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Amsterdam Driverless Vehicles

driverless-vehicles-amsterdam-lelylaanRobbert Lohmann, Chief Operations Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“Sharing of transit is crucial to improve the sustainability and liveability of a city.”[/quote]
 

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The Team

Commissioned by The Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA), a multidisciplinary team consisting of UNStudio (architects/urban designers), Goudappel Coffeng (mobility consultants), Geophy (data specialists) and 2getthere (innovative mobility systems developers) has collaborated on a study that examines the future potential of the integration of infrastructure and city development around the area of Amsterdam’s A10 ring road and the Lelylaan area. Part of this are the Amsterdam Driverless Vehicles.

The Study

Currently the A10 ring road in Amsterdam forms a barrier that inhibits the connection between the inner and outer parts of the city and renders its immediate surroundings both uninhabitable and unused. As population growth has propelled development further outward from the city center and along the ring road, an opportunity was identified to integrate the highway and the city in a way that generates new forms of living and improves mobility for future inhabitants.

The result of the study formulates solutions that reconcile the disparate nature of the highway and the city through the injection of new programs and amenities, alongside improved accessibility, to make the A10 and its surrounding neighborhoods a desirable destination with a positive presence in the city.

Envisioning how future mobility and urban development can be successfully integrated requires a new toolbox with which the building blocks of the city of tomorrow can be built. The goal of the proposal is twofold: a proposition for a new multimodal transport hub located on the intersection between Cornelis Lelyaan and the A10, and new urban developments on both sides of the A10 that link the adjacent neighborhoods and create a unique new address in Amsterdam.
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Amsterdam Driverless Vehicles

The Hub, a new mixed-use destination, offers a smooth mobility connection that will allow users to transition between private cars and public transport; from cars which run on petrol to electric mobility; from driving to walking and cycling. Offering parking, restaurants and retail, the Hub also includes a stop for the CityPods, a new alternative to mass-public transport. 2getthere’s Amsterdam Driverless Vehicles provide mobility to the city center of Amsterdam in approximately 10 minutes. Through a redesign of the spatial planning, the system can operate using the current roads. The Hub also features a charging station for electric mobility and, through the use of locally stored car batteries, will function as an energy supply center in peak hours for the surrounding neighborhoods.

‘Sharing of transit is crucial to improve the sustainability and liveability of a city. Shared use, electrification and autonomous operation are converging trends, with the benefits of one becoming synonymous with the others. Shared transit, or public transit if you will, is a requirement to reduce the number of vehicles in an area.’, states Robbert Lohmann, COO 2getthere. In the case of the Amsterdam Lelylaan, the system can transport 1000 persons per hour per direction, with one vehicle departing approximately every 75 seconds.

Conclusions

In addition to the development of the Hub and the connecting transit systems, the study has also considered the main highway A10, introducing flexibility in the flexibility in the direction of travel of the lanes. This also allows to use the existing space smarter depending on the time of day. By introducing housing and offices close to the ring, the A10 will no longer be a barrier between the city center and its suburbs. The Hub is in the middle of all this, with all modalities converging and allowing for easy transfers, amongst other to the Amsterdam driverless vehicles of 2getthere.

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VIP transit: Prince Charles enjoys a driverless vehicle at Masdar City

prince-charles-in-masdar-PRTCharles, Prince of Wales, United Kingdom

[quote]”The main challenge facing us all now is how we can de-carbonise our economy, radically.”[/quote]
 

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Prince Charles

Britain’s Prince Charles visited yesterday Masdar City in Abu Dhabi as part of the British royal’s state visit to the country. He was welcomed by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, chairman of Masdar, and Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs. The Prince arrived in Masdar City with our Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) driverless vehicle.

On 28th of November the PRT system will be entering the 7th year of operation. We are expecting to transport the 2.000.000th passenger before this date. Prince Charles was actually passenger 1.988.933. The countdown to 2 million passengers is on!
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Dinner Cheque

The 2 millionth passenger will receive a dinner cheque for two at each of the 7 restaurants in Masdar City: Madang Korean, Osha, Jim’s Kitchen Table, Melius Restaurant, Sumo Sushi and Bento, Pappa Roti, Barbacoa. Will you be the winner? Come to Masdar City, ride the PRT and find out.

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Operations contract of Driverless Parkshuttle extended with 2 years

ParkShuttleDick van Sluis, Alderman Roads and Transit, City of Capelle aan den IJssel

[quote]”We are realizing more-and-more that the we have been ahead of our time with the ParkShuttle.”[/quote]
 

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Extension ParkShuttle

The world’s first driverless vehicle, the ParkShuttle at business park Rivium in the city of Capelle aan den IJssel (the Netherlands) will continue operations for at least 2 more years. The Metropolitan region Rotterdam The Hague (MRDH) confirmed the extension until late 2018 of the concession of operator Connexxion last week. The city of Capelle aan den IJssel has voiced the intent to renew the system and expand it once the concession runs out.

The ParkShuttle is operational since 1999, making it the first driverless vehicle system in the world. In the 17 years that have passed, it has grown into a big success with the system carrying over 2,000 passengers per day. Although not showing their age, the currently operational vehicles are over 13 years old and have each driven over 200,000 kilometers. As part of the extension of the concession remedial works will be conducted to correct the rutting of the road and restore the driving comfort. 

Extension ParkShuttle

The high appreciation scores of the passengers in combination with the positive influence of the system on business park Rivium as a location for companies, are the basis of the decision to extend the concession. A recent survey of passengers shows the ParkShuttle scores favorably in comparison to a bus service on reliability, operational hours, waiting times and passenger information.

The city of Capelle aan den IJssel has the intent to renew and extend the system by late 2018. The initial extension will be towards a stop at the ‘Van Brienenoord’ bridge where a station for the Waterbus will be created. In addition the location will house a rental facility for electric bikes. The route to this location runs over public roads, amongst manually driven traffic. As such the ParkShuttle is likely to be the first autonomous system operating in mixed traffic without actually featuring a safety driver or steward on-board.

   

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Ahead of Time

‘We are realizing more-and-more that the we have been ahead of our time with the ParkShuttle’, comments Alderman Dick van Sluis, responsible for Roads and Transport. ‘Where autonomous transit has only become a hot item in the last 2 years, we have experience dating back to 1999. That gives us a great advantage and ensures we are in the spotlight both within the Netherlands and internationally.’

Within the region administered by MRDH there are several other locations where autonomous transit is being considered. Alderman Van Sluis: ‘Now that the concession has been extended, it allows looking at other systems and extending the ParkShuttle. The latter is our challenge for the upcoming period: how can the ParkShuttle contribute to the development of Rivium to an attractive and innovative location for companies.’

Focus on Innovation

Naturally Eric Bavelaar, managing director Connexxion for the West Region, is very appreciative of the extension: ‘It is vital that in a time where we foresee mobility significantly changing in the coming 15 years, we expand on the basis that was founded with the city of Capelle aan den IJssel and MRDH.’ As an important stakeholder in public transit, Connexxion focuses on innovation with the ParkShuttle being a primary example. As such Connexxion will also deploy additional service employees to stimulate the use of the ParkShuttle system.

2getthere is currently developing its 3rd generation automated vehicle, incorporating the sensory systems to be able to drive in mixed traffic. The new vehicles are lighter, completely bidirectional and feature air-conditioning. The first prototype will be available end of January 2017. 2getthere is in contact with the city, MRDH and Connexxion about using these vehicles for the extension and renewal of the application.

2getthere’s CEO Carel van Helsdingen: “We are pleased with the 2 years’ extension and the ambition of the government to renew and extend the system. However, what pleases us even more is the positive ratings by the passengers of the system. Over the years the vehicles have proven their reliability and service level during all weather circumstances.”

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2getthere featured in Dutch Innovation Roadshow in Taiwan

Robbert Lohmann, Chief Operations Officer, 2getthere

[quote]”Initiatives such as these allow Dutch companies to present themselves well abroad.”[/quote]
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Roadshow

This October the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office (NTIO) roadshow is visiting 7 cities and counties in Taiwan, showcasing Dutch innovations. As part of the roadshow, 2getthere’s local agent Land Network, presents on automated transit systems, providing sustainable mobility for more liveable cities.

During the stops in Kaohsiung and Taichung the roadshow is joined by 2getthere’s hometown, the city of Utrecht and the Economic Board Utrecht. Main vehicle for the roadshow is an environmental-friendly Orange DAF Truck and a built-in showroom to house the “Our City” exhibition. The exhibition inside the 40-foot container is a walk through a (smart) city, providing details on how we can make our city better: safer, greener and more convenient.

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Organizers and Participants

The Taiwan-Netherlands City Innovation Forum & Roadshow introduced solutions for: smart city, urban planning, circular economy, healthcare & well-being, high-tech, intelligent mobility, green energy, agriculture & food, urban design, and water & soil.

Thanks to the organizers and participants: NTIO Taiwan, OKRA, Nelen en Schuurmans, LomboxNet, ELaandNL, Active Cues, Innovation Mile, professor Helianthe Kort of the University of applied science in Utrecht, Meccano, Holst Ventre, Philips, Invest Utrecht, Holst Centre, Jaap Breugem, Economic Board Utrecht.

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Enthusiastic Visit to Rivium for Insights in driverless transit

Dennis Mica, Business Development Manager, 2getthere

[quote]”This is 10 years ago and we more-or-less still see the same demonstrations.”[/quote]

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Insights in Driverless Transit

Earlier today 2getthere hosted ‘insights in driverless transit’ at business park Rivium in the City of Capelle aan den IJssel, providing information about the key aspects related to the realization of automated vehicle systems. The ParkShuttle system at Rivium remains the only automated vehicle system operational at grade, featuring at grade intersections with other traffic, which doesn’t require a safety driver or steward on each vehicle to warrant the safety.

The program ‘insight in driverless transit’ was hosted for consultants specifically, drawing visitors from Italy, South-Africa, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, USA and the Netherlands. Presentations during the morning program were made by the Metropolitan Region Rotterdam The Hague, Ricardo Rail, SMRT and 2getthere.

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Podcar Conference

In the afternoon the ParkShuttle served as the reference visit preceding the Podcar Conference. Following earlier conferences in amongst others Silicon Vally, the conference is organized on 20 and 21 September in Antwerp, Belgium. In addition to 2getthere, the city of Capelle aan den IJssel and Connexxion shared their experiences with the operations of the ParkShuttle system over the last 10 years with the visitors.

Subject of presentations and discussion during the conference will be Mobility as a Service, experiences with operational systems, policy making, sustainability, safety, multimodility and ‘City of Things’. Speakers represent local authorities, real estate and system developers, public transit operators, consulants and universities.

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New logo designs for 2getthere Asia and 2getthere Middle East launched

2getthere-logosRobbert Lohmann, Chief Operations Officer, 2getthere

[quote]”The logos for the joint-ventures are well aligned with 2getthere, creating a unique identity as part of one family.”[/quote]

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Asia and Middle East JV’s

2getthere is running worldwide projects where automated vehicles are driving in public transportation without a safety driver or steward. Since we have set up joint-ventures with SMRT in Asia and UTS in the Middle East, the next step is to set up and align the identities with 2getthere’s. We have created variants of the 2getthere logo. Where our original logo features orange to recognize that we are a Duch entity, 2getthere Asia’s logo features red to reflect SMRT and Singapore, while 2getthere Middle East features UAE green.

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Colors

In Asia red is the color of happiness, celebration and joy, while in the UAE the green represents the country’s prosperity. It also refers to nature, the protection of environmental resources, such as green business and sustainability. With the joint ventures 2getthere covers the global demand for driverless vehicles locally.

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2getthere hosts Insights in driverless transit ahead of Podcar conference

Carel van Helsdingen, Chief Executive Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“The lessons learned from the application at business park Rivium are the basis for the Masdar application and the 3rd generation GRT vehicle.”[/quote]

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Morning Program

The development of self driving vehicles is growing tremendously. What is the impact of automated vehicles in public transport? How can we prepare the city for these self driving vehicles and specifically for public transport? What do you need to know to properly advice your customers which laws, standards and regulations to apply?

Preceeding InnoTrans in Berlin and PodcarCity in Antwerp, we would like to invite you to ‘Insights in driverless transit’ on the 19th of September in Capelle aan den IJssel in the Netherlands. The program consists of speakers from MRDH, SMRT, Ricardo Rail and 2getthere.

09:30              Welcome
09:45              Introduction by Dennis Mica, 2getthere

10:00              Presentation by Gert de Visser, MRDH
                         ‘Insights in process of selection and introduction’

10:30              Presentation by Jan Scheepers, Ricardo Rail
                        ‘Insights in safety certification’

11:00              Presentation by Mark Ng, SMRT
                        ‘Insights in operations of last mile solutions’ 

11:30              Presentation by Jean-Luc Valk, 2getthere
                        ‘Insights in the 3rd generation GRT system’                   

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Afternoon Program

In the afternoon a reference visit to the ParkShuttle is organized as part of the Podcar Conference, hosted in the city of Antwerp on September 20 and 21. As an introduction the parties involved in the realization will talk about the experiences from their perspective.

13:00              Presentation by Dick van Sluis, Capelle a/d IJssel
                        ‘Lessons learned by the city’

13:20              Presentation by Peter Krumm, Connexxion
                        ‘Lessons learned by the operator’

13:40              Presentation by Carel van Helsdingen, 2getthere
                        ‘Lessons learned by the supplier’

After conclusion of the last presentation we will spilt up into groups of 20 people for an on-site visit to the Rivium application. It is still the only automated system in the world that operates at grade, without stewards and has crossings with other traffic.

Please feel free to share this invitation with your colleagues or other consultants in your network that like to learn more about automated vehicle systems. The conference on the 19th of September is free of charge.

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SMRT (Singapore) and UTS (United Arab Emirates) take a stake in 2getthere

Asian-and-Middle-East-Joint-VenturesCarel van Helsdingen, Chief Executive Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“These investments support the realization of projects under contract and development and integration of new technologies.”[/quote]

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Investment

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.”

Fit with Vision

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.”

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Roadmap

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 Projects

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.

“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.”

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Advanced Transit Association launches a video on automated vehicles

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[tg_alert_box style=”notice” align=”left”]ATRA website[/tg_alert_box]

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ATRA member

2getthere is a corporate member of ATRA and a founding member of the ATRA Industry Group, serving on the board and actively contributing to the activities. 2getthere believes that the knowledge on Automated Transit Networks, whether PRT or GRT, is still not widespread, requiring a pro-active approach providing information to customers (cities and developers), professionals (consultants and engineers) and the general public.

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Advanced Transit Association

The Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) is a diverse group of people brought together by the realization that the systems of the past can not meet the transit needs of the present. As non-profit corporation, ATRA’s purpose is to encourage the development and deployment of advanced transportation systems that will benefit society. ATRA strives to serve as an objective information resource to help decision makers navigate the often complex issues surrounding transportation.

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2getthere Asia Joint Venture established in Singapore

2getthere-Asia-joint-ventureColin Lim, Managing Director, SMRT Services

[quote]“There is a growing national push to implement future mobility solutions in Singapore.”[/quote]
 
 
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2getthere Asia

SMRT Services Pte. Ltd. (SMRT Services) and 2 Getthere Holding B.V. (2getthere) today announced a Joint Venture (JV) to market, supply and operate 2getthere’s Automated Vehicle systems in the Asia-Pacific region. In anticipation of the growing demand in the Asia-Pacific region for Automated Vehicles, SMRT Services and 2getthere are also working to deepen our strategic relationship with the view to better support the latter’s development and growth.

The agreement was jointly announced by Colin Lim, Managing Director, SMRT Services, and Carel van Helsdingen, Chairman and founder of 2getthere. A replica of the Automated Vehicle was unveiled in the presence of Jacques Werner, Dutch Ambassador to Singapore, and Desmond Kuek, President and Group Chief Executive Officer, SMRT Corporation Ltd.

The new Singapore-based JV, called 2getthere Asia Pte Ltd, will jointly market, install, operate and maintain the Automated Vehicle systems for customers in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific. The JV aims to showcase 2getthere’s 3rd Generation Group Rapid Transit (GRT) vehicle capabilities in Singapore by the end of the year. This showcase will highlight the vehicle’s enhanced and new features.

2getthere’s vehicles are unique in being able to operate autonomously in demanding weather conditions, using artificial landmarks for navigation. The 3rd generation GRT vehicles are able to carry up to 24 passengers each, and can operate as a low-cost automated transit system that can cater for up to 8,000 passengers per hour in any single direction.

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Additionally, 2getthere is also incrementally shifting to mixed-use traffic operations through active participation in several research programmes worldwide. 2getthere Asia will pursue both automated and mixed-use transit projects in Singapore and the region.

Carel van Helsdingen said, “We are delighted to join forces with SMRT Services to further market 2getthere’s proven systems in the Asia-Pacific region, a high-growth sector for innovative transport technologies in the coming years. Building on decades of technological development and experience gathered through projects implemented worldwide, our innovative technology will be able to optimise the efficiency, reliability and safety of transport networks.”

Colin Lim said, “There is a growing national push to implement future mobility solutions that can meet our first and last-mile connectivity needs in Singapore. As part of the JV, SMRT Services will leverage on our experience in installation, operations and maintenance of transit systems to realise these solutions locally. The Automated Vehicles will complement our existing multi-modal transport operations to bring about seamless connectivity for commuters”.

The signing of this agreement establishes 2getthere Asia as a strong regional player in the automated vehicles industry. For SMRT Services, this partnership forms part of its larger strategy to widen its transport capabilities through investments in innovative technologies.

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2getthere joins Dutch trade association Connekt

2getthere-joins-connektSjoerd van der Zwaan, Chief Technology Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“We look forward to contribute to mobility in the Netherlands through and with Connekt”.[/quote]

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2getthere Asia

On the eve of the European environmental and transit summit in Amsterdam, 2getthere has joined Connekt. With Connekt as an independent network uniting nearly 400 Dutch companies involved in mobility and logistics and 2getthere as the leading company in the field of autonomous transit systems, it is a good match.

Sjoerd van der Zwaan, Chief Technology Officer at 2getthere: “We have been realizing sustainable mobility with our personal and group transit solutions for more than 20 years. Connekt is a platform where members pursue ‘Smart, Sustainable and Social Mobility’. As such we share a common goal. The past years we have focused on product development and the projects at hand, realizing the ParkShuttle in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and the PRT system in Masdar City (Abu Dhabi).”

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He continues: “In light of the current developments with regards to Smart Mobility, the driverless car and the leading role of the Netherlands it is important to work together with both companies and governments. Hence we look forward to contribute to these developments and the mobility market in the Netherlands through and with Connekt”.

Connekt organizes the ‘mobility square’ of the Innovation Expo during the European environmental and transit summit. The theme is ‘Sustainable Urban Delta: a green, creative mega-city ahead in the development of innovations such as photonics, autonomous cars en bio based production’. Dutch minister of transport, Schultz van Haegen, will visit the expo, together with approximately 50 EU-ministers and members of the European Commission.

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2getthere presents at Smart City Expo in Taiwan

smart-city-expo-taiwanRobbert Lohmann, Chief Operations Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“There is a keen interest in Taiwan in automated systems.”[/quote]
 
 
 
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At the recent Smart City Expo in Taiwan, 2getthere contributed to a session on Smart Mobility with a presentation entitled ‘Autonomous Vehicles Complementing Existing Transit’. The presentation was very successful, with a lot of interest from the audience and many discussions afterwards. There is a keen interest in Taiwan in automated systems and their introduction.

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In addition 2getthere was prominently displayed at the Holland Pavilion at the expo (with thanks and credit to NTIO).

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UAE partner United Technical Services takes a stake in 2getthere

2getthere-UTSCarel van Helsdingen, Chief Executive Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“We are excited to collaborate with UTS for our installed base and to service new customers.”[/quote]
 
 
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2getthere Middle East

Long time partner United Technical Services (UTS) with Omar Al Askari as CEO, has taken a stake in 2getthere, the leading supplier of innovative automated transit systems (amongst others the Masdar City PRT system) based in the Netherlands. In anticipation of the growing demand for 2getthere’s systems in the Middle East, the investment is used to support the road map development, organizational growth and marketing ambitions.

2getthere and UTS first joint efforts were made in 1996, marketing the innovative passenger transit systems within the United Arab Emirates. Over the years the co-operation has evolved, with the partners pursuing projects in Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in addition to the United Arab Emirates. In 2014 the companies celebrated their co-operation on the eve of the Masdar City PRT system carrying its 1 millionth passenger.

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As a leading supplier the Dutch company 2getthere develops, markets, implements and operates sustainable automated passenger transportation systems, building on 25+ years of technological development and experience gathered through multiple projects worldwide, in various and demanding situations. This is complemented by the local knowledge, expertise and understanding of United Technical Services. UTS is known for their high-performance as an engineering pioneer in the Middle East, ensuring a sound basis for the transit systems realized and to be realized in the future.

CEO of 2getthere Carel van Helsdingen stated: “We are very pleased to form this partnership with UTS. To have a regional industry leader, such as UTS, invest in 2getthere validates the quality of our services and technology. As part of a shared strategy, we believe in the importance of having a strong relation. We are excited to collaborate with UTS for our installed base and to service new customers.”

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2getthere participates in research project with regards to vulnerable road users

2getthere-GRTSjoerd van der Zwaan, Chief Technology Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“This research provides information on the sensing capabilities of next-generation, high-resolution radars.”[/quote]
 
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Vulnerable Road Users

As the leading supplier of automated transit solutions, the Dutch company 2getthere will contribute its’ knowledge, skills and experience to the SafeVRU research program. SafeVRU will develop sensing, intent recognition, and vehicle control strategies for the interaction of automated vehicles with vulnerable road users (VRU) such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Sjoerd van der Zwaan, Chief Technology Officer of 2getthere is proud to be part of the research team and explains that this specific program addresses some important safety issues that arise when shifting towards system deployments under mixed operations with other road users. “The outcome of this research will provide us with information on the sensing capabilities of next-generation, high-resolution radars suitable for vehicle applications. It is also interesting because it will offer us valuable insights in how to fuse radar and vision sensor information for robustly detecting, localizing and tracking pedestrians and cyclists.’

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He continues: ‘Furthermore, the research will enhance our understanding of algorithms to model and recognize vulnerable road user behavior so that the system can anticipate and take intent into account, enabling ways to apply proper control strategies to execute anti-collision behavior as well as behavior to make intent clear to other road users as a form of human machine interface.’

The research program will be led by Prof. Riender Happee of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering of the Delft Technical University in co-operation with the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Other participants include TNO, SWOV, NXP, RDW and the province of Gelderland. The foreseen project period of SafeVRU is 4 years, from 2016 till 2020, and the innovations will enhance road safety and progressively introduce automation.

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Masdar awards 2getthere extension of operations contract for PRT system

Masdar-PRT-maintenanceRobbert Lohmann, Chief Operations Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“We look forward to the continued working relationship with Masdar City for the PRT system.”[/quote]
 
 
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Contract Extension

2getthere has been awarded the extension of the PRT maintenance & operations contract in Masdar City.

Recently the Masdar City PRT system completed its fifth year of operations. After a record month in November (43.763 passengers), the system carried 37.845 passengers even in December. The system availability for this month was again recorded at 99,97%. Currently 2getthere and Masdar City are researching how to accommodate rising passenger numbers while at the same time improving passenger comfort.

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The Masdar PRT operates 18 hours a day, from 06.00hr until midnight, every day. 2getthere provides the operations and maintenance services in co-operation with its partners United Technical Services (UAE) and SMRT (Singapore) .

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Masdar PRT sets record highs for 5th year of operations!

Masdar-PRT-performanceCarel van Helsdingen, Chief Executive Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“Over these 5 years time of operation we are satisfied with the way the system has performed.”[/quote]
 
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Masdar Performance

On November 27th the Masdar City PRT system completed its fifth year of operations, setting all time highs in number of passengers carried per month and per year, passenger growth and system availability. Since the start of operations on 28 November 2010 one can only conclude automated passenger transport is a rock solid, reliable and efficient solution for both passengers as well as stakeholders.

2getthere’s CEO Carel van Helsdingen comments: “Over these 5 years time of operation we are satisfied with the way the system has performed. However, there is always room for improvement and our team is currently working to integrate several features to accommodate a higher capacity while also improving the comfort and ease of travel.”

The system carried one million passengers in 3.5 years of operation. Just 18 months later, the number has increased to 1.575.863 passengers. As such we expect to reach the milestone of 2 million passengers before the end of this year of operations.

The Masdar PRT operates 18 hours a day, from 06.00hr until midnight, every day and is led by 2getthere in co-operation with its UAE partner United Technical Services. The system provides a link between the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST).
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Record Highs:

  • Last month the PRT carried a record number of 43.763 passengers. The previous high for the year was 40.439 passengers per month, with the monthly low of 24.345 coming during the summer time. Compared with an average of approximately 19.500 passengers per month in 2010, the ridership of the system increased substantially.
  • During this anniversary year the system carried 410.410 passengers in total, which is also a record number. Relative to the first year of operations, the annual number of passengers has actually grown by 75% (see attached graph).
  • The system availability in the 5th year of operations averaged 99.9% over the year, with a 100% availability being achieved in two months.
  • As the system is powered by energy generated by the solar panels in Masdar City, it has saved over 100.000 kg of carbon dioxide emissions over the last 5 years in comparison to typical cars in the United Arab Emirates. Apart from this positive environmental effect, there is zero emission of fine dust particles which contributes to an enhanced air quality.
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2getthere participates in i-Cave: integrated Cooperative Automated Vehicles

STW-logoSjoerd van der Zwaan, Chief Technology Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“Our specific interest in platooning is that it will enable us to improve performance and capacity.”[/quote]
 
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i-CAVE

As a leading company in the field of automated transport systems based on self driven vehicles, 2getthere will contribute its’ knowledge, skills and experience to the i-CAVE (integrated Cooperative Automated Vehicles) research program. This program will be led by the Technical University of Eindhoven and is funded through a recently awarded grant of 4 million euros.

Within the ‘cooperative vehicle control’ part of the program, 2getthere will work on the development of ‘platooning’: vehicles driving as a ‘virtual train’ by accelerating and decelerating simultaneously and being able to enter and leave the platoon. Sjoerd van der Zwaan, CTO of 2getthere, is pleased that this is going to be investigated. “Platooning is difficult to develop. It has been subject of research for years, but an affordable and practical solution is not available yet. And that is the aim of our work within this research project.”

Within the i-CAVE program scientists, companies and governments together will develop vehicles that can run both autonomously on dedicated roads or cooperatively on public roads. i-CAVE focuses on all important aspects involved in the development of such dual mode systems.
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Improving Capacity

Van der Zwaan is enthusiastic with the funds awarded: “The outcome of this research will contribute to our own technology roadmap. Our specific interest in platooning is that it will enable us to improve performance and capacity (in terms of maximum number of passengers per hour per direction). The results of this project will give us insight into the control algorithms to achieve secure and robust implementation of platooning, as well as insight into the sensors and technology needed.”

It is expected that autonomous vehicles can offer great benefits in the future, but it will take many years before they will be integrated in normal traffic situations. Various governments are participating in this program believing dual mode systems could be the solution for traffic problems, particularly in urban settings.

The i-CAVE program is led by by Prof. dr. H. Nijmeijer of the Technical University of Eindhoven in collaboration with Delft University of Technology and University of Twente. Participants are, besides 2getthere, companies like DAF, Ford, Segula, TomTom, Mapscape, V-Tron, Technolution, Almende, ANWB, ECT, Grontmij, IBM, iCELL, NXP, SIG, TNO, Witteveen + Bos, AutomotiveNL, the municipalities of Eindhoven and Helmond and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.

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2getthere presents at World ITS Congress Bordeaux

Citymobil2Sjoerd van der Zwaan, Chief Technology Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“2getthere clearly leads in the industry in understanding certification of automated systems.”[/quote]

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World ITS Congress

At the upcoming World ITS Congress in Bordeaux, France (http://itsworldcongress.com/), 2getthere will be contributing to the see PR16 –  Certification of automated road vehicles for urban public transport.

The session is scheduled for Tuesday 6 October, 11:00 – 12:30 (HALL1 EXPO – Theatre 1). View full program here.

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Certification Automated Transit

This session will present views and recommendations for handling certification for automated road transport systems (as opposite to “autonomous car”). It will focus both on operational and infrastructural constraint and requirements. It will also consider system versus device-level testing/certification. Benefit of a global testing framework for vehicle and system suppliers as well as system operators and road/transport/urban authorities will be illustrated. The session will give the opportunity to discuss the question: which standards are needed? The speakers will provide a worldwide overview on the topic referring to specific projects (e.g. CityMobil2 WP26).

 

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2getthere presents at Eco-Mobility Conference, Kaohsiung

Eco-Mobility-ConferenceRobbert Lohmann, Chief Operations Officer, 2getthere

[quote]“Our systems are electrically driven and build to last, improving sustainability and liveability of cities.”[/quote]

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Ecomobility Conference

On September 24 Land Network and 2getthere presented at the 2015 Ecomobility Conference in Kaohsiung (Taiwan) sponsored by the Netherlands Trade and Innovation Office. The session included presentations from Ford, BASF and Blue Solutions (part of the French Bollore Group) and 2getthere. Obviously the local activities of 2getthere in Hsinchu attracted significant attention, resulting in a radio interview with  Taiwan’s only English radio channel ICRT.
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The presentation led to several direct contact with other local governments, which will be followed up by 2getthere’s agent Land Network. In one case the local government will visit with 2getthere in the Netherlands short term.

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Strategic Cooperation Agreement with SLTN extended

Eugene Tuijnman, Chief Executive Officer, SLTN Inter Access

[quote]”Working closely together with 2getthere, we see the growing global demand for this unique solution.”[/quote]

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Strategic Cooperation

Eugene Tuijnman, CEO of SLTN Inter Access and Carel van Helsdingen, CEO of 2getthere, reconfirmed their strategic cooperation agreement 5 years after the initial agreement. The cooperation concerns the realization of 2getthere’s innovative automated people mover systems, with SLTN Inter Access designing and providing the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) network.

The cooperation between SLTN Inter Access and 2getthere dates back to 2008, when the companies originally contracted for the design, realization and support of the ICT system for the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) application at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. 2getthere’s driverless systems are the first automated people movers operating on a flat road bed without any physical guidance (rail). Although they resemble autonomous cars closely, and even share technology, the systems (for now) still operate on a dedicated track to ensure throughput can be maintained. Thus far more than 1.4 million people have been transported using this PRT system.

Eugene Tuijnman: ‘Working closely together with 2getthere, we see the growing global demand for this unique solution. With our expertise in information and communication technology, our knowledge and expertise in supplying state-of-the-art and moreover very secure and reliable ICT systems, we know we make an important contribution to the systems realized by 2getthere.’
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Prospects on the horizon

The PRT system at Masdar achieves an up-time (system availability) of 99.96%,since 2008 up to now, underlining the stability of the system and related ICT infrastructure and design. From the perspective of 2getthere the continued cooperation was a logical step, indicates Carel van Helsdingen: ‘From the state-of-art ICT design and support during realization of the Masdar project to the responsiveness during operations, the cooperation with SLTN has been successful. Both parties speak the same language and know what to expect from each other, allowing us to concentrate on the project realization and getting the job done.’

At the signing of the reconfirmed cooperation, Eugene Tuijnman and Carel van Helsdingen expressed looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship for both companies. ‘There are several exciting global projects on the horizon and we look forward to signing contracts for them short term and delivering this innovative solution.’, indicated Carel van Helsdingen. The new GRT vehicle has been offered for applications in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Reactions from the market with regards to both the design and the capabilities have been very positive.

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Enthusiastic prime minister Modi of India visits Masdar

[one_half]On August 17th India PM (Prime Minister) Modi visited Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, kicking off the visit by riding the PRT system supplied by 2getthere.

For purpose of the visit the service of the PRT system had been reserved exclusively for the large delegation travelling with the Prime Minister. As the Prime Minister left the station, journalists where seen rushing through the station to use one of the other vehicles available at the berths. In their pursuit of not missing a single minute of the visit, the floor of the vehicles was creatively used for additional seats as standing is not possible. With the payload of the vehicles not being exceeded, the control room operators decided to allow the transit to proceed although monitoring the passengers continuously over the CCTV system.
 
 
 
 

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NDTV.com reported that ‘The highlight of the PM’s tour was a demo ride in a self-driving car, part of Masdar city’s Private Rapid Transit or PRT. The car runs on lithium batteries powered by solar energy and uses a virtual software to guide its journey. An enthusiastic crowd of Indians gathered in Masdar to watch the PM’s ride; PM Modi was seen waving at the crowd.’ Link: http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-modi-rides-self-driving-car-in-masdar-worlds-first-zero-carbon-city-1208011.

The Prime Minister himself tweeted on his experience, sharing some photos in the process (https://twitter.com/PMOIndia/status/633138811728478208). The message was retweeted nearly 500 times and favorited over 900 times. At the same time UAE news outlets also reported extensively on the visit: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/modi-in-uae-indian-pm-takes-a-tour-of-masdar-city.

2getthere continuous to be honored by being able to transport the dignitaries visiting Masdar City with our PRT system.

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2getthere partners with Benteler for the engineering of the 3rd generation GRT

[one_half] BENTELER Engineering Services, reliable engineering partner for the complete product life cycle, and 2getthere, developer of innovative transit systems, strengthen their partnership for the development of 2getthere’s automated people mover applications. Over the past few months the companies have already been working together on the engineering of the 3rd generation Group Rapid Transit (GRT) vehicle.

The 3rd generation GRT system will feature all-wheel steering, allowing for even better control of the vehicle and shorter radii in addition to being able to ‘crab’ (drive sideways) at stations. Hence the space required for docking at berths is reduced, with new configuration options becoming feasible. The all wheel steering allows creating a completely bi-directional vehicle. This avoids a turning loop being required in an application with a linear configuration (pinched loop) to reverse direction and optimizes the footprint of the system. With the system being capable of 5,000 passengers per hour per direction, it is an affordable alternative to the heavier Automated People Mover systems. Along with the bi-directional capability of the GRT vehicle, 2getthere introduces doors on both sides of the vehicle and the ability to operate at a higher maximum speed – with the design requirement being at 60km/h or higher. BENTELER Engineering Services will be responsible for the engineering of both the chassis and the body of the GRT vehicle, with the IP of the work being owned by 2getthere.

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BENTELER Engineering Services has already worked with 2getthere for the assembly of the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) vehicles operational at Masdar City. With engineering experience in the automotive industry and its capability to realize small series production of vehicles, BENTELER Engineering Services is complementary to the application-, system- and software expertise gathered in 2getthere. Carel van Helsdingen, CEO of 2getthere: ‘With the market for automated systems seeing a rapid growth in the number of interested projects, we were looking for a partner that brings automotive knowledge, German workmanship and Dutch entrepreneurship to the table. We believe the combination of these qualities is represented in BENTELER Engineering Services.’

The new GRT vehicle has been offered for applications in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, drawing excellent reviews from potential customers both on the design and its capabilities.

For more information on BENTELER Engineering Services, please refer to www.benteler-engineering.de

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All aboard the 3rd generation GRT autonomous vehicle

[one_half]2getthere continues to lead the Automated Transit Networks industry with several major innovations being introduced in the 3rd generation Group Rapid Transit (GRT) system. The changes result directly from the experiences gathered with the existing Rivium system (the Netherlands) and the Personal Rapid Transit application at Masdar City (Abu Dhabi).

The 3rd generation GRT system will feature all-wheel steering, allowing for even better control of the vehicle and shorter radii in addition to being able to ‘crab’ (drive sideways) at stations. Hence the space required for docking at berths is reduced, with new configuration options becoming feasible. 2getthere CEO Carel van Helsdingen: ‘The all-wheel steering configuration is not new to us, but it is new to our people movers. It provides us another degree of freedom when designing the application based on the customer requirements’.

‘In addition the innovation now provides us with the ability to create a completely bi-directional vehicle. This avoids a turning loop being required in an application with a linear configuration (pinched loop) to reverse direction and optimizes the footprint of the system. With the system being capable of 5,000 passengers per hour per direction, it is an affordable alternative to the heavier Automated People Mover systems’. Along with the bi-directional capability of the GRT vehicle, 2getthere introduces doors on both sides of the vehicle and the ability to operate at a higher maximum speed – with the design requirement being at 60km/h or higher.[/one_half]

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The GRT vehicle will also feature a 400V electric system, rather than the 96V electric system featured in the 2nd generation. This is in line with the systems applied in electric cars, allowing to benefit from the components being developed for such. 2getthere is also planning on using the latest battery technology. It has shown a much better efficiency ensuring vehicles remain available without recharging for a prolonged period of time, while also increasing the battery life.‘We really want to raise the bar and continue to lead in the Automated Transit Networks industry. We are convinced that these innovations will position the GRT vehicle as the preferred system of choice for many applications, especially applications requiring up to 2,500pphpd,’ states Van Helsdingen.

The release of the design specifications comes with the development of the third generation Group Rapid Transit system having commenced earlier this year. In January the design of the new vehicle, realized in close cooperation with the renowned Italian automotive design company Zagato Milano, was already released.
The new GRT vehicle has been offered for applications in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, drawing excellent reviews from potential customers both on the design and its capabilities.

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ATRA webinar: where is automated transportation going next (June 17, 2015)

[quote]Please join the webinar organized by the Advanced Transit Association Industry Group (ATRA IG) on June 17 at 1500 GMT (1000a EDT).[/quote]

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The Webinar is entitled ‘Where is autonomous transit going next?’ and will address where advanced transit systems such as personal rapid transit (PRT) and group rapid transit (GRT) are going. It will cover potential transport demand for ATNs as well as expected technology and strategy developments. The featured speakers represent the University of Bologna and LogistikCentrum. [/one_half]

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The webinar will last approximately 40 minutes after which there will be opportunity to ask questions to the speakers and members of the ATRA Industry Group. There is no need to register; you can access the webinar via the link below. As the room accommodates 100 attendees only, please be sure to join on time! You can participate under your name or an alias if you desire to remain anonymous.

https://webmeeting.umd.edu/atraigwebinar/

This webinar is the third in a series of three webinars. The first two webinars can be viewed on http://www.advancedtransit.org/library/videos/

 

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ATRA Webinar: where are automated transit networks now (May 20, 2015)

[one_half] Date: May 20th at 15.00pm UTC/GMT

The webinar will address where advanced transit systems such as personal rapid transit (PRT) and group rapid transit (GRT) are now. Ranging from the proven applications in operation for several years (Rivium, Masdar City and Heathrow) to the test tracks (Modutram) and the planned applications (Hsinchu City) and technology developments. Featured expert speakers represent 2getthere, Modutram and ULTra PRT.
 
 
 
 
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The webinar will last approximately 40 minutes after which there will be opportunity to ask questions to the speakers and members of the ATRA Industry Group. There is no need to register; you can access the webinar via the link below. As the room accommodates 100 attendees only, please be sure to join on time! You can participate under your name or an alias if you desire to remain anonymous.

webmeeting.umd.edu/atraigwebinar

This webinar is the second in a series of three webinars, with the final webinar scheduled for June 17th: “Where is autonomous transit going next?” The first webinar can be viewed on www.advancedtransit.org/library/videos

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Performance continued

[quote] The Masdar PRT system is currently in its 5th year of operations and continues its performance.[/quote]

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Over the last 6 months the system has continously achieved a system availability exceeding 99,9%.

The new high was established last month, April 2015, with a system availability of 99,99% while carrying a little more than 36,000 passengers. Overall the system continous to show an increase in the number of passengers transported, while the number of trips is growing less rapidly. This is possible as a result of a higher average occupancy of the vehicles. [/one_half]

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The pattern in transportation demand is likely to be repeated again, with the demand significantly smaller during the summer months – most likely due to holidays and the fact that there are less classes.

The drops in demand in month 9 and month 21 are the direct result of the system being out of operation for a period of time to allow for constructions works adjacent to the track.

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ATRA Webinar: what to plan for when planning for automated transit networks (April 22, 2015)

[quote]What to plan for when planning for Automated Transit Networks
Date: April 22nd at 15.00pm UTC/GMT [/quote]

[one_half] The webinar is to discuss the key aspects of assessing whether advanced transit systems such as personal rapid transit (PRT) and group rapid transit (GRT) are a fit with the application’s requirements and characteristics. Featured expert speakers represent ARUP, Lea+Elliott and PRT Consulting.

The webinar will last approximately 40 minutes after which there will be opportunity to ask questions to the speakers and members of the ATRA Industry Group.

During the session we will be covering topics such as:

  • Where to start with the assessment? What information is required to start evaluating the potential project?
  • What capacity can ATN realistically provide? Can they handle surge loads?
  • What is required in terms of right-of-way? How can they be integrated into an existing urban environment [/one_half]

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You can register for the webinar via the link below. As the room accommodates 100 attendees only, please be sure to join on time! You can participate under your name or an alias if you desire to remain anonymous.

https://webmeeting.umd.edu/atraigwebinar/

This webinar is the first in a series of three webinars.

The other webinars in this series are:

May 20th: ”Where are Automated Transit Networks now?”
June 17th: “Where is autonomous transit going next?”

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Memorandum of Understanding signed for GRT system in Hsinchu, Taiwan

[one_half]2getthere and Hsin-Chu Seamless Joint Co., Ltd. (Hsin-Jie) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on January 30th in regard to the realization of the Hsinchu GRT connection.

The MOU is a next step towards the realization of the connection between the local rail stations, Tsing Hha University and Hsinchu Science Park.

The system features 11 stations and will be able to handle 4,800 passengers per hour. To ensure the highest service levels to passengers, four different service lines are defined, with frequencies ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 minutes. The main locations within the system are served by an express line ensuring the shortest possible travel time.

HsinchuGRTlayoutHsin-Jie is engaged in managing, financing, realizing and operating of the PRT/GRT Project in Hsinchu, Taiwan. CEO Chia Feng Shih commented: ‘There is a very clear need for a feeder system in this area of Hsinchu. As Hsin-Jie we are eager to realize the system and contribute to the accessibility of the city and the improvement of local mobility. The system will allow passengers to get to their destination efficiently, reducing the congestion on local roads and improving the living environment in the process.’ [/one_half]

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On behalf of 2getthere the MOU was signed by its CEO Carel van Helsdingen. He indicated: ‘The MOU is an important step towards the realization of the system. Our local representative, Land Network, and we have co-operated closely to get to this stage, but by no means can we consider the work complete now. We will continue working together with the local authorities, Hsin-Jie and other contractors towards the final contract, allowing us to start with the actual realization of this service to the local residents, employees and visitors of Hsinchu.’

2getthere will deploy its 3rd generation GRT vehicle for the application. The vehicle features an iconic design, accommodating up to 25 passengers. The vehicles feature air-conditioning and automated doors with a wide opening to accommodate wheelchairs. The GRT will be fully electrical. The vehicles are completely driverless and automatically guided by 2getthere’s proven magnet based navigation system. The maximum speed will be 40 km/hr.

To achieve the required capacity of 4,800 passengers per hour and the realization of the system and the service level to passengers, a fleet size of 55 GRT vehicles is required.

HsinchuConference

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding preceded a symposium with various presentations from contributors to the Hsinchu GRT connection. Carel van Helsdingen presented on behalf of 2getthere.

Also see the report on the site of Hsinchu County Government.

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Design of 3rd generation Group Rapid Transit system revealed

Carel van Helsdingen, Chief Executive Officer 2getthere
[quote]”When starting out the design process we set out to create an iconic look for the GRT vehicle.”[/quote]
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Sneak peek automotive

As a preview to 2getthere’s 3rd generation Group Rapid Transit vehicle, the updated design for the vehicle is released today. The design of the 3rd generation is realized in close cooperation with Zagato Milano, the renowned Italian automotive design company. This is a logical extension to the cooperation for the design of the Personal Rapid Transit vehicle operational at Masdar City (Abu Dhabi).

2getthere CEO Carel van Helsdingen: ‘When starting out the design process we set out to create an iconic look for the GRT vehicle – much like we did when designing the PRT vehicle. We wanted to break away from the appearance of a mini-bus and at the same time create that ‘family-sense’ with the PRT design.’ The latter is also considered important for those applications where both vehicle types would operate alongside each other.

public transportation

The new design satisfies the design requirements for public transportation and the request for the design to be appreciated by the public without being anonymous. It should not only look modern but also be lasting without requiring a face lift to remain contemporary. The design statement should transmit a positive and futuristic vision.

Based on this Zagato, the Italian Automotive and Design company, opted for a minimalistic design approach with simple but distinctive DLO (day light opening) for both interior and exterior.
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It provides a feeling of lower center of gravity to the vehicle and creates a dynamic balance in the proportion between cabin area and bumper/fender area. All the glass (polycarbonate), with exception of the doors, has three-dimensional curvature giving it an unique elegance and extremely modern image. Interior is very luminous and airy thanks for this big DLO.

The height of the vehicle allows for the air-conditioning to be integrated into the roof, while leaving ample room to accommodate standing passengers comfortably. The interior configuration is flexible, featuring either 8 or 12 seats while allowing up to 8 to 12 standees. As such the capacity per vehicle is increased to 24 passengers, a number achieved regularly during peak hours at the Rivium application. Automated doors featuring a wide opening to accommodate wheelchairs can be integrated at both sides of the vehicle.

The GRT will be fully electrical, typically equipped with a LiFePO4 battery. The vehicles are completely driverless and automatically guided by 2getthere’s proven magnet based navigation system. The vehicles are capable of achieving 40 km/hr. Key safety feature is the obstacle detection system, which uses the latest technologies to ensure the safety of the passengers, vehicle and its surroundings.

Zagato

Zagato COO Ing. Giorgio Gamberini commented: ‘Zagato brings a long tradition of innovative design not only for top range sports cars but also for urban mobility. In 2008 we successfully worked on automated public transportation with 2getthere for the design of the iconic PRT vehicle for Masdar City. This collaboration has now evolved to a bigger size vehicle: the GRT. At the same we believe that the Zagato attitude towards innovations that dates 95 years (1919 – 2015) will surely continue its association with 2getthere in the future with new urban mobility solutions.’

The new GRT vehicle has been offered for applications in the Far East, Middle East and Europe, drawing excellent reviews from potential customers.

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Masdar City operations head into year 5

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As of November 28, 2014 the operations of the PRT at Masdar City heads into its 5th year. The system continues to proof itself, achieving the highest system availability to date over the past 3 months of operation. At 99.96%, 99.97% and 99.97% the system has been unavailable to passengers approximately 9 minutes out of 559 hours of operation. It should be noted that the availability is achieved without grace period; any system disturbance is immediately taken into account.[/one_half]

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The PRT system is still greatly appreciated by its passengers – including the VIPs visiting Masdar City, such as the members of the Global Green Growth Institute and Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who called out Masdar PRT as example of the future of mobility: http://tinyurl.com/kuz37ox

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SMRT and 2getthere enter into a partnership for Singapore

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At the start of the World Eco City Summit, leading transit operator SMRT Ltd’s subsidiary, SMRT International Pte Ltd and technology provider 2getthere signed an exclusive cooperation agreement for the introduction of 2getthere’s innovative driverless transit systems to Singapore.

The agreement was signed by Goh Eng Kiat, Managing Director, SMRT International, and Carel van Helsdingen, Chief Executive Officer, 2getthere, on 2 June 2014. The signing was witnessed by Desmond Kuek, President and Chief Executive Officer, SMRT Corporation; Jacques Werner, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; and Ahmed Aboutaleb, the Mayor of the City of Rotterdam. The agreement includes a preferred partnership with SMRT for operations with any 2getthere application in Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

SMRT and 2getthere have been working together since 2010, with SMRT partnering 2getthere for the operation of the Masdar City Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system. The system recently carried its one millionth passenger. With a featured system availability of 99.4%, it is widely regarded as a huge success.

Mr. Desmond Kuek said: “This is a significant milestone in the relationship between SMRT and 2getthere as we mark the signing of the Exclusive Distributorship for 2getthere transit systems in Singapore, and Preferred Operator status for the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. SMRT is a leading multi-modal transport operator in Singapore and 2getthere, a global driverless transit system leader. Both our companies are now aligned even closer in our drive towards leveraging technology to redefine the standard of world class transport services.”[/one_half]

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Mr. Carel van Helsdingen added: “SMRT has demonstrated that it is a very reliable partner with extensive operational experience. Our success in previous collaborations has been a major contributing factor to sealing this new exclusive agreement. We look forward to tapping on SMRT’s expertise and understanding of the transit landscape, to tailor solutions that address the global demand for more efficient modes of transportation.”

The signing of the agreement adds another strong local presence for 2getthere. In addition to the partnership with SMRT in Singapore, it is also collaborating with United Technical Services for the Gulf Coast Countries, and the Land Network for Taiwan.

For SMRT, this agreement is part of its larger strategy to widen its reach into international markets through the provision of consultancy, operational expertise and services.

 

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Masdar PRT system eclipses 1 million passenger-mark

[quote]On May 22nd at 13.55 hours, the PRT system at Masdar welcomed its 1 millionth passenger.[/quote]

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‘This milestone demonstrates the popularity of the technology being showcased at Masdar City,’ said Anthony Mallows, Director of Masdar City. ‘The PRT system has made a significant contribution to the city’s development thus far, and will continue to feature as an important function of the city’s transportation system.’

The PRT system at Masdar City was the first PRT system to open to the general public on November 28, 2010. From the very first moment the system has been a success, attracting local visitors to the retail at Masdar and featuring prominently as part of the Abu Dhabi Big Bus tour. International dignitaries, ranging from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to secretary-general Ban Ki Moon and leaders of many nations around the globe, have also been introduced to 2getthere’s innovative transit system during their visit to Masdar.

The patronage of the system is actually four times higher than originally anticipated. The higher ridership is possible as the degree to which people share vehicles is also double what was expected. Where the average occupancy of a normal car ranges from 1.1 to 1.3 people, the average occupancy of the pods ranges between 2 and 2.4, with the higher values being achieved on the weekends.[/one_half]

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2getthere CEO Carel van Helsdingen comments: ‘We are very proud to have reached the 1 million passengers milestone. It confirms the success of the application and the attraction of Masdar to people. We are confident this will help convince other developers to consider these type of feeder systems to improve their accessibility as well.’

The PRT system has achieved a 99.4% system availability since the opening. ‘Establishing a mark like that in a difficult climate can be attributed to sound engineering. It is good to see we didn’t get it wrong. At the same time we are continuously taking in the learnings from the application to ensure that we can apply these for next systems’ adds Van Helsdingen.

The system at Masdar was realized in close cooperation with UAE based United Technical Services. UTS and 2getthere actually celebrated 15 years of cooperation for the Gulf Coast Countries just the night before. UTS COO Ziad al Askari: ‘The success of the cooperation didn’t come overnight. We have both invested significant time and effort in building the relationship and the business. Systems like these aren’t like toasters: there are so many variables that can be influenced to generate the right passenger experience that projects typically have a considerable lead time.’

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UTS and 2getthere celebrate 15 years co-operation

[one_half] On May 20th United Technical Services (UTS) and 2getthere celebrated 15 years of co-operation. In May 1999 the first joint efforts between United Technical Services and 2getthere were made, marketing the innovative transit systems within the United Arab Emirates. With the UAE undergoing rapid development, the driverless systems appeared to be a good fit with the urban environment rapidly changing.

15 years later the companies are able to celebrate the co-operation on the eve of the first system realized and operated in close cooperation establishing a landmark passenger number. The cooperation has been so good that the cooperation by now services the Gulf Coast Countries and has led to a Joint Venture being established.

Ziad Al Askari, COO United Technical Services, states: ‘Over the years the companies have created a very strong relationship. The transit systems require intensive contact between the companies and with the potential customers, to ensure the application meets their requirements and is fit for purpose. UTS, as an engineering pioneer in the Middle East, contributes the local knowledge, expertise and understanding, ensuring a sound basis for the systems realized.’[/one_half]

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Over the years the cooperation has evolved, with the partners pursuing projects in Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in addition to the United Arab Emirates. ‘Through our network in the region other opportunities are presented to us. We are currently following up on multiple opportunities. The realization of the system at Masdar has really increased the interest in these type of systems’ adds Al Askari.

2getthere CEO, Carel van Helsdingen, believe the cooperation will only become stronger over the next years due to the increased interest. ‘There are so many developments ongoing, that we currently have the work cut out for the Joint Venture. We do expect that all the hard work put forward is going to result in at least one other project in the near term.’

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ATRA webinar: Public Transport Comple(men)ted (May 29, 2014)

[one_half] As founding member 2getthere would like to invite you to join the webinar organized by the Advanced Transit Association Industry Group (ATRA IG) on May 29th at 15.00hr (UK time).

The webinar is entitled ‘Public Transport Complemented’ and will feature speakers from some of our members including PRT Consulting, ULTra Global PRT and 2getthere providing an introduction to Automated Transit Networks. It will last approximately 40 minutes after which there will be opportunity to ask questions to the speakers and members of the ATRA Industry Group.

During the session we will be covering topics such as:
• What are Automated Transit Networks (ATN)?
• How can it best be used to enhance existing public transportation?
• How current operational systems are performing.

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Please note that there is no requirement to register for the webinar: by simply using the URL below you can request access to the meeting room at the start of the webinar. All you have to do is enter your name, or an alias if you desire to remain anonymous. As the room accommodates 100 attendees only, please be sure to join on time!

URL: https://webmeeting.umd.edu/igatra/

The ATRA Industry Group consists of: 2getthere, Arup, Berger/ABAM, Lea+Elliott, LogistikCentrum, Podaris, PRT Consulting, ULTra Global PRT, University of Bologna

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Masdar PRT system 3 year anniversary

[one_half] On November 28th 2010 the Masdar City PRT application was the world’s first podcar system to open to the general public. Last week the system celebrated the completion of its third year of operation, having transported over 819,000 passengers during that time. The operations of the system were temporarily seized during that time to allow for various work on phase 1B of Masdar City.
The pattern clearly shows the summer months having much reduced passengers numbers, reflecting the hot climate and students leaving for summer break. The last month of the 3 years also featured the highest passenger numbers to date. The system carried nearly 36,000 passengers in November 2013, with the peak day coming in at 1,736 people.

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The passengers numbers have been increasing recently, which could also be contributed to the fact that Masdar City is now featured on the Big Bus Tour Abu Dhabi. The site is promoted as featuring one of the lowest environmental footprints in the world and state of the art technology: solar power and driverless cars.

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2getthere participating in the iMobility Challenge

[one_half]On September 11th 2getthere participated in the iMobility Challenge at the Valkenburg airstrip in the Netherlands. With the motto “intelligent mobility for Smart Cities” and the vision to demonstrate how European cities can be provided with smart, energy-efficient, low-pollution and safe transport systems, this event was a high-level technology demonstration day.

2getthere CEO Carel van Helsdingen showed FIA President Jean Todt the future of mobility: Personal Rapid Transit. The mock-up model of the Masdar Podcar was on display to visitors, allowing them to experience how spacious the vehicle is. [/one_half]

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Organised with the assistance of the Royal Dutch Touring Club (ANWB), attendees included the world’s leading motoring organisations, leading mobility experts, universities, industry CEOs and international and national policy makers as well as other dignitaries, and the Media. Formula one star Nico Rosberg with Dutch racing drivers Giedo van der Garde, Robin Frijns and Kevin Abbring were also present to endorse intelligent mobility and demonstrate the high performance capabilities of electric vehicles.

Participants had a chance to take the driver’s seat and experience a diverse variety of technologies, systems, services & actual deployment examples in the field of intelligent mobility.

In particular the event was divived into four areas: efficient, cooperative, smart and safe mobility.

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Brink TV channel reports on the Masdar City PRT system

[one_half] Bloomberg Brink is a new original series exploring the revolutionaries, dreamers and disrupters reshaping the future of entire industries. As part of their series Bloomberg Brink also reports on Masdar and the PRT (starting 14 minutes into the report).

From Bloomberg:
May 13 (Bloomberg) — The United Arab Emirates – a country enriched by its massive oil reserves is looking to position itself as a leader in a post-petroleum world. So they’ve built Masdar City, a low-carbon, zero-waste urban center that could sustain a 40,000 person population, 1,500 clean tech businesses, and 50,000 commuters while using 20% of the power of a conventional city of a smaller size.

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[one_half] The centerpiece of the project is the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a post-graduate university established in partnership with MIT that aims to be a hotbed for future innovation.

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Land Network and 2getthere host Podcar Forum Taiwan

[one_half]On Friday March 8th 2getthere’s Taiwan based agent Land Network organized a highly successful mini-conference entitled Podcar Rapid Transit Forum. The forum was visited by over 100 professionals, representing counties, communities, ministries as well as investors, universities and media.[/one_half] [one_half]The program featured several key-note speakers, who shared the latest research and conclusions on alternative transportation for the Taiwanese market. Land Network obtained several enquiries as a result of the conference for potential projects to be considered.

 

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Masdar Pods are included in Wild Arabia broadcast

[quote]’Wild Arabia explores the amazing contrasts and remarkable people that make Arabia so intoxicating.'[/quote]

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The BBC show Wild Arabia also includes a report on the Masdar development – and the automated PRT system part of it. In episode 3, Shifting Sands, the development and the system are shown, 43 and 45 minutes in respectively.

Series producer Dan Reese on his blog: ‘Wild Arabia was always envisaged as being about more than just the animals.

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[one_half] From the outset the production team was on the look-out for stories that would illustrate the ways in which people have adapted over the years to life in the extreme landscapes of this huge sub-continent. It’s a kind of ‘natural history in the broadest sense of the word’ – one that doesn’t try to pretend that humans aren’t a part of the ecosystem but at the same time, films those humans with the same kind of visually stunning photographic techniques we use for the wildlife.’

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2getthere’s PRT system at Masdar City awarded prestigious Sustainability award

[one_half]Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, awarded Masdar first prize in the category of Mobility Management of the Dubai Award for Sustainable Transportation. Yousef Baselaib, Director of Business Support, and Zuha Moussa, Head of Contracts and Procurement at Masdar received the award.

Masdar City features the world first PRT system, opening for service to the public November 28 2010. Since that time the system has carried over 600,000 passengers while featuring a system availability continuously above 99,4%.[/one_half]

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2getthere CEO Carel van Helsdingen: ‘We are proud that Masdar has been able to obtain the award and our PRT system having significantly contributed to it. Where 2getthere received recognition completing the challenging project from design to operation in less than 24 months, this award signals another aspect that 2getthere ‘got right’. We take great pride in our focus on the characteristics of the application and designing the system to the requirements of the passengers and the customer. This award emphasises the contribution automated PRT and GRT systems have on sustainability, even for the ultimate sustainable development Masdar City.’

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500.000 passenger mark at Masdar City reached

[one_half]On November 20th 2012, just two years after the official opening of the PRT system at Masdar City, the system welcomed its 500.000 passenger. An important milestone for Masdar and the PRT system, showing the great appeal of the development and the transit system as an integral part of it.

The milestone passenger was visiting Masdar as part of a group of students being introduced to Masdar and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

milestone_1

[/one_half]2getthere is content and very proud of the achievement, as it confirms the passenger load handles is approximately three times higher than originally expected. The system continous to operate well, achieving a system availability consistently above 99%.

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Popular series ‘Fully Charged’ visits Masdar and rides PRT system

[one_half] Fully Charged is a weekly video podcast from the creator of ‘Carpool,’ Robert Llewellyn. The show takes a look at the realities of using electric vehicles, looking behind the myths, seeking the truth about electric cars. Llewellyn launched his original Fully Charged pilot in June 2010 with the aim of creating an internet TV series about cars that “don’t go vroom or drift sideways on airfields”.
In this series he also visits Masdar City and the PRT system, dedicating two episodes of his show to the sustainable city.

Part 1: Masdar’s solar power generation

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Part 2: Masdar’s wind tower and 2getthere’s PRT system

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Popular Mechanics refers to Masdar PRT as ‘Total Recall’s Robotaxi’

[one_half] Popular Mechanics features 8 Sci-Fi gadgets from movies that are becoming reality, with 2getthere’s podcars at Masdar being compared to the robotaxi from Total Recall. According to Popular Mechanics ‘many of the fantastic creations from the most famous summer movie franchises turn into real gadgets and tech’. [/one_half]

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The full article, including 7 other developments, are available at: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/digital/fact-vs-fiction/how-8-sci-fi-gadgets-are-becoming-reality?click=pp#slide-1

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Steady growth of Passengers for Masdar City PRT system

[one_half] The application at Masdar has been operational for over 15 months now, with the passenger number still increasing. February 2012 marked the most passengers using the system to date, even though no special events were organized at Masdar during this period.

 
 
 

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The trend-line shows a good growth over the past period and with the significant increase in passengers in February, which is continuing in the first week of March, it is expected that the passenger number will continue to rise. Especially also in light of the fact that the next phase of Masdar will open later this year.

Actually the only ‘dip’ in the passenger number occured during the hot summer months in 2011, which coincided with the Ramadan period. The opportunity was taken to cease the operations of the system in favor of construction works ongoing for MIST phase 1B.

The system availability over the months of operations remain stable, at >99%.

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During the 40 year celebration of the UAE dancers come together to show Masdar Pods

[one_half] On December 2nd the 40th UAE National Day was celebrated. The celebration reflected on ‘the spirit that ties us together, the Spirit of the Union that enables millions of people to coexist and build lives together. The Spirit of the Union is derived from the vision and leadership of the Late Sheikh Zayed, and now lives on through His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and his fellow leaders of the nation’s Emirates who are shaping the UAE’s future.’

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Part of the celebrations was the Official Ceremony at Zayed Sports Stadium, which was filled to capacity. The Spirit of the Union came to life as young and old, men and women, Emirati and expats alike were patriotically dressed in the nation’s colours creating a sea of red, white, black and green across the stadium.

In the celebration Masdar City was also highlighted – with the PRT vehicles also taking to the stage. Dancers carrying parts of the vehicle came together to form the vehicle shape.

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Dutch Royals travel in style in the Masdar PRT system

On Monday January 9th Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, along with Crown Prince Willem Alexander and Prinses Maxima, attended a round-table conference at Masdar City. The visit started with a trip with the 2getthere supplied PRT system towards the Masdar Institute. Coverage by Dutch Television is available.

Other Dutch notables travelling with the PRT system in the company of the Queen  included minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen and CEO’s, including Bernard Wientjes (President VNO-NCW),Malcolm Brinded (Royal Dutch Shell), Pieter van Oord (Van Oord N.V.), Nico de Vries (Royal BAM Group), Gerben Edelijn (ThalesGroup), Roel Overakker (NACO), Loek De Vries (Royal Ten Cate), Erik Oostwegel (Royal Haskoning) and Michiel Peters (VanderLande Industries).

On behalf of the UAE the round table meeting was attended amongst others by Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi (Director General ADNOC), Sultan al Jaber (CEO Masdar), Fatima al Jaber Al Marri (COO Al Jaber Group), Mohamed Thani Al Romaithi (Chairman ADCCI), Khalifa Mohamed Al Mazrouei (Chairman AD Airports Company) and Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak (CEO Mubadala).

 

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Masdar PRT System Year 1 Review

[one_half] On November 27th the first year of Operations and Maintenance of the PRT system at Masdar City was concluded. Over the year the system carried over 230.000 passengers, including VIPs such as His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi), Mr. Ban Ki Moon (Secretary-General United Nations), Queen Noor (Jordan), Prince Albert (Monaco) and Prinses Victoria (Sweden).

[/one_half] The system operated to satisfaction, showing in increase in the system performance through the year. 2getthere was especially pleased with the results over the hot, humid summer months. Starting November 28th the on site team has been reduced to 8 people; the system remains available 18 hours per day.

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[one_half] On the early morning (7:38hr) of October 20th the Masdar PRT application carried its 200.000th passsenger since the opening on November 28th, 2010.

Nearly His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, in the company of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser and Vice Chairman of the Executive Council, would have been the 200.000th passenger. Their visit to Masdar was only a day earlier. [/one_half]

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On a typical day the Masdar PRT system will carry between 700 and 900 passengers. The peak was achieved during the first Market@Masdar event, when the system carried 3,600 passengers, while during that month over 27,000 passengers were transported. The system availability has been very constant at 99+%.

 

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[one_half] His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces visited Masdar on October 19th. Accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser and Vice Chairman of the Executive Council, he emphasized the importance of Masdar’s function, through both its international and local projects, as a national long term, strategic initiative aiming at developing and implimenting renewable energy solutions to answer to growing energy demands. He commended Masdar for achieving great successes in a short period of time stressing this as proof that the company is on the right track and achieving steady progress.

 
 
 
 
 
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At the onset of the tour, His Highness the Crown Prince, accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Hazaa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, boarded the Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) System, a zero emission, driverless transportation vehicle that can move at 40KM/hr, to the Masdar Institute, where he enjoyed an explanation of Masdar at a glimpse through the multimedia wall located at the PRT station. His Highness then proceeded to the semiconductor laboratory and the Masdar Institute Clean Room, the Earth Observation and Environmental Remote Sensing lab as well as the Interactive Artificial Intelligence lab.

VIPs previously travelling on the Masdar PRT system include Secratary General Ban Ki Moon of the United Nations, Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Prinses Victoria of Sweden.

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[one_half] Masdar City announced ‘The Market@Masdar City’, a family-focused street fair and organic market, will be organized again on October 28th. The market offers Abu Dhabi residents a glimpse at life in one of the world’s must sustainable, urban developments.
 
 
 
 
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The event is free to the public. The Market@Masdar City will feature recreational activities for the entire family, including entertainment and games for children. In addition, visitors will have an opportunity to ride Masdar City’s electric driverless Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) pod cars, which will whisk guests to and from the MI campus. During the last market the PRT was one of the most popular aspects of the event.

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[one_half]The Wall Street Journal of Monday September 12th featured 2getthere’s PRT system (with picture) as part of the broader article ‘How to Build a Greener City’. The interesting article details options ranging from garbage collection, small wind turbines to transportation (walking, biking and Personal Rapid Transit).
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Please find the link here: http://tinyurl.com/6jk5l4w.

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[one_half] The 5th Podcar City Conference (PCCC5) will be held on September 6-8, 2011 at Stockholm Waterfront Conference Center. Conference Presenters are the Institute for Sustainable Transportation (IST), Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) and Kompass, a network for local authorities interested in Podcars (PRT). 2getthere will be attending, contributing to sessions on current installations and a session explaining aspects of PRT systems from design to realization and operations (working together with other vendors). [/one_half]

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Should you still want to register, please visit the website of the conference and register as a Friend of ATRA: http://podcarcity.org/stockholm/register/

 

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[one_half] As a result of the publicity for the system and the operations at Masdar City and Rivium, more and more people world wide are getting interested in the concept of Personal Rapid Transit. The mode is seen as a way to increase the catchment area’s of stations and function as a feeder system. PRT can also accomodate moderate up to medium passenger flows as a local circulator system at airports, universities and company estates.

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Land Network from Taiwan recognized the possibilities of PRT and has the desire to introduce the concept in Taiwan. After careful research and a visit to the Masdar application, Land Network decided on moving forward with 2getthere. As of June 1st 2011 Land Network is the authorized agent for 2getthere for Taiwan.

In addition to the PRT system, Land Network will also be marketing 2getthere’s GRT system in Taiwan.

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[one_half] The International Council on Innovation in Higher Education (ICIE) visited  Abu Dhabi and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in June 2010, with professor Maureen Sheehan Paparella (Director of Information Technology) making a follow up visit in March 2011.

A report on the trip available on line states that ‘Paparella believes that one of the most enticing reasons to want to live in a place like Masdar City is the PRT or personal rapid transit system…’. The PRT system has generated considerably enthusiasm with many passengers, especially kids.[/one_half]

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The report continues to state that ‘Paparella recognized this as a sustainable mode of transportation that is “economical, aesthetically and environmentally attractive, and delightfully comfortable; the experience of riding in the personal rapid transit car was right out of the Jetsons’.

The full report can be downloaded from this link.

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[one_half] The first edition of the Market@Masdar on April 29th was a marketable success. During the day it is estimated that between 6,000 and 8,000 residents of Abu Dhabi visited the sustainable development. The PRT system carried nearly 3,600 passengers that day, greatly exceeding the envisioned capacity it was designed for.

The reactions of the public to the PRT was nothing but enthusiastic. During a period of 10 hours the demand for transportation (in each direction) exceeded the design capacity. The result was that waiting lines formed; although people were advised they could use the shuttle bus as an alternative, many elected to wait and use the podcars. Especially children seemed to greatly  enjoy ‘driving’ the vehicle. [/one_half]

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For 2getthere there were many positive experiences, ranging from the willingness to share a vehicle to carrying multiple strollers on a single trip. The system operated at a 99,4% system availability over the day, proving itself capable.

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[one_half] Stazione Futuro is the exhibition that tells of the Italy of the years to come. A hypertechnological future full of surprises, yet very close to us and already largely ready to be told. This is because, shut away in important university research centres and company laboratories, but also in lots of homes and small private studios, there are already people who are working on innovative and revolutionary projects, capable of radically changing a significant part of our lives and habits. In the years to come, the widespread dissemination of broadband (ultra-broadband in cities) will increase the potential of the Internet, encouraging the ultra-fast transmission of an infinitely vast amount of information and knowledge, offering new communication and job opportunities. Home automation and the use of new materials will transform our homes into “intelligent homes”, capable of independently managing functions and duties that we are currently responsible for. [/one_half]

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2getthere’s PRT 1:1 scale model, as previously shown at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, will be shown at Stazione Futuro from June through August.

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[one_half] The construction works of the new P+R facility at metro Station Kralingse Zoom, also the starting point of the ParkShuttle service towards business park Rivium, are entering the next phase. As a result of the works using the track of the system, the system will temporarily not be available starting April 18th. It is expected that the operations will be resumed early July.

To ensure the accesbility of the Rotterdam region, the traffic in the centre is to be reduced. To ensure public transit is an attractive alternative for people, P+R facilities are being created at the periphery of the city. These are located at the major intersections, where high quality and high service public transit and car accesibility are both present. P+T Kralingse Zoom is one of the most important P+R locations and is currently being upgraded: the capacity is being increased through the construction of a new parking garage (from 730 parking spaces to 1.525). [/one_half]

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The following movie (in Dutch) also highlights the works: wegwerken

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[one_half] Masdar City today announced the launch of ‘The Market@Masdar City,’ a family-focused street fair and organic market that will offer Abu Dhabi residents a glimpse at life in one of the world’s must sustainable, urban developments. The event will be held from 10.00am-5.00pm on Friday, 29 April at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MI) campus. The event is free to the public. The Market@Masdar City will feature recreational activities for the entire family, including entertainment and games for children. In addition, visitors will have an opportunity to ride Masdar City’s electric driverless Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) pod cars, which will whisk guests to and from the MI campus.

The Market@Masdar City will run as a monthly event, except in the hot season from May to September, and will offer retail exhibitors an opportunity to display a wide range of organic food from Abu Dhabi local farms, organic beauty & spa products, as well as recycled stationary, arts and crafts including jewellery. A children’s entertainment section, henna designs, face painting will be part of the local fair.

Alan Frost, Director of Masdar City, said, “Masdar City is open to the public and is a living example of what Abu Dhabi can achieve and its commitment to sustainable living. We encourage people to begin sharing the Masdar experience and to be part of the historic development in creating one of the world’s most sustainable cities. [/one_half]

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“The principles of sustainable living are truly evident at the Masdar Institute campus, where nearly 180 students from around the world have come to live and study,” added Mr. Frost. “The ‘Market @ Masdar City’ is a good recreational and educational opportunity for visitors to see how sustainability can be brought to life – not only at Masdar City, but to the entire Abu Dhabi community.”

The campus at Masdar employs a blend of contemporary and traditional Arabian architecture. Innovations in passive design and green building materials, including the recycled aluminum façades, are part of a sophisticated design that offers a naturally cooler environment with shaded walkways. Visitors will also be able to see and learn about the ‘green’ landmarks on the campus, such as the Wind Tower and the Knowledge Centre.

Located 17km from downtown Abu Dhabi, Masdar City is a high-density, pedestrian-friendly development, where current and future renewable energy and clean technologies are showcased, marketed, researched, developed, tested and implemented.

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[one_half] The business park Rivium operations are currently facing an increased number of passengers daily as a result of building works adjacent to the track. Due the construction of a new parking facility, the bike path and walkway adjacent to the track have had to be closed down, with the people being carried by the ParkShuttle system.

As the construction also diminishes the number of parking spots available, a temporary parking has been created on the other side of the A16. Passengers that used to get directly on the metro, now first use the ParkShuttle to get to the metro.[/one_half]

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As a result the capacity of the ParkShuttle system is not sufficient any longer to deal with the demand on the system. For this purpose operating company ConneXXion has added two manually driven mini-busses to the operations. One mini-bus serves the passengers with bikes, while the other serves as a short connection between the temporary parking at the metro station.

The video provides an impression of a typical morning rush hour with the arrival of metro. The images are taken from a CCTV camera part of the system and accelerated – the real time interval is approximately 20 minutes.

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[one_half] The Masdar PRT system was taken into operation on Sunday November 28th. The system is operational 18 hours a day (between 06.00hr and 00.00hr). The system operates on demand, with a minimum of 7 vehicles operational during all peak hours.

The number of passengers is gradually increasing, most notably during the weekends. [/one_half]

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TotalDecemberJanuaryFebruary
Number of passengers10,10916,32918,520
Number of trips (with passengers)5,5488,3448,974
Average vehicle occupancy1.72.02.1
Peak-day number of passengers5891,006850
Total kilometers driven5,38610,16410,784
Vehicle availability99.8%99.7%99.8%
System availability98.6%99.2%99.2%
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[one_half] The 13th International Conference on Automated People Movers and Transit Systems will be held in Paris, Palais des Congrès, from May 22 to 26, 2011.

This conference APM-ATS 2011 is the appointment of worldwide professionals who want to share their experiences and innovations regarding fully automated transit systems. It gathers every two years, hundreds of specialists: engineers, researchers, manufacturers, consultants, operators, urban planners and project developers. [/one_half]

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The Conference  will also give a large part to the “Personal Rapid Transit” (PRT) systems as Heathrow Airport in London and Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. It will include discussion of the exciting possibilities of PRT, the progress of PRT suppliers’ development, and the planning of PRT networks

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[one_half]In the most recent edition of Spectrum, 2getthere’s Chief Service Engineer, is featured in the Dream Job’s section:

As the project’s chief service engineer, Duiser troubleshoots the cars’ electrical, mechanical, air-conditioning, and wireless networking systems. With mere weeks left before he must hand over control of the transit system to its operators, he takes a break only when the local authorities want to show it off to visiting sheikhs or delegations from China and Europe.

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read the full article:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/profiles/dream-job-jaap-duiser

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[one_half]Passenger Terminal EXPO provides the most significant opportunity for airport and airline industries to debate issues and form business relationships on a global scale. 2011 will be the 17th international conference and exhibition for terminal design, management, security and technology.

PRT systems are widely regarded as an effective solution to airport-related transport problems, both landside and airside, as well as a feasible alternative to mass-transportation in urban environments. Today’s presenters will give an insight into the current PRT state of play around the world.

One of the most high-profile airport PRT projects is under way at Heathrow, and David Holdcroft will update delegates on progress to date, focusing on passenger testing, commissioning and airport integration. Many other airports are also investigating the possibilities of PRT. John Mok of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport will explain what he has learned about the adaptive programming of facilities for future needs with PRT, and Austin Smith of Arup will outline the studies taking place to integrate San Jose Airport with other local major activity centres. [/one_half]

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Several speakers will also discuss progress to date on urban PRT systems. Tom Voge of Transport & Mobility Leuven will give delegates an overview of the state of the art of PRT applications in urban areas, while Robbert Lohmann of 2getthere will use Masdar City an example of how an urban experience of PRT can be translated to airport applications.

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[one_half] This international seminar aims to raise awareness of innovative public transport, specifically Personal and Group Rapid Transit. It will disseminate the results of Daventry’s involvement in the NICHES+ (EC) project and promote the position of Daventry as the site for a pilot implementation in the UK.
 
 
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Hosted by Daventry District Council in its designation as a NICHES+ ‘Champion City’, this one-day seminar will feature leading professionals in UK and European Transport Policy as well as Personal Rapid Transit and Group Rapid Transit.

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The world’s first Personal Rapid Transit system: Masdar City


Masdar City PRT

Masdar City PRT
Operational since November 2010


Masdar City PRT

Masdar City is a carbon neutral, car-free city, featuring Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) to accommodate mobility. Phase 1A of the Masdar PRT system is approximately 1.4 kilometers long and features 2 stations: the North Car Park and the Masdar Institute for Science and Technology. The system opened to the general public on November 28, 2010, while the system availability and vehicle reliability consistently exceed 99.6% and 99.9% respectively. The PRT system is operational 18 hours a day, from 06.00hr until midnight, every day.

Passenger demand

The 10 vehicles operate on-demand, featuring angled berth stations allowing for independent entry and exit of vehicles. The system is carrying 5 times the anticipated amount of passengers, averaging >85% average occupancy during the weekends. On May 22nd, 2014 the system carried its 1 millionth passenger, with the 2 millionth passenger expected in November 2016. The vehicles are entirely powered by Lithium-Phosphate batteries, allowing a range of 60 kilometers on a 1.5 hour charge. The vehicles are recharged at the berths.

VIPs

With Masdar City hosting numerous VIP visitors, including many heads-of-state, the PRT system has probably carried more notable passengers than any other transit system in the world. Ranging from Shaikh Mohammed to King Willem-Alexander, Ban Ki-Moon, Angela Merkel and prime minister Modi, as well as actors and sports stars, they have all enjoyed the ride on 2getthere’s PRT system. The appreciation for the service and innovative character is also evident from the posts on social media, especially Instagram.

More Information:

Please visit www.masdarcity.com

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[one_half]At Masdar City 2getthere is also introcuding the concept of Freight Rapid Transit (FRT). The FRT vehicles now still are flatbed vehicles, as they still need to be equipped with their load handling mechanism. Originally envisioned as being a roller bed, the concept is flexible and the logistics service provider at Masdar will determine the final mechansim being installed.

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In this phase 3 freight vehicles will be delivered to the development, capable of carrying up to two pallets with a combined weight of 1600 kilo. The vehicles feature a slightly larger engines and brakes, ensuring they can achieve the same acceleration and deceleration as the PRT vehicles in the network.

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[one_half] During the recent World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi Sam Lissner and Peter Rose extensively documented the PRT effort being installed at Masdar City as part of their project Mobility Tomorrow (masters thesis for the NYU Center for Global Affairs).[/one_half]

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The PRT is one of the videos that has to provoke people to contribute to a discussion on sustainable transit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UMvj2ZYnU8

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Driverless buses in mixed traffic (2003-2004)


Driverless Buses in mixed traffic

To introduce the newly developed 2nd generation GRT vehicle, 2getthere demonstrated the vehicle during the Electric Vehicle exhibition in Monte Carlo (EVMC) in 2003. Located in the port, a small lap was created within the site of the exhibition, where the driverless vehicle used the same street as the Formula 1 cars. With the vehicle operating amongst the visitors of the exhibition, it had a steward on-board to intervene when necessary. The most prominent passenger was Prince Albert, who officially opened the exhibition.

CyberCars in Antibes

In 2004 the city of Antibes hosted the closing conference of the CyberCars and CyberMove EU-research programs on driverless vehicles. Leading up to the conference, the 2nd generation GRT provided a demonstration on the Avenue du Verdun in the port of Antibes during two weeks. The road was closed to car traffic, with pedestrians and bikes able to intersect at any point along the track. All local schools visited the driverless vehicles, with a high speed test and emergency braking demonstrated during the conference.

Driverless vehicles in Delft and Utrecht

On the streets of Delft a demonstration was provided later that year to interest potential students in technical studies. Interacting with bikes on the streets along the canals, the steward never had to intervene despite the intensive bike traffic. A similar demonstration was organized in 2005, although mixing with car traffic, during the opening of the Hessing showroom in Utrecht. The driverless vehicles provided transportation towards the exclusive car dealership located in the sound barrier along the A2.

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Testing public acceptance of automation at Floriade 2002

Floriade PRT

From April till October 2002, 25 Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) vehicles provided transportation to the top of Big Spotters’ Hill at the horticultural exhibition Floriade. During operation from April till October, 25 CyberCabs provided transportation to the top of the observation point. The Floriade PRT system formed an alternative to the stairs to the 40 meters high lookout point. The 1st generation CyberCab vehicles were specifically designed for the application, allowing passengers to enjoy the view of the Park.

Configuration

The vehicles used a 700-meter track spiraling up the hill to transport passengers between the bottom and top stations. To ensure the best possible view, the speed of the vehicles was limited to 11 km/h and drove outside of the track (left hand side) traveling upwards. Each vehicle accommodated 4 passengers, or alternatively 2 passengers and a wheelchair, realizing a a maximum capacity of 600 passengers per hour per direction. The electric CyberCabs were supplied with ‘green’ energy, with the batteries exchanged by hand every 2 hours.

Experience

A round trip with the Floriade PRT system was priced at 2,5€. The duration of a single trip was just over 4 minutes. Passenger acceptance was excellent, with research showing both old and young using the system without any reservations. During the 6 months of operations, nearly 400,000 passengers used the system. At completion of the Floriade, the system was dismantled and the different vehicles donated to various colleges and universities throughout Europe to allow them to use it as platforms for research projects.

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The first urban autonomous operations at Rivium

Rivium Business Park

When Rivium business park was first created it required a good public transit connection. With a relatively small distance (1.2 kilometers) to metro station Kralingse Zoom, it was felt that an automated system would be preferred over a manually driven bus due to the repetitive nature. As a rail solution was deemed to expensive, autonomous shuttles were suggested. Based on its experience with automated vehicles in the Port of Rotterdam, 2getthere was selected as supplier.

Initial Installation

The initial installation featured 3 vehicles, each accommodating up to 10 passengers. The route is realized on what was previously planned as a bike path: should the system not deliver on its promises, it allows for the infrastructure to continue to be used. It also means operations on a single lane, with designated locations to allow vehicles from the opposite direction to pass. A landmark bridge over a major highway ensures entry to the Rivium business park.

Lessons learned

While intended for 1 year only, the system operated for nearly 3 years. At that time it was concluded that it did deliver the transit service desired, with improvements to comfort, reliability and capacity desired. The transit operator Connexxion set up a list of requirements to tranform the vehicles from machines to means of public transit. One of the vehicles served in the Schiphol application for several years, before also being decommisioned.

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12 years of level 4 autonomous operations at Rivium

System configuration

In 2006 the system is replaced with 2nd generation vehicles. The route is extended with two additional stations, to serve deeper into the business park. Another station is added to serve the new business park Brainpark III and the residential area Fascinatio developed along the existing route. The length of the route is increased to 1.8 kilometers, with several at grade intersections for cars (3) and pedestrians (5). The bridge remains single lane to avoid the required additional investment.

Daily Operations

The system is operational on weekdays as it primarily serves the business park. Operating between 06.00am and 09.00pm, the six vehicles carry approximately 2,500 passengers per day. In the peak hours all vehicles are operational at a 2.5 minute headway, providing a capacity of approximately 500 passengers per hour per direction. In the off-peak hours vehicles alternate charging. The system is in revenue service, integrated in the national ride fare system of the Netherlands.

12 years of service

The first vehicles were completed in 2004, serving in various demonstrations within Europe before commencing service at Rivium in 2006. After an initial concession of 5 years, Connexxion is awarded a second term of 5 years and a subsequent 2 year extension. In the 12 years of operations, each vehicle has exceeded 250,000 kilometers driven. The operations are supervised by a single operator per shift, who who is also responsible for cleaning and sales of individual tickets.

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Redeveloping the service and business park: Rivium 3.0

3.0: Replacing the service

In 2017 the city of Capelle aan den IJssel and 2getthere partnered to submit a proposal to ‘de Verkeersonderneming’ and were granted a 50% contribution for renewal and extension of the system. Starting 2020, six new 3rd generation vehicles will be introduced to replace the 15 year old vehicles that have been operating the route for 12 years day-in-day-out. Connexxion will continue to operate the system on the existing route, serving the existing stations.

3.1: Extending the route

In 2021 an extension of the route, in mixed traffic, is foreseen towards the waterfront where a stop for the Waterbus will be created. The ParkShuttle becomes the unique link between the Rotterdam metro network and the Waterbus. 2getthere works together closely with RDW, the Dutch road authority, to be approved as the first autonomous system to be certified for operations in mixed traffic without safety steward on-board. The extension increases ridership by an expected 20% to approximately 3,000 per day.

3.2: Increasing capacity

The introduction of the 3rd generation ParkShuttle was the spark that ignited the redevelopment of the Rivium business park. Where previously it was the business park in the Netherlands with the highest rate of available space, it is now (nearly) ‘sold out’. Offices are being transformed into housing and new residential buildings are introduced, resulting in 7,000 to 9,000 residents at Rivium. To accommodate livability and accessibility, the public transit capaacity needs to be upgraded to accommodate the redevelopment.

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The start of the autonomous age at Schiphol Airport, 1997



Schiphol GRT

In 1997 four ParkShuttles were installed at Schiphol Airport’s long term parking lot P3, to improve the service to airline-passengers and to support Schiphol’s brand image. Each vehicles accommodated 8 seated passengers, 2 standees and luggage. At any time three ParkShuttles were in operation, while one vehicle is charged. When there are no transit requests, the vehicles space themselves to ensure minimal waiting times at each stop. When necessary the vehicle charging was made available by manual override for additional capacity.

System Operations

The track consisted of two loops of 1 kilometer each, featuring 3 stations per loop. The vehicles transported passengers from the shuttle stops near their cars to the main stop at the passenger lounge. At the passenger lounge berths were provided for alighting and boarding for both loop A and loop B. Each loop had several intersections with car traffic (equipped with barriers and traffic lights) and pedestrians (equipped with audible alarms only). From the passenger lounge buses provided transportation towards the passenger terminals.

Lessons Learned

During the lifespan of the system several surveys showed great passenger satisfaction and the system proved very reliable. The service was available 24/7, free of charge. Operations were stopped in 2004 after 7 years of operation, where the pilot was intended for 3 years only initially. Installation of the 2nd generation ParkShuttle was seriously considered, but uncertainty in regard to future plans of Schiphol Airport and parking lot P3, as well as the development of air-traffic meant a positive decision could not be taken at that time.

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