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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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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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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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