They are hers two degrees, one in Physics and the other in Industrial Designto have inspired him: Thomas Gecchelin merged the scientific background - the part of optimization of complex systems with that of design and gave birth to Next Modular Vehicle, a vehicle capable of making public and private transport modular and scalable.
The enormous media success achieved right from the presentation of Gecchelin's degree thesis, which presented precisely this idea of his for a vehicle, led to the birth of Next Srl, which now has about fifteen employees. The company is preparing to expand further with the opening of a large-scale production line, both in Italy and in Dubai. For starters he just closed an investment round of 2.5 million euros by Paradigma Management Consultancies Llc, a company with experience in the automotive and insurtech sector.
How does it work
The key to Next Modular Vehicles' success lies in theirs modularity and flexibility. Any vehicle can be used both individually and coupled to other modules, allowing the transport offer to be adapted according to demand. This unique feature allows you to create a more dynamic and scalable transportation system, reducing energy consumption when transportation demand is lower.
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Vehicle dimensions may be varied based on estimated passenger demand expected at a certain time. In peak hours, the vehicle can leave the terminus with 5 or more modules (where permitted) to compensate for the peaks of more problematic users. Based on the number of modules connected, the capacity can be comparable to that of an 18-metre articulated bus, and even a tram, where the connection of a number of modules greater than 5 is permitted. In the hours of lower passenger flow, Next can circulate instead with a lighter configuration of 2 or 3 modules, and those not necessary to cover the demand can be parked and kept in charge in anticipation of the next peak.
"The vehicles are driven by a driver but, thanks to autonomous technology, - says the founder - they line up and hook up in a robotic way, making the connection process fast and efficient. The electric modular buses they don't need rails, they are able to adapt to the urban context without having to follow predefined routes, making collective transport more efficient and less rigid".
The road tests
Next Modular Vehicles has already been used in several pilot projects, including the one in Padua in collaboration with the municipality and funded by the European call for tender Sprout, which explored modes of passenger and freight transport simultaneously. Another major project was made in Dubai, on the occasion of Expo 2020where the vehicles have been customized as itinerant shopping malls for a L'Oreal brand, giving life to a new concept of on-the-go shopping.
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Next Modular Vehicles has the ability to adapt to different transport needs, becoming what Tommaso Gecchelin defines as "the stem cell of transport". "This system can be used not only in the urban context with variable capacity but also in many other areas, such as freight transport, airport services, retail and moving services", explains.
The capital increase
The agreement with Paradigma Mc Llc, established in the United Arab Emirates, marks a significant step towards the growth of Next as a concrete solution for the public transport of the future. The UAE company will provide essential financial and logistical support for the transition to the operational phase in the UAE, contributing to the production and marketing of these innovative electric modular vehicles.
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