The Dubai Police are now hitting the streets with new smart patrol vehicles outfitted with powerful surveillance capabilities. The force plans to add 400 of the ‘Ghiath’ vehicles to its fleet in the next five years, with the first 10 vehicles rolling off the line at the World Police Summit at this year’s ongoing Expo 2020 event.
The Ghiath project is a collaboration between the Dubai Police, W Motors, and Safe City Group. The Police are spending Dh196 million (roughly $53 million USD) on the expanded fleet, with the actual manufacturing of the vehicles taking place entirely within UAE borders at W Motors’ Dubai Silicon Oasis production facility.
In terms of technology, the Ghiath cars come with a 360-degree camera mounted on the roof of the vehicle, with another eight cameras scattered around the outside of the vehicle as part of an exterior surveillance system. Those cameras are backed up with facial and license plate recognition tech, giving the police access to automated identification tools while in the field.
Individual officers will also be under surveillance while riding in the Ghiaths. The vehicles have in-cabin cameras to monitor the behavior of the driver and anyone else who happens to be in the vehicle. The onboard computer connects the Ghiath to the Police’s primary control center, while an Android tablet links the officers to their dispatcher. Those officers can access the vehicle’s systems using a 16-inch central screen.
Other features include grills, a custom rear bench, and a protective cage. Rescue and safety equipment can be stored in a dedicated compartment, and there is a separate drone box for a drone that the police can use to further extend their surveillance powers.
The Ghiaths arrive as lawmakers in other countries have tried to limit police access to facial recognition. However, that does not seem to have diminished police enthusiasm for the technology, either in Dubai or elsewhere. The department first announced that they would be developing surveillance vehicles back in 2015, and followed that with a prototype in 2018. The Dubai Police are eventually planning to integrate the Ghaith technology into a range of other vehicles, including SWAT vans, first responder units, and e-bikes.
Source: Khaleej Times
March 16, 2022 – by Eric Weiss