Dubai to get driverless transport network

Dutch technology firm 2getthere 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.

Ain Dubai

The Dutch firm highlighted that the Dubai system will feature its third generation group rapid transit (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. The new transport system will have a capacity of 5,000 people per hour per direction.

Carel van Helsdingen, CEO, 2getthere, said, “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.”

Bluewaters Dubai is a project by UAE group Meraas Holding in Dubai, which is under construction 500 metres off the Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) coastline, opposite The Beach and near Dubai Marina. The centrepiece at the island will be Ain Dubai, an observation wheel that’s expected to be taller than the High Roller in Las Vegas.

Sample of 2getthere’s third-generation driverless GRT vehicle

The project will be carried out through 2getthere’s Middle East joint venture with United Technical Services. Ziad Al Askari, COO, 2getthere Middle East and United Technical Services underlined that 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.

“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,” he said. “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.

The transport network is due to become operational in late 2018 or early 2019.

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