Scania Unveils MultiPurpose Autonomous Vehicle Concept

first_img Most EV designs start with a modular platform. Many of those platforms are skateboard-like, but Scania’s new NXT system is different. It’s like a pair of hoverboards.Generally speaking, a modular EV platform allows a manufacturer to build multiple different models around the same drive components. The Scania platform is different. It’s actually designed to allow for quick, on-demand changes.The same units that keep a bus rolling along its routes in the morning can be popped off and popped back on to a vehicle with an entirely different purpose — like hauling freight or collecting trash or recyclables. Scania refers to them as “functional modules.”Over time, cities could identify patterns and anticipate when changes need to be made to their vehicle fleet to meet demands.It’s important to note that the battery packs reside in the main module, not the wheel and axle units. Modules that aren’t in use can be topped off so that they’re ready to go when another returns ready to recharge and pass on the drive system to the next.Scania’s new battery electric self-driving urban concept vehicle #ScaniaNXT on display at #UITP2019.— Scania Group (@ScaniaGroup) June 11, 2019You could do the same thing with a skateboard platform — and some makers have — but then you’re limited to vehicles with a uniform wheelbase. That’s not the case here since the drive and battery are separate.Not only can they drive vehicles that serve entirely different purposes, they can be different sizes, too. The prototype bus measures 26 feet long and can carry up to 55 passengers (it’s autonomous, so there’s no space reserved for a driver), but the same system could roll a compact shuttle or a cleanup vehicle.Scania says NXT would enable cities to come up with more carefully thought-out ways to deal with the “24/7 flow of people and goods,” adding that the daily flow of commercial vehicles represents “the pulse of a city.”More on Postal Service Begins Testing Self-Driving TrucksWorld’s First All-Weather Autonomous Bus Rolls Out in FinlandWatch: Teslas, EVs Were Struggling During the Polar Vortex, Too Stay on target Never Miss Another Putt With Nissan’s Self-Driving Golf BallUS Postal Service Begins Testing Self-Driving Trucks last_img read more