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Schiphol

14 million passengers delivered and counting

most experience autonomous vehicle supplierRobbert Lohmann, Chief Commercial Officer 2getthere

“The experience with day-to-day passengers is invaluable.”

Most experienced autonomous vehicle supplier

Based on the daily operations at Schiphol, Rivium, Floriade and Masdar City, 2getthere delivered over 14 million passengers to their destination to date. This excludes passengers transported as part of demonstrations and trials in France, Monaco, Germany, Singapore and the Netherlands as well as the large-scale ride system delivered in a high-profile theme park attraction in cooperation with Oceaneering.

The number of passengers delivered makes 2getthere the most experienced autonomous vehicle supplier. By a lot. At Rivium the 2nd generation GRT transit system has carried 2,500 passengers on a daily basis for the past 11 years. With the introduction of the 3rd generation and the extension towards the Waterbus, this number is expect to increase further to approximately 3,000 per day. Robbert Lohmann: ‘The gap towards other companies entering the market for Shared Autonomous Vehicles will only become larger upon the opening of the Bluewaters application. With an hourly capacity of 3,500 passengers, the system is likely to deliver in excess of 15,000 people per day to their destination. 7 days a week, 365 days per year.’

Actual Behavior versus Conscious Behavior

The real value of the experience doesn’t lie in the passenger number, but having learned from the actual behavior of passengers. Lohmann explains: ‘We have done demonstrations and delivered applications. The difference between the two is that in demonstrations, passengers are aware that this is a demonstration and exhibit ‘conscious behavior’; if there is a fault in the system they are patient, almost accepting and thankful to experience the development process. In real life, there is no patience, just anxiety about being late or missing a connection. Being able to deal with this technically, by ensuring availability and reliablity, and operationally, is what sets 2getthere apart from start-up suppliers. The experience with day-to-day passengers is invaluable.’

The experience influences design and technology choices in support of providing the required system availability and reliability. ‘Operations have to be ensured during all weather conditions – rain or shine – and in all environments, even hot and humid. That’s why we put great attention into the development of the airconditioning system in the 3rd generation GRT vehicle.’ 14 million and counting!

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The start of the autonomous age at Schiphol Airport, 1997



Schiphol GRT

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

System Operations

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

Lessons Learned

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

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