Thursday's report ("Dutch firm in SMRT deal may have money woes") said that 2getthere and its driverless freight-moving unit, Frog, applied for insolvency in April 2007.
We wish to clarify that 2getthere is not in financial difficulty. It was founded as an independent company in 2008 and has no connection to the restructuring of Frog in 2007.
2getthere's financial record has demonstrated that the company has been profitable.
Over the past eight years, it has completed several projects on its own, provided maintenance services for others and acted as sub-contractor to multinational companies in various industries for projects featuring automated vehicles.
2getthere has invested significantly in the development of technology, intellectual property, and safety and certification requirements, financed by its shareholders.
The transport system installed by 2getthere in the Masdar City project in Abu Dhabi is an operational system, and it did not get into Phase 2 of the operational system due to the economic downturn in the region.
The 2005 collision between two driverless pods at Rivium Business Park in Rotterdam took place before the start of the day's service. It was human error that caused the collision.
After additional training was provided, the Rivium Business Park project has continued to maintain its perfect safety record, and has demonstrated a high level of reliability and availability from the day it started passenger service.
We assure readers that SMRT conducted its due diligence checks before entering into a joint venture with 2getthere to establish 2getthere Asia.
SMRT is confident of 2getthere's technology offerings and its growth potential in Asia, based on its track record of delivering viable, certified and proven transport solutions.
SMRT's partnership with 2getthere is a natural and logical extension of SMRT's public transport operations, and is consistent with the Government's push to make a quantum leap in improving the first- and last-mile connectivity to MRT stations and bus interchanges.
This ties in with the Government's broader vision of a car-lite society.
Carel van Helsdingen
Chairman and Founder