Yas Island to use skyTran transportation technology
Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island will benefit from skyTran, a personal rapid transit (PRT) system, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Miral and skyTran Inc., a NASA Space Act company.
The computer-controlled, two-person vehicles employ state-of-the-art magnetic levitation technology instead of wheels. The patented high-speed, low-cost, elevated PRT system built at the NASA Ames Research Center, will have cars zipping above traffic along magnetic lines from one destination to another. The project aims to connect the current and future destinations on Yas Island and eventually link it to Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Commenting on the MoU, Mohamed Abdulla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, said: “Innovation remains at the heart of what we do on Yas Island. While we continue to build world-class destinations and expand Yas Island, it is imperative that we are able to implement an urban transportation solution which is not only energy efficient but also adds another level of excitement to our visitors’ experiences. With skyTran, we have a partner who not only shares our vision for innovation in Abu Dhabi, but are developing a service whi ch will transform the Yas Island experience, and grow our appeal to the millions of residents and tourists who visit us from the UAE and across the world.”
As visitation to Yas Island grows, skyTran’s design will allow for expansion of its network with ease, where more tracks can be installed and additional vehicles added to the network to manage increased demand. The use of a sophisticated computer network enables vehicles to travel at optimum speed and spacing in a safe and efficient manner depending on passenger demand.
Jerry Sanders, CEO, skyTran, said: “skyTran truly is a smart transportation solution for smart cities and we are proud to be able to bring this path-breaking technology to the Middle East for the first time. With our access to NASA’s cutting-edge technology and expertise, we are able to introduce a solution on Yas Island which paves the way for Abu Dhabi to define the Middle East’s innovative mode of transport for the future.”
Yas Island currently attracts over 25 million visitors every year to attractions which include Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, and the Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit. With the opening of the Warner Bros. theme park in 2018, visitors to Yas Island from around the world is expected to grow to over 30 million.
Read the July 2016 issue of Business Review Middle East magazine
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”