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Bell unveils Nexus 4EX concept at CES


The Nexus 4EX concept leverages Bell’s powered-lift approach with four tilting ducted fans that can be configured as hybrid-electric or all-electric. (Image: Bell)

Bell Textron Inc. at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, which continues until January 10 and expects to host more than 170,000 visitors, unveiled its newest Bell Nexus vehicle concept in the Nexus 4EX. At last year’s CES, Bell displayed a full-scale design of its Nexus air taxi, which incorporates six tilting ducted fans.

The model number of this urban air concept vehicle describes the company’s development plans, with 4EX standing for four ducted fans, E for Electric and X for experimental. The aircraft features Bell’s powered-lift concept with four tilting ducted fans that can be configured as hybrid-electric or all-electric. Bell explains this design unlocks the key for all electric technology, but the vehicle will remain propulsion agnostic depending on customer needs.

Urban Air Mobility approach

“The vision for the Bell Nexus remains the same, but by taking a mature system level approach to design for an objective market vehicle, we believe this configuration unlocks a capable, certifiable and commercially viable product,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO, Bell.

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Bell is using the CES platform to outline how it intend to help shape cities of the future, which it sees as including both its Bell Nexus air taxi and the Autonomous Pod Transport (APT). “With a focus on the passenger experience, we revealed the technology and the vehicle that will revolutionize transportation in cities at CES 2019; this year, we’re demonstrating what governing, operating, working and living in a smart city will look like,” said Snyder.

Bell states nearly 70 per cent of the population will be living in urban areas by 2050 and that cities are already outgrowing their current transportations systems, creating a need for urban mobility solutions. At CES, the company highlighted its plans for Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and Bell AerOS

Bell states its MaaS plans look beyond the aircraft and demonstrate how to integrate MaaS into communities. Bell’s service is powered by Bell AerOS, a proprietary system running on Microsoft Azure created to manage fleet information, observe aircraft health, and manage throughput of goods, products and predictive data and maintenance. This digital infrastructure is prevalent in Bell’s Smart City vision.

“Bell continues to lead the conversation beyond the aircraft to offer multi-modal transportation solutions and experiences within an interconnected digital network that will excite consumers, earn their trust and make their lives easier,” said Snyder.