200 services of RTA to be on apps by 2015

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Authority enlists 60 UAE students to take part in design and final testing of its smart applications.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Sunday unveiled its smart roadmap for 200 services for inclusion in the next two years in the Dubai Smart Government. The authority enlisted about 60 students from leading local and international universities in the UAE to take part in the design and final testing of its smart applications.

Ahmed Bahrozyan, CEO of RTA’s Licensing Agency and Head of Supervision of Implementing the Integrated Roadmap to Transfer to the Smart Government Team, said the move will turn Dubai into the “smartest city” in the world within three years.

“This step is represented through adopting smart solutions and applications in various services and initiatives provided by the RTA to the public,” he said.

The implementation of this will be done on a monthly basis starting next month in five stages. It will benefit locals, expatriate residents, visitors, special needs people and the business sector where they can freely choose the tools and elements suited to their devices, from iOS, BlackBerry, Windows and Android.

He said for the next one and a half years, some 170 services of RTA will be on smart apps, but by 2015, it is expected to completely put all 200 RTA services in the Smart Government platform. Bahrozyan explained that students from at least five or six universities in the UAE will not be designing the apps services but will be involved in the brainstorming sessions to discuss the main features to be incorporated in designing the services to make it more user-friendly.

“We have a standard design currently being worked on to really cover all apps. The students will be involved in identifying key features in every service and some of their ideas will be incorporated in the design while others may be kept for future use.”

He said testing is critical to this project considering the number of smart devices available in the market. “We have selected 17 devices to be tested with the RTA services in smart apps. We will also be using these devices which are popularly used by the people in this region. We will use these factors to help us ensure the RTA design of its services work in all the devices.”

Bahrozyan said these services will be easy to find and easy to use. “We have nine current services but RTA will design new ones in multiple applications with high level of consistency. These RTA apps will have a common look, common feature as well as distinction. The distinction is the feature of services across its website and on apps for the customers to be able to find the right services available in website itself or on apps.”

He said currently iphones do not support the Network Access Control (NAC) technology. “In the World Mobile Congress where registration was made using NAC technology, the app strategy provided jacket to fit on Apple but NAC enabled. But, I am not sure how readily jacket is available in the market and when people will be using this jacket. The future is to go for NAC technology. We are using it for the mode of payments in smart taxicabs in Dubai now.” Only 50 per cent people in the UAE have smart phones. Hence, the RTA’s inclusive strategy is being applied. “We want to include all segments of society as many still have the ‘feature phones’. So we have sms or mobile forms.”

The most used services of RTA are NoL, Salik and parking. “RTA’s m-parking is very popular among the motorists, even the NoL and Salik top-up. Though there are still people who prefer … going to the RTA Customer Service, we want to change this. People can call 800-9090 to renew their licence or car registration.”

RTA has nine new services covering different customer categories, from Practice Theory Test (in Arabic, English & Urdu), Tender Services (information service to update vendors about new tender opportunities), Al Hares Service, School NOC Services Inquiry (allowing schools, kindergartens and nurseries to track down their requested NOCs), Water Taxi Services (request form to book a water taxi), and NoL Basic Transaction History (list of the recent transactions made using NoL cards.

“Additionally, we offer Application for Elderly Parking Permit, application for Renewal/Lost/Damaged Elderly Parking Permit, and Application for Renewal/Lost/Damaged Permit for the Disabled (Permanent Permit). It is worth mentioning that the RTA currently has 32 smart services which are all compatible with Android and iOS platforms.”

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