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SMRT unit and United Technical Services invest in automated vehicles maker

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SMRT International Pte Ltd and United Technical Services (UTS) on Thursday announced their investments in 2 Getthere Holding BV (2getthere), a Netherlands-based company that designs and makes a family of automated vehicles.

SMRT International Pte Ltd and United Technical Services (UTS) on Thursday announced their investments in 2 Getthere Holding BV (2getthere), a Netherlands-based company that designs and makes a family of automated vehicles.

In a filing to the local bourse, SMRT International said that it is acquiring a 20 per cent stake worth four million euros (S$6 million) in 2getthere, while UTS is increasing its holding in 2getthere to 11 per cent against the same valuation.

"These investments are a strategic step that will deepen 2getthere's technological capabilities as a leading market provider of automated vehicles systems. It will also enhance the delivery of current and new projects in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific," the companies said in a joint release.

Carel van Helsdingen, chief executive of 2getthere, said: "Investments by these industry leaders will support the realisation of the projects currently under contract and our continuous development and integration of new technologies into our solutions."

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Goh Eng Kiat, managing director for SMRT International noted that the company has worked with 2getthere since 2010.

He added that SMRT sees growing demand for automated vehicles in Asia and looks forward to working together to further expand operations into international markets through the provision of consultancy services and operational expertise with transportation networks.

Said 2getthere's Middle East and UTS chief operating officer, Ziad Al Askari: "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 (UAE). With this investment we can accelerate our contribution to Dubai's 2030 goal to make 25 per cent of all trips within the city driverless", as recently announced by vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum.

2getthere Middle East, a joint venture between UTS and 2getthere, signed a contract to supply a system based on the third-generation Group Rapid Transit (GRT) vehicle for an undisclosed project earlier this year.

This is 2getthere's second automated vehicles 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.

It also remains on schedule to trial the first third-generation GRT vehicle in Singapore by the end of this year.

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