Wednesday 23 October 2019

NXT Scania modular concept is CV all-rounder

Scania has showcased a new electric self-driving modular urban concept vehicle, NXT, which it says could be deployed to transport commuters in mornings and evenings, deliver goods in the day, and perform bin collections at night.

NXT’s front and rear drive modules can be fitted to a bus body, a distribution truck body, or a refuse collector. The bus configuration (pictured) was displayed at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Stockholm last month.

The eight-metre-long bus module is built as a single composite unit, says Scania, substantially reducing weight. The cylindrical cell batteries are placed under the floor, which utilises otherwise wasted space, as well as improving weight distribution.

With a weight of less than eight tonnes, the range with present-day batteries is estimated at 245 kilometres.

Said Scania: “To achieve real change in the transport ecosystem, vehicles play an important part but more needs to be in place. Significant development of infrastructure is required to cater both for electrified and autonomous vehicles. Additionally, the 24/7 flow of people and goods in cities needs to be coherently addressed rather than disparately planned.

“Commercial transport in many ways constitutes the pulse of a city. It is how we get to work or school. It is how food reaches shops and restaurants, how medicines are delivered to hospitals and how refuse is collected and removed.

“Currently, flows in cities are far from being optimised as goods are delivered during the morning rush hour while most people are also on the move.

“Meanwhile, commercial transport is largely barred from city centres during nights when people are asleep…

“Public transport has always meant sharing. That now needs to be taken to the next level. With a higher degree of automation, it will be simpler to introduce greater flexibility in public transport.”

Scania’s president and CEO Henrik Henriksson added: “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.”

He added: “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.”

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