Dubai-based developer Meraas has awarded the Netherlands’ 2getthere a contract for 25 driverless group rapid transit (GRT) to be used at the Bluewaters Island development.

The autonomous vehicles, each of which could carry 24 passengers, will link the waterfront development with the Nakheel Harbour and Tower Metro station, which are estimated to be 2.5 kilometres apart. The journey is expected to take 4.5 minutes.

The vehicles can transport 3,350 people per hour in each direction, with the possibility to increase to 5,000, the company said.

The vehicles 2getthere plans to deploy are considered third-generation; they come equipped with much advanced sensory capabilities where they can serve in automated people mover (APM) applications as well an autonomous transit system on public roads. They are fitted with enhanced obstacle detection systems and improved vehicle control algorithms to ensure better driving and passenger comfort.

 Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City has been utilising 2getthere’s personal rapid transit (PRT). A comparable system is also utilised at Capelle aan den IJssel in the Netherlands.

2getthere has formed a joint venture with UAE-based United Technical Services to implement the project.

Bluewaters Island  is under construction 500 metres off the Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) coastline, opposite The Beach and near Dubai Marina. It is home to Ain Dubai, envisaged to be the world’s largest tallest and largest observation wheel.