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The future of urban mobility (26-27 february): 2getthere’s 3rd generation autonomous shuttle

the-future-of-urban-mobility

The future of urban mobility is here: explore the technology and innovation for urban mobility and emerging smart transport infrastructure models.

Experience the 3rd generation autonomous shuttle

On February 26 and 27, 2getthere’s 3rd generation is on full display at the Smart Urban Mobility conference in Dubai. The vehicle on display is a fully customized version, featuring a special livery. Details on the custimization and the livery will only be released at a later date – keep an eye on our social media.

2getthere’s autonomous vehicle is unique in the market: it is the only vehicle that is bi-directional and features doors on both sides. In addition, it is the only one featuring an air-conditioning fit for the Middle East climate. It features a higher speed as well: up to 40km/hr. The vehicle sets itself apart in its look-and-feel (designed by Zagato) and build quality (assembly by Altran). It accommodates up to 24 passengers and features rapid recharging (within 10 minutes), thus requiring a significantly smaller fleet size to meet the capacity throughout the day.

Want to hear and see more? Curious about the customization and livery? Visit us at ‘The Future of Urban Mobility’!

The future of smart urban mobility is here

Middle East Smart Mobility is a strategic high-level conference and collocated exhibition covering major industry trends from intelligent transport systems, autonomous travel, urban planning, sustainable mobility, payments and ticketing, big data and analytics, connected transport and much more. Bringing together over 200 speakers and 7500 attendees from across the region, this event will cover the entire smart transport ecosystem.

The exhibition and conference is organized alongside Middle East Rail.

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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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Livery of the Bluewaters Island vehicles revealed during UITP Middle East

Buewaters-liveryRobbert Lohmann, Chief Commercial Officer

innovation in public transit ensures not only the accessibility but also improves the liveability of smart cities like Dubai

Bluewaters Livery

In collaboration with Meraas, the Dubai-based holding company behind some of the city’s most popular urban destinations, Dutch technology firm 2getthere officially revealed the first Group Rapid Transit autonomous vehicle that will be used at Bluewaters. The new vehicle in Bluewaters livery was showcased during the UITP MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition, the most attended public transport event in the region. It is the first time that the public in Dubai will be able to get acquainted with this futuristic public transport solution.

Bluewaters is a modern, family-oriented destination created by Meraas on a manmade island off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai. No less than 25 autonomous vehicles will be deployed to transport passengers from Dubai Metro to the island. These vehicles are designed and developed by 2getthere, a leading technology firm in autonomous transport.

The solution provided for the connection to Bluewaters is a perfect fit with Dubai’s Autonomous Transport Strategy, which was launched in 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. In line with this ambitious strategy, 25 percent of all transportation trips in Dubai will be smart and driverless by 2030.

Converging trends

This year’s edition of the UITP MENA Transport Congress & Exhibition is based on the theme ‘Pioneering for Customer Happiness’, recognising that customers are at the core of public transport service. According to Robbert Lohmann, CCO of 2getthere, there is therefore no better opportunity to present the Bluewaters autonomous vehicles to the public. 2getthere will realise the project through its Middle East Joint Venture with United Technical Services.

Mr. Lohmann says: “It becomes clear that multiple trends in public transportation are converging. Firstly, innovation within public transit concepts and systems, ensuring not only the accessibility but also improving the liveability of smart cities like Dubai. Secondly, integrating new technologies leads to more customer happiness and increasing ridership. Together these trends contribute to both people in transit as well as in cities.”

2gethere can be found on stand no. 5C52 of the UITP MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition.

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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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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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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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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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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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UTS and 2getthere celebrate 15 years co-operation

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

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

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

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

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

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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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500.000 passenger mark at Masdar City reached

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

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

milestone_1

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

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

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

Part 1: Masdar’s solar power generation

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

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Steady growth of Passengers for Masdar City PRT system

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

 
 
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Masdar PRT System Year 1 Review

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

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

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[one_half] 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 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] 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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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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