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MoU signed for Nanyang Technological University

MOU-for-NTU-SingaporeSjoerd van der Zwaan, Chief Technology Officer

NTU has ample experience with autonomous vehicles and knows exactly what it wants and what it doesn’t want

2getthere signs MoU for NTU

Today, 2getthere, the Utrecht-based company specializing in autonomous transit systems, Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) and SMRT Services have joined forces to deploy fully automated Group Rapid Transit (GRT) autonomous vehicles (AV) on the NTU Smart Campus by 2019. The three parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at a ceremony, paving the way for the GRT to be integrated into NTU’s transport network. The new GRTs will be tested on NTU’s campus in a few phases, which will start around the last quarter this year. The vehicles are expected to operate a service route that connects NTU’s halls of residences with the main academic areas, serving 200 to 300 passengers daily.

The 2getthere silent roadster uses magnetic pellets on the road for autonomous navigation and can travel in both directions. It has a top speed of 40 kilometres per hour and can ferry 24 passengers with seating space for eight. The collaboration will also involve conducting research to improve autonomous vehicle technologies such as increasing the use of artificial intelligence, developing advanced sensors and sensor fusion algorithms, and improving fleet management technologies. The trial would be gradually expanded campus-wide, running alongside other autonomous vehicles that have already been undergoing tests since 2012. This latest testbedding of autonomous vehicles is part of the university’s Smart Campus initiative to develop rapidly advancing transport technologies to benefit the NTU community and society.

NTU knows what it wants

Mr Sjoerd van der Zwaan, Chief Technology Officer of 2getthere, stated, “It is exciting to be able to work together with NTU and SMRT while capitalising on the synergy of an actual AV implementation and investing in research simultaneously. NTU has ample experience with autonomous vehicles and knows exactly what it wants and what it doesn’t want – in terms of availability, reliability, quality, safety and AV features such as comfort and user experience. In combination with SMRT’s operations expertise, all key ingredients are present to ensure a successful implementation of our AVs at NTU. We look forward to our continued cooperation.”

NTU President Professor Subra Suresh, said, “NTU’s campus is not only a living testbed for innovative technologies, but also the first to test driverless vehicles on Singapore roads. Autonomous vehicles are an integral part of the NTU Smart Campus vision, which leverages tech-enabled solutions to create better living and learning experiences. This new collaboration with SMRT and 2getthere highlights our goal of developing cutting-edge transport solutions that will benefit Singapore and beyond.”

Mr Desmond Kuek, President and Group CEO of SMRT, said, “NTU is a leading research institution in AV technology. SMRT is proud to work with NTU and 2getthere to deploy the first operational AV service in Singapore. This MoU marks the commitment of the three parties in leveraging the latest AV technology for our public transport system and redefine the standard for a world-class transport service.”

The GRT had undergone preliminary tests along a 350-metre route between two NTU halls of residences since November last year. During the trials, close to 4,000 passengers were ferried between the two stops.

Part of the joint MaaS testbed

The GRT was introduced to NTU as part of the Mobility-as-a-Service testbed, a collaboration between NTU, JTC and SMRT last September. The testbed seeks to integrate multiple modes of transport, including shuttle buses, bike sharing systems, e-scooters and e-bikes, and the autonomous GRT into a single mobility platform called jalan-jalan, developed by mobilityX to improve connectivity and travel within NTU’s campus and JTC’s CleanTech Park in Jurong Innovation District, which will be the largest living lab in Singapore. Jalan-jalan is a Malay term for ‘going for a walk’.

The smartphone application jalan-jalan received strong support during its pilot run between NTU’s campus and JTC’s CleanTech Park from last August. Just for e-scooters alone, the app was used to book over 67,000 trips, clocking a total mileage of over 80,000 kilometres.

Edward Lim Xun Qian, President of NTU’s Student Union, said, “The app allows a seamless and convenient way to travel around NTU’s large campus, right from our halls to our classes. Not only does it help us book Personal Mobility Devices such as e-scooters, the app is also integrated with public and shuttle buses around campus, providing an all-in-one transport solution for students.”

Colin Lim, mobilityX CEO said, “The NTU and CTP community have a greater range of transport options, and have experienced improved connectivity through innovative first-and-last mile transport solutions like the AV and scooter and bicycle sharing. For example, the utilisation rate of each scooter at approximately 20 trips/day is one of the highest in Singapore.”

Glory Wee, Director, Aerospace, Marine and Urban Solutions, JTC said, “We are delighted by the positive response from the CleanTech Park community on the trial. Urban solutions, such as Mobility-as-a-Service, help us improve the travel experience of the communities in JTC’s estates and lay the foundation for next-generation connectivity and mobility infrastructure in our new estates.”

Currently serving 12 stops on NTU’s campus and the CleanTech Park area, the app will gradually include more stops and manage more mobility options based on users’ feedback and test results.

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Prototype 3rd generation autonomous vehicles on the move

Prototype-shippingRobbert Lohmann, Chief Operations Officer, 2getthere

“The GRT is sure to impress with its looks, technology and performance. It is simply the most mature autonomous vehicle available.”

Prototype Driverless Vehicle

Today a special flight departed from Schiphol Airport to Asia. Dutch technology firm 2getthere placed a newly developed prototype driverless vehicle vehicle (GRT) on transport to Singapore. The prototype driverless vehicle carries passengers autonomously, without the intervention of a driver or steward. In the future, the vehicle will also serve Bluewaters Island in Dubai and Rivium business park in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is ensuring it is the focus of attention with regards to autonomous vehicles internationally. The GRT vehicle is a creation of the Utrecht technology firm 2getthere, specializing in the development of solutions in the field of autonomous transport. The third generation vehicle will be used for demonstrations at various locations in Singapore, including the Kim Chuan Depot (KCD) and Nanyang Technical University. This is done on behalf of 2getthere Asia, a joint venture between 2getthere and Singapore’s public transport company SMRT, also a shareholder of the Dutch company.

The new GRT is designed by the renowned automotive designer Zagato from Milan (known for unique car designs for Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari and Aston Martin). With a length of 6 meters, width of 2.1 meters and height of 2.8 meters, the GRT accommodates up to 24. The vehicle is based on the latest technological developments, with the battery for example charging from 30% to 80% in just 10 minutes.

World First

The new GRT is intended to be deployed in Dubai in the future, where 2getthere has obtained a large contract for autonomous public transport to Bluewaters Island.

In addition, the vehicle will also be driving in the Netherlands: 2getthere is also the company behind the Parkshuttle in Capelle aan den IJssel. This cooperation was extended earlier this year, with the deployment of the new GRT featuring a world first for 2getthere and the municipality of Capelle: the first fully autonomous system on the public road, in permanent operation and without steward.

Autonomous transport solutions based on technology and systems developed by 2getthere are cost-effective, in addition to environmentally friendly. Compared with traditional rail-based solutions, savings can be made of 50% on infrastructure and maintenance. For this reason, self-propelled transportation systems are very suitable for medium-sized airports, business campuses (up to 50,000 employees) and entertainment parks.

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

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

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

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Asia and Middle East JV’s

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

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Colors

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

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

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

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

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Investment

SMRT International Pte Ltd (SMRT International) and United Technical Services (UTS) today announced their investments in 2 Getthere Holding B.V. (2getthere), a Netherlands-based company that designs and makes a family of Automated Vehicles (AV). SMRT International is acquiring a 20% stake worth €4 million (SGD 6 million) in 2getthere, while UTS is increasing its holding in 2getthere to 11% against the same valuation.

These investments are a strategic step that will deepen 2getthere’s technological capabilities as a leading market provider of AV systems. It will also enhance the delivery of current and new projects in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Mr Carel van Helsdingen, CEO of 2getthere, said, “We are very proud to reach an agreement with two of our longstanding overseas partners. Investments by these industry leaders will support the realization of the projects currently under contract and our continuous development and integration of new technologies into our solutions.”

Fit with Vision

Mr Goh Eng Kiat, Managing Director for SMRT International said: “We have been working with 2getthere since 2010. We have made this investment as we are confident in 2getthere’s technology and see growing demand for AVs in Asia. We look forward to working together to further expand operations into international markets through the provision of consultancy services and operational expertise with transportation networks.”

2getthere Middle East and UTS Chief Operating Officer, Mr Ziad Al Askari said, “2getthere’s solution is aligned with the push for greater autonomous transport within the Middle East in general, and specifically in the United Arab Emirates. With this investment we can accelerate our contribution to Dubai’s 2030 goal to make 25% of all trips within the city driverless, as recently announced by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”

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Roadmap

Mr Carel van Helsdingen concluded: “The investment and involvement of SMRT and UTS in 2getthere further strengthens the ability to deliver complete, and completely automated, systems to our customers today. Our systems and applications will grow into scenarios of increased complexity, incrementally shifting into higher degrees of mixed operations, from applications in controlled environments towards semi controlled environments. In pursuit of this roadmap, we will work within 2getthere and with our partners to enhance the technology so as to ensure the safety and capacity under mixed operations.”

New Projects

2getthere Middle East, a joint venture between UTS and 2getthere, signed a contract to supply a system based on the 3rd generation Group Rapid Transit (GRT) vehicle for an undisclosed project earlier this year. This is 2getthere’s second AV system in the Middle East after its Personal Rapid Transit system in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

Established in Singapore since April this year, 2getthere Asia Pte. Ltd (2getthere Asia), a joint venture between SMRT Services Pte Ltd and 2getthere, has been awarded its first consultancy project for a major Singapore client to assess the feasibility of implementing the GRT system within the client’s premises. In addition, 2getthere Asia remains on schedule to trial the first 3rd Generation GRT vehicle in Singapore by the end of this year.

“2getthere’s unique technology sets it apart as a proven solution for commuters and cities today.” said Mr Colin Lim, director of 2getthere Asia and Managing Director of SMRT Services. “The award of these projects confirms the significant potential of deploying AV systems in Singapore and beyond in the near future.”

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2getthere Asia Joint Venture established in Singapore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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