematics device combines microprocessors with advanced GPS tracking and other wireless communications to capture, analyse and deliver data via a wireless network to the UAE’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

The device is so advanced that it can monitor the speed of the moving vehicle and compare it to the defined speed limit on each street. If the car exceeds the limit, the device sends out a warning message to the driver. Trials of GPS-monitored speed sensing systems have already begun in the Netherlands.