Robocop to become a reality? How Dubai Police is investing in AI 2018-06-18T16:20:39+00:00
ai and crime

Using AI and data analytics to help predict crime

Dubai is a city of many nationalities, meaning its cultural and behavioural diversity is huge. As its population grows, so does the number of vehicles on its roads, and to promote safer driving, the police force is looking at AI.

Traffic management

Khaled Al Razooqi, head of AI at the force, has suggested a city policed by an array of intelligent machines could be Dubai’s future. He stated that the police department is aiming to work with UAE car manufacturers to install sensors that will study the behaviour of drivers. This is a result of so many people of differing nationalities taking to the roads – each with their own way of driving and testing standards.

The aim of the sensors is to create some level of standardisation and teach those with unacceptable driving habits to improve their skills. The vehicles themselves could also instruct police where they need to cover and even where there is crime.

Accidents and crime

Further proposed measures include AI that can analyse traffic patterns and identify potential roads where bottlenecks may occur. They could also be able to predict the risk of accidents based on the age, nationality and safety history of the driver. This would involve extensive facial recognition programming across over 10,000 CCTV cameras, which – naturally – has implications regarding privacy.

A fleet of automated patrol cars, which will be able to detect offences and read registration plates, is also planned alongside a team of robots, drones and driverless vehicles that can issue fines and retrieve abandoned vehicles.


In a separate project, Dubai Police has introduced a robotic officer, with the intention of extending the AI section of its force to 25 percent by 2030. Wearing the cap and colours of the force, it features a touchscreen display on its chest that can be used to report a crime or make an enquiry about speeding tickets.

It is able to speak six languages and read facial expressions, as well as transmit live images to the operations centre, helping staff there to identify wanted suspects.

Developing AI

Such plans for automating traffic policing and supporting human officers with robotic counterparts requires extensive research and development. The robotic police officer patrolling in Dubai was created in conjunction with PAL Robotics and is a customised version of its Reem model.

Companies in the UK working on AI projects – either individually or in conjunction with overseas organisations – are often entitled to government tax relief. Available to both large and small businesses, it often provides a much-needed boost to their funds. To have these R&D tax credits explained, download our dedicated ebook.

Other patrol robots under development

Dubai is not the only city to be incorporating AI into its force. Japanese forces are employing drone-catching drones, South Korea has introduced robotic prison guards, and Cleveland Police have enlisted the services of a robot named Griffin, built by students at the local college. As AI becomes more advanced and business grants more habitually fund robotic projects, we’ll no doubt see some Robocops in the UK in due course.

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