SÖDERTÄLJE, Sweden, 12-Jun-2019 — /EuropaWire/ — Scania has just unveiled self-driving battery electric urban concept vehicle called NXT. The concept vehicle has been designed with flexibility in mind – it can shift from transporting commuters to and from work in mornings and evenings to delivering goods during the day up to collecting refuse at night.
Scania’s DNA, the modular system, has now been taken to the next level by the company’s engineers in developing a concept vehicle that can change shape for different urban assignments.
In a vision for the future of transport, NXT’s front and rear drive modules can be fitted to a bus body, a distribution truck body or a refuse collector. The innovative concept vehicle’s bus module is currently on display at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm, 10–12 June.
In the quest for lower emissions and less congestion thousands of cities around the world are presently seeking a change in urban transport. Infrastructural and technological breakthroughs in electric and autonomous vehicles are regarded as key enablers for cities around the world when shifting to a sustainable and greener transport system.
Commenting on the NXT concept vehicle, Scania’s President and CEO Henrik Henriksson, said:
“NXT is a vision of the future for transport in cities. Several of these technologies have yet to fully mature but for us it’s been important to actually build a concept vehicle to visibly and technically demonstrate ideas of what is within reach. NXT is designed for 2030 and beyond while incorporating several cutting-edge features that are already available.”
While vehicles play an important part in the urban transport, there’s more that needs to be done into the ecosystem for the real change to happen. The infrastructure, for one, requires a significant development to cater both for electrified and autonomous vehicles. Furthermore, the 24/7 flow of people and goods in cities will have to be coherently addressed versus disparately planned. And the commercial transport is, in many different ways, the pulse of the city’s transportation system. It is a vital part of how we get to work or school and how food is delivered to shops and restaurants. It is also very important part of how medicines reach to hospitals and how refuse is collected and removed. Presently, the transport and people/goods flow situation in cities is far from being optimised. Goods are delivered during the morning rush hour while most people are also on the move. At the same time, commercial transport is largely barred from city centres during nights due to the noise.
Henrik Henriksson commented further:
“We at Scania can’t redraw the entire transport system for cities. What we can do is inspire change and that is the idea behind NXT – to think about transport and vehicles in a different and sustainable way.”
In its core concept, the public transport has always been about sharing. Sharing has now been taken to the next level with Scania’s NXT concept. By relying on a higher degree of automation, it will be simpler to introduce greater flexibility in public transport system.
Commenting on the NXT concept, Robert Sjödin, NXT Project Manager, said:
“This is something new, something very different. Yet flexible design and modularised units lie very much at the core of Scania.”
Substantially reducing weight, the 8-metre-long bus module is built as one composite unit. In order to contribute to better weight distribution, the cylindrical cell batteries are organised under the floor making a use of otherwise dead space. Weighing less than 8 tonnes the vehicle’s range with present-day available batteries is estimated to be around 245 kilometers.
Sjödin elaborated further:
“Continuous improvement in small steps has been the hallmark of Scania. We are now taking a giant leap into the future. This vehicle will provide invaluable tangible data in our continued development of electrified autonomous vehicles.”
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