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Masdar City

Another VIP for the Masdar PRT: IMF managing director Christine Lagarde

Even in our 9th year of operations it remains very rewarding that 2getthere’s PRT system at Masdar City is a must-ride system during any visit – also when you are considered a VIP.

Christine Lagarde rides 2getthere’s PRT

Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), visited Masdar to witness the progress of Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban community, MasdarCity, and learn how investment in youth is helping the UAE to deliver on the UN SDGs.

As part of the vist she also enjoyed a ride on 2getthere’s state-of-the-art sustainable PRT system. The system is now in its’ 9th year of operation and has carried over 2,4 million passengers to date. The system availability that is consistently being achieved exceeds 99.7%. The Zagato design and the vehicle build are applauded by the passengers, many of them stating that it is actually more advanced and better build in comparison to more recently introduced vehicles.

Another VIP for the Masdar PRT

One of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi is visit Masdar City and ride the PRT system. Join the many other VIPs that went before you and enjoyed the ride! Ranging from the Dutch and Swedish Royal familty to international country leaders and famous movie actors. Our personal favorite remains the video by Adam Levy: enjoy!

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Automated Transit Networks: direct origin to destination travel on a network of dedicated guideways

Automated Transit Networks

2getthere’s Automated Transit Networks (ATN) feature automated vehicles operating on a dedicated network of ‘guideways’. They are able to serve numerous origins and destinations, with the guideways optionally constructed at grade, with at grade intersections. Passengers benefit from on demand operations or at a high frequency. At the same time cities benefit from the reduction of car traffic, congestion and the environmentally friendly character. Developers maximize land value and reduce space wasted for non-value added activities.

2getthere’s ATN

2getthere deploys two types of automated vehicles in ATN networks: the 4 to 6 passenger PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) and the 16 to 24 passenger GRT (Group Rapid Transit). The PRT vehicles operate as automated taxi’s: on demand, connecting origin-to-destination directly, with passengers paying for the service per vehicle. The GRT vehicles resemble automated mini-busses: operating at a high frequency, with passengers paying for transit per seat. Typical applications include universities, hospitals, business parks and airports.

Why opt for ATN?

ATN systems’ dedicated guideways ensure both safety and throughput, while the small and light-weight automated vehicles provide flexibility to operate in a network.They provide lower operational and life-cycle costs compared to APM systems. 2getthere is the leading supplier of ATN systems, with 4 applications realized to date. This includes the first (and only) automated vehicle system with at grade intersections at Rivium business park in the city of Capelle aan den IJssel (the Netherlands) and the world’s first PRT system at Masdar City (Abu Dhabi).

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PRT vehicle: automated taxi

2getthere’s PRT vehicles are automated taxi’s accommodating up to 6 seated passengers (4 adults and 2 children). The vehicles have been developed specifically for the environmental climate of the Middle East and are capable of a maximum speed of 40km/h.

The 2nd generation PRT vehicle has been operational at Masdar City since November 28th, 2010. The vehicle uses a scaled down version of the 2nd generation GRT chassis, with significant improvements in the electronics and sensory systems of the vehicle. In additon the algorithms for control of the vehicle were further improved, ensuring an even better driving behavior and improved passenger comfort.

Vehicle Specifications:PRT
Standard configuration:4 adults and 2 children
Length:3920mm
Width:1416mm
Heigth:2010mm
Floor level:300mm
Height passenger compartment:1650mm
Wheel base:2115mm
Wheel track front/rear:1072mm/1200mm
Vehicle weight:1400kg
Maximum payload:650kg
Maximum weight:2300kg
Propulsion:Central AC motor, differential in rear axle
Energy source:LiFePO4, 20kWh
Range:75km (normal operating conditions)
Recharging:2 hours (from 30% to 80%)
Maximum (cruising) speed:40km/h
Maximum acceleration:0.8m/s2
Normal deceleration:1.0m/s2
Emergency stop:2.7m/s2
Maximum/advised gradient:10%/<6%
Turning circle center/between walls:11m/16m
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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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New passenger record at Masdar City

2getthere is happy to announce a new passenger record per month for the Masdar City PRT application. We’ve left the year 2016 with a new record of 41.956 passengers in December, followed by an even more astonishing number of passengers going into the new year; 44.575 passengers in January. These records mark a wonderful achievement highlighting the ever-safe system. We are proud to have accomplished this significant number of passengers and strive to keep catering to Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, to maintain a strong relationship and more importantly realize our full potential. 

 
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2getthere establishes an office in Silicon Valley

office-2getthere-silicon-valleyCarel van Helsdingen, Chief Executive Officer, 2getthere

“We are hardly some inexperienced startup.”

Silicon Valley

Dutch technology company 2getthere, which specializes in the development of automated vehicles, is set to open a new office in Silicon Valley in January 2017. From its new base in the world’s leading technology hub, the Utrecht-based company intends to conquer the third major international market for automated transit solutions, following Asia (Singapore) and the Middle East (Dubai). 2getthere is the leading company worldwide with many years of experience in developing and operating automated, driverless vehicles that transport thousands of passengers a day. The company – which currently employs around 50 developers, IT specialists and engineers – estimates it will be able to sell a minimum of three to five of these types of solutions in the US annually within the next several years, accounting for a total of $150 million to $300 million in new orders.

Although 2getthere delivered its first automated transit system to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as early as 1997, the company remains a relatively unknown player in the Dutch manufacturing industry. Its core markets are located in Asia and the Middle East, where its mobility solutions (driverless taxis and minibuses) have been part of the urban infrastructure for some time. The opening of the new San Francisco office is part of the company’s strategy to break into the high-potential US market.

The company states that its decision to set up a base in the heart of high-tech hub Silicon Valley was prompted not only by the fact that all leading developers of automated transit systems and the related technologies are based there, but also by the immense market potential to be found in the area.
2getthere CEO Carel van Helsdingen: ‘The rapid growth of sprawling corporate campuses is particularly exciting to us in terms of the opportunities it offers. There’s the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington, for example, the Tesla manufacturing facility in Nevada, and the Apple and Cisco campuses in California. Automated mobility solutions are the most obvious alternative for business parks on that scale.’

Having what it takes

2getthere currently has more experience in developing automated vehicles than any other company worldwide. The various applications it develops are used to transport around 80,000 passengers a month who collectively travel more than 100,000 kilometers. Van Helsdingen feels his company has got what it takes to achieve success in this market: ‘We are hardly some inexperienced startup – we specialize in developing vehicle software, traffic control systems, dispatch software (that is, the coordinating software used to manage a fleet) and in integrating the software for various types of sensors. We are currently in talks with several potential partners in Silicon Valley to see where we might be able to find synergies. That process will undoubtedly be boosted by the fact that we will now actually be physically based there as well,’ Van Helsdingen said.

COO Robbert Lohmann pointed out that 2getthere has a unique edge when it comes to the real-world implementation of these systems. ‘There may be a large number of pilot projects around, but in order to develop a 100% safe system with an uptime rate of 99.8%, like the one we built in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, you also need to have an in-depth understanding of planning aspects and traffic flows. As far as I know, we are the only company worldwide that combines all those different types of knowledge and expertise.’

Priority

Entering the US market marks a new stage in the evolution of the fast-growing company, which will be moving into new premises in Utrecht in the coming year, including its own test courses. The company is currently involved in more than a dozen scheduled projects across the US, including a project in Jacksonville, Florida and one in Greenville, South Carolina. Lohmann: “You don’t break into this market overnight – it can take up to several years for a project to be completed. But having realized successful applications already, we are often automatically shortlisted for public and private tenders.”
2getthere has already teamed up with the US-based company Oceaneering, working on various projects. The company states that finding strong partners is a priority when it comes to reducing the time needed to develop the market for its products. Van Helsdingen: ‘We provide mobility solutions but remain the actual owner of the system. That means we’re looking for companies undaunted by the idea of partnering with us for a period of 10 or even 20 years, as is the case with United Technical Services in the United Arab Emirates and SMRT in Singapore. Both these companies are currently shareholders in 2getthere. We are confident we will be able to find similar partners in Silicon Valley relatively quickly.’

Smart cities

2getthere also believes there is great commercial potential in the development of transit systems for large theme parks and medium-sized airports (1.5 million+ passengers a year). Lohmann believes orders to the tune of 50 to 100 million dollars a year would not be unrealistic. ‘If we get the opportunity to partner with one of the major technology companies, that figure could turn out to be even higher.’
For the longer term, Lohmann also has high expectations of the development of what are known as ‘smart cities’ – cities investing in integrating data available locally in order to improve quality of life. ‘Automated transit is absolutely one of the key elements in that process, and that includes Automated People Mover Systems, Automated Transit Networks and Shared Autonomous Vehicles. The city of Columbus, Ohio is currently in the process of building such a system, and that’s exactly the type of project in which our company would like to get involved and share its expertise.’

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Autonomous vehicles

Autonomous vehicles Carel van Helsdingen, Chief Executive Officer, 2getthere
[quote]“Where a demonstration only provides an indication of the way passengers interface, a real-life application shows real-world behavior.”[/quote]

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99% efficiency

The driverless Masdar Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system at the carbon neutral Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, UAE, has functioned at over 99% efficiency since it began services 6 years ago! This remarkable achievement is indicative of the system’s quality technology, dynamic safety features and robustness resulting in almost no failures or delays, and zero collisions and accidents since its launch. 

2 Millionth Passenger 

The PRT opened to the public in 2010, operates on a 2km loop servicing students and visitors from the parking lot to the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST). The transport system hit 500,000 passengers and 1,000,000 million passengers in November 2012 and May 2014 at a daily average of 692 and 787 people respectively. Since May 2014, the system saw a tremendous increase of 175% in passenger traffic to reach 2,000,000 transported passengers in November 2016. Serendipitously, the Masdar PRT system transported its 2 millionth passenger one week before the commencement of the 7th year of operations.

Ms. Geethma Devangee, a student from Merryland School Abu Dhabi, who was visiting Masdar City on an educational field trip was the 2 millionth passenger. To celebrate the milestone, Ms. Devangee was presented with a dining voucher redeemable at any restaurant in Masdar City and a commemorative certificate.

Reliable and high service level

Speaking on the challenges of running an efficient system, Carel van Helsdingen, CEO of 2getthere said, “At Masdar City we have both daily passengers and first-time users, from 6am until midnight, with the requirement to constantly provide a reliable and high service level under difficult environmental conditions. As a result, we have a significant edge over companies that are only at the start of their development.”

Significant Step

Speaking on the system reaching 2,000,000 million transported passengers, Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director of Sustainable Real Estate for Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s future energy company, said,
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“This milestone marks a significant step in the progress of Masdar City, and stands as a testament to our culture of innovation. The popularity of the PRT demonstrates how functional, sustainable urban transport development is paving the way for cities of the future.”

Data autonomous vehicles

Since 2010, the Masdar PRT system has also been collecting data which will be utilized for the further development of autonomous vehicles, in relation to the technology, its interactive capabilities with users, and social implications. For example, data collected so far displays an average occupancy of 60% overall with peaks of nearly 90% on weekends. Having this information on hand has undoubtedly assisted in the success rates of 99.6% and 99.9% for system availability and vehicle reliability respectively.

The data collected from the PRT system has been invaluable, according to Carel van Helsdingen, CEO of 2getthere. He said, “Real-life applications are invaluable for the reliability of the resulting information. Where a demonstration only provides an indication of the way passengers interface with a system, a real-life application shows real-world behaviour.”

Very Important Passengers

Van Helsdingen added: “We are content with the reliability of the vehicles and the application at Masdar City. Because of the appeal of Masdar City we have been honored in welcoming many VIPs in our vehicles, ranging from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President to the UAE, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN-leader Ban-Ki Moon and celebrities including Clive Owen, James Cameron and David Ferrer. The most recent VIP being His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, one week ago (passenger number 1.988.933).” The success of the PRT system at Masdar City has shown sustainable transport is a viable option even in the harsh conditions of the Middle East.

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2getthere mastar city winner

2 million passengersYousef Baselaib, Executive Director of Sustainable Real Estate, Masdar
[quote]“The popularity of the PRT demonstrates how functional, sustainable transport is paving the way for cities of the future.”[/quote]

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2 Million Passenger Mark

The Masdar Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system in Abu Dhabi, UAE, this morning successfully reached the 2 million passenger mark since it was launched on 28 November, 2010. Over the years a wealth of data has been collected from the system which has been used to further the development of autonomous vehicles, both in relation to the technology as well as user interaction.

Just a week before its seventh anniversary, Miss Geethma Devangee, a student from Merryland School Abu Dhabi, became the 2 millionth passenger. Geethma was visiting Masdar City on an educational field trip. As the lucky winner she was presented with a dining voucher to be redeemed at any restaurant in Masdar City, as well as a certificate to mark the honour.

75% increase

The PRT system at Masdar City welcomed its 1 millionth passenger in May 2014, and has now carried another million in the short time since, accounting for a staggering 75% increase in passenger numbers. The system is currently carrying five times the anticipated amount of passengers, achieving close to 90% average occupancy rates during weekends. The data collected from the PRT system has been invaluable, according to Carel van Helsdingen, CEO of 2getthere. He said: “Real-life applications are invaluable for the reliability of the resulting information. Where a demonstration only provides an indication of the way passengers interface with a system, a real-life application shows real-world behaviour.

“At Masdar City we have both daily passengers and first-time users, from 6am until midnight, with the requirement to constantly provide a reliable and high service level under difficult environmental conditions. As a result we have a significant edge over companies that are only at the start of their development.”

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Significant Step

The Masdar City PRT system benefits from dynamic safety features, resulting in zero accidents or collisions since launch. System availability and vehicle reliability have also consistently achieved success rates of 99.6% and 99.9% respectively.

Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director of Sustainable Real Estate for Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s future energy company, said: “This milestone marks a significant step in the progress of Masdar City, and stands as a testament to our culture of innovation. The popularity of the PRT demonstrates how functional, sustainable urban transport development is paving the way for cities of the future.”

Phase 1A of the Masdar PRT pilot project is approximately 1.4 kilometers long and features two stations: the North Car Park and the Masdar Institute for Science and Technology. 2getthere plans to expand this network across more sites across the City, as well as introduce a General Rapid Transit (GRT) system in the near future.

Very Important Passengers

Van Helsdingen added: ‘We are content with the reliability of the vehicles and the application at Masdar City. Because of the appeal of Masdar City we have been honored in welcoming many VIPs in our vehicles, ranging from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President to the UAE, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN-leader Ban-Ki Moon and celebrities including Clive Owen, James Cameron and David Ferrer. The most recent VIP being His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, one week ago (passenger number 1.988.933).”

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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[/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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[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 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] 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 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]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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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

Videos

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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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