The Municipality of Padua has announced it will support start-up Next Future Transportation to develop a new system of sustainable, flexible and intelligent local transport.
Having presented the project at the Digital Cities Challenge Academy Seminar in Algericas at the start of the year, the city has made the news official that it will invest in the innovative modular system developed by the Paduan native Tommaso Gecchelin.
Next Future Transportation is an advanced smart transportation system based on self-driving electric pods. The pods are modular, allowing them to drive individually or by clamping to other units to form a bus. One pod, 8.8 feet (2.7 m) in length, can hold up to 10 people.
The company is already carrying out a project in Dubai for the mobility of Expo 2020, with the aim of putting two vehicles on the road from the end of 2019 for the highly innovative public service.
The pods can also be summoned by passengers through an application, where users can specify their mobility needs and the service can therefore be adapted in real time to requests.
"We have been following the Next project for a long time and we have decided to support the development of a system with great potential,” said Deputy Mayor Arturo Lorenzoni
“We are sure that the means that are developing in collaboration with Paradigma exponential hub, are able to provide adequate answers to the mobility needs of our city and we are particularly pleased to be able to support an excellence born in the area that is already enjoying international appreciation.”
“The Administration’s support is aimed at favouring the modules construction phase in Padua, an important goal for us. In the centenary year since the death of Enrico Bernardi, the inventor of the first petrol-powered car, with this fundamental step we aim to position Padua at the centre of an ambitious project on the future of sustainable mobility,” explained Lorenzoni.