SMRT International Pte Ltd (SMRT International) and United Technical Services (UTS) today announced their investments in 2 Getthere Holding B.V. (2getthere), a Netherlands-based company that designs and makes a family of Automated Vehicles (AV). SMRT International is acquiring a 20% stake worth €4 million (SGD 6 million) in 2getthere, while UTS is increasing its holding in 2getthere to 11% against the same valuation.
These investments are a strategic step that will deepen 2getthere’s technological capabilities as a leading market provider of AV systems. It will also enhance the delivery of current and new projects in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Mr Carel van Helsdingen, CEO of 2getthere, said, “We are very proud to reach an agreement with two of our longstanding overseas partners. Investments by these industry leaders will support the realization of the projects currently under contract and our continuous development and integration of new technologies into our solutions.”
Mr Goh Eng Kiat, Managing Director for SMRT International said: “We have been working with 2getthere since 2010. We have made this investment as we are confident in 2getthere’s technology and see growing demand for AVs in Asia. We look forward to working together to further expand operations into international markets through the provision of consultancy services and operational expertise with transportation networks.”
2getthere Middle East and UTS Chief Operating Officer, Mr Ziad Al Askari said, “2getthere’s solution is aligned with the push for greater autonomous transport within the Middle East in general, and specifically in the United Arab Emirates. With this investment we can accelerate our contribution to Dubai’s 2030 goal to make 25% of all trips within the city driverless, as recently announced by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”
Mr Carel van Helsdingen concluded: “The investment and involvement of SMRT and UTS in 2getthere further strengthens the ability to deliver complete, and completely automated, systems to our customers today. Our systems and applications will grow into scenarios of increased complexity, incrementally shifting into higher degrees of mixed operations, from applications in controlled environments towards semi controlled environments. In pursuit of this roadmap, we will work within 2getthere and with our partners to enhance the technology so as to ensure the safety and capacity under mixed operations.”
New AV opportunities in the Middle East and Singapore
2getthere Middle East, a joint venture between UTS and 2getthere, signed a contract to supply a system based on the 3rd generation Group Rapid Transit (GRT) vehicle for an undisclosed project earlier this year. This is 2getthere’s second AV system in the Middle East after its Personal Rapid Transit system in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
Established in Singapore since April this year, 2getthere Asia Pte. Ltd (2getthere Asia), a joint venture between SMRT Services Pte Ltd and 2getthere, has been awarded its first consultancy project for a major Singapore client to assess the feasibility of implementing the GRT system within the client’s premises. In addition, 2getthere Asia remains on schedule to trial the first 3rd Generation GRT vehicle in Singapore by the end of this year.
SMRT International has also been actively exploring opportunities in the region. For example, it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singaporean consultancy firm Ectivise Solutions Pte. Ltd and the Baku International Sea Trade Port (Port of Baku) in Azerbaijan. The two companies will advise and support the Port of Baku in its efforts to enhance the operating effectiveness of the port through new technologies and innovative solutions, including a GRT system.
“2getthere’s unique technology sets it apart as a proven solution for commuters and cities today.” said Mr Colin Lim, director of 2getthere Asia and Managing Director of SMRT Services. “The award of these projects confirms the significant potential of deploying AV systems in Singapore and beyond in the near future.”