SMRT acquires 20% stake in Dutch automated vehicles company

SMRT acquires 20% stake in Dutch automated vehicles company

The Singapore transport operator's stake in 2 Getthere Holding is worth about S$6m.

SINGAPORE: About two months after announcing a joint venture with Netherlands-based 2 Getthere Holding (2getthere) to market, install, operate and maintain automated vehicle systems for customers in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific, SMRT has acquired 20 per cent of the Dutch firm.

In a joint press release on Thursday (Jun 20), SMRT, 2getthere and Gulf-based company United Technical Services (UTS) said SMRT's stake is worth €4m (S$6m). Meanwhile, UTS has increased its holding in 2getthere to 11 per cent against the same valuation. 2getthere had previously reported on its website that UTS had "taken a stake" in the company in January, but did not give details on the size of the stake.

2getthere chief executive officer Carel van Helsdingen said the investment and involvement of SMRT and UTS in 2getthere further strengthens the ability of the latter to deliver complete and completely automated systems to customers.

"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," said Mr Helsdingen.

SMRT International managing director Goh Eng Kiat said the Singapore transport operator has been working with 2getthere since 2010.

"We have made this investment as we are confident in 2getthere’s technology and see growing demand for automated vehicles 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," he said.

The joint venture established between SMRT and 2getthere, 2getthere Asia, remains on schedule to trial the first third-generation Group Rapid Transit (GRT) vehicle in Singapore by the end of this year.

SMRT International said it has also been actively exploring opportunities in the region. For example, it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singaporean consultancy firm Ectivise Solutions and the Baku International Sea Trade Port (Port of Baku) in Azerbaijan.

The two companies will advise and support the Port of Baku in its efforts to enhance the operating effectiveness of the port through new technologies and innovative solutions, including a GRT system.

Director of 2getthere Asia and SMRT Services managing director Colin Lim said 2getthere’s "unique technology" sets it apart as a proven solution for commuters and cities today.

“The award of these projects confirms the significant potential of deploying AV systems in Singapore and beyond in the near future," he said.

Source: CNA/mz