MMDA inaugurates state-of-the-art command center

In line with President Bong Bong Marcos’ push for the digitalization of government services, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) inaugurated its Communications and Command Center (CCC) in its Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence or BERDE-accredited new head office in Pasig City.

MMDA: new command center to use AI in future traffic enforcement image

According to MMDA, the CCC will serve as the “nerve center of Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares”, and will house state-of-the-art facilities including an operations center, data center, situation room, viewing room, media room, and power room as well as new technologies such as high-definition closed circuit television cameras, intelligent traffic signalization system, and Hytera radio smart dispatch system with built-in GPS.

“This is a major step for MMDA to make Metro Manila a safe and smart metropolis by using smart technologies and data analytics to aid the country in its economic development and strengthened security,” said MMDA Acting Chairman, Atty. Don Artes during the inauguration ceremonies.

MMDA: new command center to use AI in future traffic enforcement image

The MMDA CCC will monitor vehicular flow through 403 high-tech CCTV cameras installed across critical and major infrastructure projects in the metro (including MMDA pumping stations, bus bays, waterways, Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach) and adaptive and sensor-based traffic lights — both linked through the fiber optic network owned by the agency.

Use of AI

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be crucial to the CCC’s future operations, says MMDA. The agency says that soon, they will install a 45-kilometer fiber optic cable, which will then integrate with NCR LGUs' CCTVs, and procurement of AI program with vehicle classification, car counter, license plate, and facial recognition.

MMDA: new command center to use AI in future traffic enforcement image

Example of license plate recognition AI. Photo courtesy of Mobisoft Infotech

Facial recognition and behavioral analytics will be used by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for crime prevention and resolution.

Though the MMDA did not mention anything about the No Contact Apprehension Program (NCAP), the agency said in an earlier statement that traffic enforcement is easier with NCAP in place. “We find it difficult to enforce the exclusivity of the said [bus] lane without the certainty of a CCTV-assisted apprehension, thereby exposing our motorcycle riders to a greater risk,” said Artes.

MMDA: new command center to use AI in future traffic enforcement image

Aside from the technologies housed in the MMDA CCC, the agency also procured handheld ticketing devices which can issue and reprint traffic citation tickets, request vehicle towing, and accept online payment in support of the agency’s interconnectivity with the Land Transportation Office for the implementation of the Single Ticketing System.