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REVO-GT

Revo-GTOceaneering Entertainment Systems

Witness the next REVOLUTION in group transit at the IAAPA Expo (booth 1982): REVO-GT.

Introducing Revo-GT

During the IAAPA Attractions Expo, Oceaneering and 2getthere introduce REVO-GT: an out of park experience. REVO-GT is 2getthere’s GRT vehicle, a self-guided, driverless group transit vehicle, tailored to the requirements of theme parks and attractions.

The system provides a safe, flexible, low-cost, comfortable, and environmentally friendly means of transportation on a 24/7 basis – in virtually any weather conditions – with zero emissions. Its interior is climate controlled, and can maintain a comfortable environment for its passengers, even in extreme ambient conditions. Routes and destinations can be pre-programmed or passenger-selected. Bill Bunting, Director, Business Development, Entertainment Systems, Oceaneering, said: “The move into transportation for theme parks, campuses and business parks, even urban zones is a natural fit, and opens up so much opportunity to serve a broader market hungry for transportation solutions that are clean, efficient, cost-effective and, most importantly, safe and reliable. Oceaneering has been delivering those hallmarks for more than 50 years, and this is simply the next step in expanding our worldwide presence in the fields of technology adapted to solving what’s needed with what’s next.”

The REVO-GT was developed in partnership with Netherlands-based 2getthere, based on the 3rd generation GRT vehicle being introduced at Rivium (the Netherlands), Brussels Airport (Belgium) and Bluewaters Island (Dubai). “Oceaneering is very excited to be teamed with 2getthere to bring the REVO-GT group transit vehicle technology to the marketplace. We have had a long and successful relationship with 2getthere over the years, working on high-profile vehicles and systems for the themed entertainment market,” Bunting said.

IAAPA

The IAAPA Attractions Expo is the largest international trade show for the amusements and attractions industry, featuring 1,000 exhibitors, over 570,000 net square feet of exhibit space, and more than 35,000 participants. 2getthere’s partner Oceaneering Entertainment Systems is exhibiting at booth 1982, joining the more than 25,000 qualified amusement park and attractions buyers representing more than 100 countries who meet at IAAPA Attractions Expo.

IAAPA Attractions Expo was ranked the 22nd largest trade show in the United States by Trade Show Executive for 2016, with 2018 promising to be another interesting edition. For more information and the possibility to experience 2getthere’s autonomous vehicle, contact us or register via http://www.iaapa.org/expos/iaapa-attractions-expo/registration-hotel-travel

Oceaneering

Oceaneering is a global provider of engineered services and products, primarily to the offshore energy industry. Through the use of its applied technology expertise, Oceaneering also serves the defense, entertainment, and aerospace industries. 2getthere has been working together closely with Oceaneering Entertainment Systems for over 10 years, entering into a teaming agreement last year.

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Future of Buses

Future of BusesRobbert Lohmann, Chief Commercial Officer

As industry leader, 2getthere is looking forward to contribute to the conference and learn.

Future of Buses

The VDI Future of Buses conference is designed to focus on how the bus sector can adapt to changing environments in transport and urban mobility. Specifically, the transition towards e-bus fleets, connected autonomous buses and advanced bus technologies will be discussed and we will put into context how the new smart urban mobility environment is affecting the bus industry. The conference is organized in Amsterdam, with 2getthere contributing in two sessions on November 29.

A new Age of Public Transport?!

Things are moving fast in the bus sector – developments in autonomous and connected bus technologies as well as the roll out of large e-bus fleets in smart, connected cities are calling for a new generation of urban bus systems. Systems, that have to be developed, tested and operated by means of vehicle technologies and infrastructure, fundamentally changing the way the industry works. It is clear that the bus sector will need to adapt to these changes as well as to disruptions coming from new mobility and technology providers, increasing data availability and multimodal transport services.

At the VDI Future of Buses conference, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss these topics with experts from all important stakeholders in the bus sector and learn about the redefined, but still important role buses still play in a constantly changing mobility and public transport landscape

Sessions and times

On behalf of 2getthere Robbert Lohmann will contribute to a panel discussion, while Jeroen van der Ploeg will present on cooperative driving. Both sessions are on November 29, with the conference commencing on the 28th.

At 11.30 the panel discussion ‘Can the Bus Sector adopt to the new Age of (Public) Transport?’, commences. Moderated by Dr. Gerhard Nowak, (Partner/Vice President, PwC Strategy GmbH), other panelists include Dirk Weißer (Head of Research, INIT GmbH), Anders Ställberg (Project Manager Autonomous Transport Solutions, Scania) and Chris Büttner (Project Lead Autonomous Driving, ioki).

3 hours later, at 14.30, Jeroen Ploeg will take the stage to present on ‘High-capacity automated Transit Systems: Platooning of automated People Movers’, discussing the concept of platooning, the benefits, design concent and the first results.

For more information on The Future of Buses, visit the website: https://www.vdi-wissensforum.de/en/event/autonomous-electric-buses/

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Smart Systems Summit

Smart Systems SummitRobbert Lohmann, Chief Commercial Officer

2getthere is under contract to deliver the world’s first permanent autonomous shuttle applications in mixed-traffic.

Smart Systems Summit

The Smart Systems Summit is the regional barometer on the latest high tech developments and views. Organizers Bits&Chips and DSP Valley support the industry from the very early days of nanotechnology to tomorrow’s internet of things: the reference magazine for smart professionals and academia, and the regional cluster of smart electronics companies. Merging the Bits&Chips Smart Systems conference with DSP Valley’s Smart Systems Industry Summit forges the Benelux’s number one high tech event.

A touch of the north, a touch of the south: working together gives access to a combined network, with rich opportunities to interact. Through an inspiring programme with the latest on smart health, smart mobility and technologies for the IoT the Smart Systems Summit is the place to be for anybody working in this field.

Mark your calendar and register now!
smartsystemssummit.com

Automated to autonomous

2getthere’s Robbert Lohmann will present ‘From automated to autonomous: Rivium business park and Brussels Airport’. The presentation details how the Parkshuttle in the city of Capelle aan den IJssel will be transformed in the world’s first autonomous system operating on public roads without safety driver or steward. At the same time, 2getthere is also under contract to deliver a mixed-traffic application at Brussels Airport Zaventem, featuring a longer connection and even higher degree of complexity.

In this talk, 2getthere shares its incremental approach to increasing the complexity in which autonomous vehicles are operational and how this aligns with the safety requirements of authorities, while avoiding the need for a safety steward on board.

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The (non)sense of autonomous shuttle demonstrations

BlogRobbert Lohmann, Chief Commercial Officer

The (non)sense of autonomous shuttle demonstrations.

Welcome to 2getthere’s blog: a podium to share opinions and views of our industry, products and everything related to it. And being Dutch, there’s one thing we are not shy of – having an opinion. Everybody’s got them, we just express them a little more directly. OK, a lot more directly. To the point that if you aren’t used to Dutch people being Dutch, you’d think we are plain blunt. Which is not our intent.

This Blog has been started to provide a proper podium to share our opinion, with a little bit of humor along the way. The opinion shared is that of the author, not necessarily of the company, and is obviously completely objective and should be taken very very literally. Should you beg to differ on the view expressed, please don’t hesitate to engage and share this article with your thoughts on your social media channels: if there is one thing the Dutch appreciate it is a healthy debate – no sarcasm here.

Autonomous shuttles are everywhere

It often seems that autonomous shuttles are everywhere. And yet they aren’t. They are popping up around our major cities but mainly in the form of demonstrations that are run in a controlled environment with a “safety steward” onboard. Although we are now actually seeing the first contracts for applications operating permanently and filling daily transit needs, it is the huge number of demonstrations that have created the impression that autonomous shuttles are a commonplace commodity already. And, as there are so many, they should make (some) sense, right?

It is a question that we at 2getthere often ask ourselves, as there is a so much interest in demonstrations worldwide. At times it feels like not a week goes by, with yet another city, region or state issuing a tender for a 6-month or 1-year demonstration. What is the purpose of these demonstrations you may ask? To test passenger acceptance of autonomous vehicles? To verify the technology? To convince decision makers to move forward on an actual application? Or is it smart promotion/marketing tactic? Are they required or should we skip them altogether? Let’s dig a little deeper into this matter.

Passenger Acceptance

Passengers have made use of automated transit for years, with Automated People Movers featured at many major airports. Tampa Airport by itself has three different systems in daily operation. A lot of cities feature automated metros or even trains – just think of the monorail at Disneyland, or the 40+ year old Morgantown System or the Schwebebahn in Wuppertal that opened in 1900 (yes, that date is correct). A funicular. Ski-lift. Of course, a vehicle driving on a road instead of a track or rail is different. But when combining the experiences and the public acceptance of all these other transit systems, is it really logical to expect that the acceptance of autonomous shuttles would be very different?

If we do want to test the acceptance of autonomous shuttles properly, it should be tested in operational conditions, with large groups of passengers, all in a hurry, crashing into each other with faces buried in their smartphones. We want to see real behavior: Impatient people in a rush to get to work on time, on a hot sunny day, distracted by their phone or listening to music. The thing is, in a demonstration people often show a desired or ‘artificial’ behavior. During an unintended stop, there is no anxiety about getting to work late (and your boss screaming at you), no risk of the smartphone falling to the ground (missing out on the Pokémon you were just about to catch), rather the excitement of experiencing a fault in a system in the early stages of development. It is hard to analyse real behavior when passengers don’t use the system as part of their normal journey, in a normal way.

Technology verification

So, do demonstrations serve a purpose in verifying the technology? No, demonstrations don’t. Trials do. A Proof-of-Concept (POC) does. The difference? A demonstration is a show: a temporary display, typically at a high-profile site with limited demonstration hours. To verify that the technology test cases is created based on actual road data, a trial or Proof-of-Concept is conducted.

The site of the trial or the POC is a point of discussion – to say the least. Testing in the public space used to be an absolute no-go for other automated transit systems (and still is), but normal rules don’t seem to apply when it comes to autonomous vehicles. That is why you can now get on a very well regulated, tested and independently verified automated people mover at Phoenix Airport safely and on the other hand could get run over by a ‘registered’ autonomous vehicle as soon as you hit the city streets. Ironic? No, or maybe just a little…

Each incident (another AV running a red light), accident (another AV crashing into the back of a stopped fire truck) and injury or casualty (a lady crossing a street at night) leads to cities and authorities – thankfully – starting to impose strict regulations before autonomous vehicles are allowed on public roads. And that is a really good thing for the development of autonomous vehicles and the industry. Whereas most innovations have a lot of leeway when first introduced, maturity only comes once regulations are established.

Convincing Decision Makers

The key reason for a demonstration is to convince decision makers to “take the next step”. Show the technology is ready for daily operations, carrying members of the public safely and efficiently.

Right then. There is nothing more convincing than a temporary “autonomous” demonstration with a safety steward on board, travelling at a maximum “safe” speed of 15kmh… this creates completely the wrong impression of what is on offer. People will think this technology is not nearly ready for deployment yet as it can’t operate really autonomously yet, delaying decision making processes and pushing back the growth of the entire market. Setting up a convincing argument, which will impress decision makers to make the expenditure required for an autonomous system, is not something that should be taken lightly. It can only be achieved if prepared meticulously, and is not yet another demonstration, but a proof of concept that operates in the real world – which is likely to require a larger investment upfront.

A POC should be embedded in the project and trigger the next phase: the delivery of the permanent project. By awarding a project contingent on successful completion of a POC a classical ‘win-win-win situation’ (cross one off for ‘buzzword-bingo’ ) is created: for the autonomous shuttle vendor, the city and the passengers. As a vendor the POC is important in triggering the delivery of the project and it avoids valuable resources being wasted on just a demonstration – or worse, the experience during the demonstration being used for another tender for a permanent system afterwards. For a city the POC ensures the technical risk is taken out of the equation while moving towards a permanent application fulfilling a daily transportation need. The investment in the proof of concept is not wasted, but a building block of the permanent application. For passengers the POC ensures that the safety has well been shown, and approved, before getting on-board.

Propoganda

So, for what purpose does a demonstration make sense? Marketing. Not just by vendors, also by cities. And operating companies. Suppliers. National governments, approval bodies, regions, agents, insurance companies, shareholders and investors. And yes, the baker and the grocer around the corner: everybody is involved. Not to mention your mum. The exposure a demonstration is able to generate validates the budget being made available. The coverage in the news, on the web and through social media, ultimately should lead to attracting new business. Or better yet, new capital through investors.

With the increasing number of demonstrations, the law of diminishing returns had already set in. The latest demonstrations are getting less attention, moving from national news to regional or local news only, soon to only be a byline in the local neighborhood newsletter (right next to the ads by the local bakery and grocer). As a result, the marketing and communication claims are taken to the next level to retain the attention value. Fortunately, each new exaggerated claim leads us one step closer to the end of the hype and to stricter regulations. Which in itself is a huge step towards permanent applications. At 2getthere we are no fan of exaggeration, but I have to admit that in the end it will help to reset the market! Please keep at it as the damage it is doing now, may just lead to some good in the near future.

Rebound Girl

2getthere is quickly becoming the rebound company of the industry. We are seen as less sexy (we don’t understand it either?), dependable marriage-material that you would be happy to introduce to your mother to but not go out for a crazy night on the town. On various occasions, we have now been approached or come into contact with cities and companies that have experienced a disappointing demonstration. The demonstration didn’t move the project forward, but stopped the effort. The contact with 2getthere restores – to the level possible – the faith in autonomous shuttles still being possible today, with the right approach to the project. And to let you in on a little secret: it’s not a demonstration.

Consider addressing your current transit needs using autonomous vehicle systems by firstly hiring a good consultant – they really are worth their money – as they will help to guide you through the process of defining the application, determine whether there is a viable business case and the evaluation of the different systems. The city of Capelle aan den IJssel and operating company De Lijn did just this. That’s why they have signed 2getthere to contracts for the delivery of autonomous shuttles, on public roads, without safety stewards, travelling up to 40kph. Obviously, we did have the advantage of a track record of 20+ years of experience on dedicated lanes, which certainly has helped.

So, does this mean 2getthere will skip demonstrations altogether? No, don’t be surprised to see a demonstration by 2getthere, despite all of what has been said above. If it makes sense from a marketing perspective for us to provide a demonstration as part of an existing relationship with a customer or partner, we will deliver. We’ll just make sure to shy away from the over inflated claims.

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Happy with Sjoerd investigating autonomous vehicles at Rivium

Blij met SjoerdRobbert Lohmann, Chief Commercial Officer

Some days are simply better than others.

Blij met Sjoerd!

Sjoerd works for supermarket chain Albert Heijn in the Netherlands, but is also an aspiring vlogger. In his series ‘Blij met Sjoerd’ he chases news that makes people happy. When chasing news he’s chauffeured by his driver, and best friend, Ron. How will autonomous cars influence their friendship? Sjoerd doesn’t want to miss Ron, so he sets on a mission to find out what autonomous vehicles are all about, visiting the autonomous shuttle application at Rivium business park in Capelle aan den IJssel. We had a blast supporting the recording: some days are simply better than others!

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We are at the SmartDrivingCar Summit, join us!

SmartDrivingCar-SummitSmartDrivingCar Summit

Autonomous vehicles will disrupt and revolutionize mobility for communities, corporations and consumers.

SmartDrivingCar Summit

2getthere will be presenting at the second annual SmartDrivingCar Summit, reporting on the developments in relation to the recent announcement for the Rivium, NTU and Zaventem projects. The conference brings together buyers, sellers and facilitators of autonomous cars, trucks, and buses. It looks at the economic forces behind deployment and commercialization of autonomous vehicle technology—supply, demand, and public oversight.

The event is co-chaired by Prof. Alain Kornhauser of Princeton University and features a mix of academic, industry, and government speakers with each session packed with multiple experts. The conference features six workshops that will examine:
– Near-term autonomous vehicle deployment in the U.S.
– Near-term autonomous vehicle deployment in China and Europe
– The role of insurance in facilitating adoption by individuals, corporations and transit agencies
– Artificial intelligence, looking at sensors, software and data
– Ride hailing services, reviewing conventional, self-driving and driverless advances
– The what, how and when of achieving best outcomes in metropolitan planning

Focus Areas

Near-term Safety Benefits of Safe-driving Cars
How insurance and new car dealers can benefit by promoting the RoI advantages to fleets and mutually beneficial promotional discounts to consumers. As well as an update as to the performance in automatically avoiding crashes of the technology options available in showrooms today.

Near-term Regulatory Challenges
that are needed to facilitate the shared use of our existing streets by low and normal speed Driverless vehicles

Near-term Mobility and Community Service Benefits
of the array of emerging low-speed Driverless shuttles to all in gated communities and campuses, to the mobility disadvantaged in many/most suburban communities and to address first-mile, last-mile accessibility challenges in transit-oriented communities

The Current State-of-the-art in DeepDriving
to the long-term opportunities of using affordable Computer Vision and elegant Deep Learning training, testing and enhancing techniques in SmartDrivingCars, and more.

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Demonstrating Level 4 on the biggest stage in the UAE

Robbert Lohmann, Chief Commercial Officer 2getthere

“The only demonstration to date that is true level 4 (not featuring a steward).”

Level 4 demonstration

During the official celebration of the 46th National Day on Saturday evening December 2nd in Abu Dhabi, Masdar and 2getthere’s PRT vehicle took center stage in front of Members of the Royal Families, Supreme Council members, Rulers of the emirates, Crown Princes and Deputy Rulers. The level 4 demonstration with the autonomous vehicle, in full operation at Masdar since 2010, was part of a show entitled ‘Here is the Future’, driving up a ramp to deliver one of the contributors of the show to center stage, allowing him to alight.

It is notable in the sense that the demonstration as part of the show is the only demonstration to date where not safety driver or steward was present on-board. Across the world many types of autonomous vehicles are being demonstrated, which always feature a safety steward on board (level 3). Level 4 is currently the highest level achievable, and has so far only been demonstrated by 2getthere. 2getthere’s vehicles are the most advanced available on the market, achieving safety certification and having been evaluated by independent safety assessors. The Utrecht-based company has already sold its first two level 4 systems to parties in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) and the Netherlands (Capelle aan de IJssel).

Attendance

The show was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Also present were Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman, Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah, Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mualla, Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, and Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

They were joined by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, Sheikh Rashid bin Saud Al Mualla, Crown Prince of Umm Al Quwain, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah.
A group of sheikhs, ministers, senior officials and commanders of the Armed Forces and police were also present at the event.

A short summary of the show can be seen here
The complete show is available here

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When will autonomous transit be a reality? (whitepaper)

Robbert Lohmann, Chief Commercial Officer 2getthere

“As soon as possible, we should be deploying applications that actually work in the here and now.”

Autonomous transit a reality

Large-scale introduction of driverless vehicles in modern urban traffic is an unlikely scenario for the next 10 to 15 years. This is the conclusion of a whitepaper, ‘When will autonomous transit be a reality’, published today by 2getthere, the Utrecht-based company that specializes in autonomous transit solutions. Instead of focusing solely on technology that makes cars autonomous, it would be better to work towards an urban traffic infrastructure in which a gradual development can take place from semi-autonomous vehicles to fully autonomous ones.

According to the authors of the whitepaper, Robbert Lohmann and Sjoerd van der Zwaan, 2getthere’s Chief Operations Officer and Chief Technology Officer, the world of autonomous transit is characterized by a watershed. On the one side we see the car manufacturers, who are betting heavily on technology that will enable cars to find their way without the help of a driver on the highway within just a few years. On the other side are the developers of automated systems of public transport, who connect vehicle autonomy with obstacle detection and separate lanes. Semi-autonomous systems like this are already in use with more soon to be operational, for instance in the Netherlands at the Rivium Businesspark in Capelle aan den IJssel and in Masdar City (Abu Dhabi). From 2019 Dubai will also be operating such a system connecting the Dubai subway system with Bluewaters Island, just off the Dubai coast. The Bluewaters Island APM will be a sustainable and autonomous system carrying up to 5,000 passengers per hour in each direction.

Read and download here the whitepaper: ‘When will autonomous transit be a reality?’

Autonomous transit systems

‘What we see happening is that car manufacturers and tech-companies are spending massively on marketing and organizing spectacular pilot projects in a bid to win over the public as well as the decision-makers in government’, says Lohmann. ‘However, our conclusion is that in reality, despite undeniable leaps in technology, fully autonomous cars (level 5) will not hit the road for many years – if ever.

In our whitepaper, therefore, we make a case for a paradigm shift: first start deploying automated transit systems in controlled environments (level 4), and then slowly, step by step, reduce the level of control. This will allow the technology to develop towards maturity without risking passenger safety.’

Gradual development

The strength of 2getthere’s philosophy is that society will soon be able to reap the benefits of autonomous transit without the disadvantages of the rule of the restrictive headstart. ‘Autonomous vehicles can add a significant amount of capacity to existing public transport, as they are a natural extension as feeder systems,’ says Lohmann. ‘Capelle in the Netherlands is a picture perfect example, where our Parkshuttle has for many years already been a popular “last mile” solution to get from the Kralingse Zoom subway station to Rivium Businesspark. It was recently decided to renew the existing Parkshuttle system and to expand its route to include a section of public road. This way we will be able to incrementally move towards a situation in which all forms of transportation, such as cars, bicycles, water bus, Parkshuttle and subway trains are seamlessly connected. Autonomous transit systems will soon be genuinely integrated into the transport chain.’

According to the authors, business campuses but also airfields are the perfect location for groundbreaking experiments in autonomous transit solutions. Lohmann: ‘The parameters in these locations are well known and you know which settings can be adjusted. Demonstrations of things that might be possible many years from now can be sexy, but we should be careful not to give decision-makers the wrong impression. As soon as possible, we should be deploying applications that actually work in the here and now, and on the basis of our experience introduce new generation after new generation. We predict that this will be a faster route towards autonomous transportation.’

Read and download also the whitepaper (July 2017): ‘Automation and Smart Cities: Opportunity or threat?’

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2getthere successfully completes extreme weather climate test

Robbert Lohmann, Chief Commercial Officer 2getthere

“The successful climate test shows the attention to details; the GRT is easily the best and most sophisticated shared autonomous vehicle available.”

Successful climate test

2getthere’s newly developed prototype of a Group Rapid Transit (GRT) autonomous vehicle a succeful climate test in simulated desert climate conditions. It was subject to three tests in weather conditions such as ‘hot dry’ and ‘hot humid’, with a focus on the performance of the air conditioning system at the vehicles’ maximum (24) passenger capacity. The test results show that the battery-powered vehicles are able to maintain an indoor temperature of 23˚C even in the worst-case scenario (52˚C outside temperature and 3% humidity). The extreme climate test is one in a long line of tests.

The simulated weather conditions during the test included extremely high temperatures and sun radiation. Both are common in Dubai, with average peaks in sun radiation of 1,040 Watts per square metre around noon and peaks in temperature of 52˚C around 3.30pm. In the climatic chamber, both peaks were simulated at the same time, the most extreme scenario and one that is highly unlikely to ever become reality.

The passengers (16 standing passengers representing 120 Watts each and eight seated passengers each representing 100 Watts) were simulated by placing a 3000-Watt heat source inside the vehicle. A vital part of the test focused on performance during transition: the speed at which indoor conditions are brought back to the most comfortable level for passengers after the doors close and the vehicle starts its journey. The most extreme situation tested was based on the vehicle standing still with the doors opened for six minutes. In actual circumstances much shorter stops will suffice to allow 24 passengers to enter the vehicle and find their places. Moreover, these stops will normally happen at an air-conditioned station environment.

Performance exceeds specifications

The air conditioning system for the new generation GRT was developed in close collaboration with suppliers DC Airco and NLR (Netherlands Aerospace Centre). NLR has used the simulation of heat management in relation to airflow within the vehicle in its design of the air conditioning. The results of the climatic chamber test exceed all expectations based on 2getthere’s specifications. The development of the air conditioning system was partly financed with an MIT research grant from Utrecht province in which DC Airco and 2getthere have participated together.

According to 2getthere the successful climate test marks yet another step towards the operational deployment of the system in extreme climates.

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2getthere awarded largest autonomous shuttle project for Bluewaters Island

Bluewaters-contract-awardCarel van Helsdingen, Chief Executive Officer, 2getthere

“The Bluewaters contract award demonstrates the capability of 2getthere’s systems to provide significant capacities.”

Bluewaters Contract Award

Dutch technology firm 2getthere, a world-leading developer of sustainable mobility solutions, has been awarded the contract to deliver a new automated vehicle system in Dubai that will link new waterfront lifestyle destination Bluewaters with the city’s network of metro stations. The innovative new transport system will have a capacity of 5,000 people per hour per direction, with the automated vehicle connection between Bluewaters and the metro set to become the largest of its kind in the world and is considered an example of the future of autonomous transport solutions.

Home to Ain Dubai, the world’s tallest and largest observation wheel in the world, Bluewaters is a destination under construction 500 metres (1,600 ft) off the Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) coastline, opposite The Beach and near Dubai Marina, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The island is a colourful beacon adorning the city’s spectacular coastline and skyline, with a collection of townhouses, penthouses and apartments; retail and dining experiences and two hotels, linked to the shore by a multi-modal transport system ensuring easy access to the island.

The centerpiece at Bluewaters will be Ain Dubai, the tallest and largest observation wheel that will be taller than the 167.6 m (550 ft) High Roller that opened in Las Vegas in March 2014. It will also be 19.5 m (64 ft) taller than the 190.5 m (625 ft) New York Wheel planned for Staten Island. When completed, Ain Dubai will be able to carry up to 1,400 passengers in its 48 capsules, and provide views of Dubai Marina and landmarks such as Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, and Burj Khalifa. Its base will also serve as an exciting entertainment zone.

The awarded automatic transport system fits Dubai’s objective to have 25% of all trips completed by automated systems by 2035. The automated transport system at Bluewaters will feature 25 driverless Group Rapid Transit (GRT) vehicles capable of carrying 24 passengers each, connecting stations on the island and Nakheel Harbour and Tower Metro Station approximately 2.5 kilometers apart. The capacity will initially be 3,350 people per hour per direction, with the possibility to increase to 5,000 people per hour per direction. The trip time will be approximately 4.5 minutes.

The application is also the first to feature a 2getthere’s 3rd generation GRT vehicle. This automated vehicle can serve in Automated People Mover applications as well as an autonomous transit system on public roads, integrating the necessary sensory technology.

Excellent track record

2getthere CEO Carel van Helsdingen: “We believed from the start that our system and technology provided the best fit for the application. It is rewarding to be under contract. The award of the project clearly shows the increased interest in 2getthere’s systems throughout the Middle East. This is based to a large extent on our excellent track record in Masdar City and Capelle aan den IJssel in the Netherlands, where we operate comparable systems with a high availability and reliability in harsh climate conditions”.
2getthere will realize the project through its Middle East Joint Venture with United Technical Services. According to 2getthere Middle East and United Technical Services COO Ziad Al Askari, the solution provided for the connection to Bluewaters is a perfect fit with the Autonomous Transport Strategy as a pillar to achieve a sustainable economy for the UAE. Al Askari: “His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, recently launched an strategy for smart self-driving transport as part of Dubai’s strategy to become the smartest city in the world. By 2030, 25 per cent of all transportation trips in Dubai will be smart and driverless. As such we are proud to contribute to this ambitious goal.”

Logistical paradigm shift

Van Helsdingen is convinced the automated vehicles will have a great appeal and will encourage more people to visit Bluewaters by public transit. He also sees new opportunities: “The Bluewaters application demonstrates the capability of 2getthere’s systems to provide significant capacities, making them a financially attractive alternative for the expensive, traditional rail-guided APM systems at airports and campuses. Basically we are applying Level 4 autonomous vehicles on a dedicated track to provide a high capacity and throughput. We are working on introducing these vehicles in mixed traffic, similar to the extension of the Rivium application in the city of Capelle aan den IJssel (the Netherlands) just announced two weeks ago.”

In that respect, 2getthere expects a logistical paradigm shift in the coming years. “On one hand, it is led by metropolitan policy makers in the Middle East and Asia in search of smart city solutions. On the other hand it will increasingly driven by the technology and automotive sector in de US (e.g. in Sillicon Valley and Detroit) responding to the call for cost-effective and environmental friendly last mile solutions. The latter ones connect medium-sized airports to city centers and convert corporate campuses, that are hosting 10,000 people or more, into smart cities.

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