The main guidelines for the Group's research are therefore:

  • improving internal combustion engines; reducing consumption and emissions, increasing performance;
  • evolved hybrid, electric engines; alternative, non-fossil fuels;
  • improving vehicles, new vehicle concepts for a more sustainable and safe mobility;
  • devices for safety (active passive and preventive safety) and comfort; this sector includes connectivity, as regards both preventive safety and comfort;
  • the environmental compatibility of the product and process (Life Cycle Management).

Continual improvement of combustion engines

Engine research focuses on five fundamental fields:

  • optimisation of engine thermal fluid dynamics, with particular reference to the combustion process;
  • optimisation of electronic engine and transmission management;
  • reduction of organic leaks (friction, pumping);
  • improvement in transmission system performance (step or continuously variable transmission);
  • study of acoustics and engine timbre to have noise emissions that are lower and not unpleasant.

The aim is to reduce consumption and emissions and improve performance, also meaning handling and ease of use.

The following results were achieved in 2020:

Scooter engines

The Medley 125 and 150 2020 are an evolution of the Piaggio i-get family, developed between 2019 and 2020. The main objective of the project was to optimize thermodynamic efficiency, reduce friction and the operating noise of the engine while increasing performance and general handling, in compliance with the new Euro 5 regulations.

The new 125 single cylinder has a maximum power of 11 kW at 9,000 rpm, which is the maximum allowed by regulations (maximum torque of 12 Nm at 6500 rpm). The 150 cc delivers 12.1 kW at 8,750 rpm (15 Nm at 6500 rpm). The new head has larger diameter ducts and valves. Also new are the lightened barbells and the cam axis, the piston, the injector and throttle body increased by 2 mm; the filter box is now equipped with a Helmholtz resonator to improve volumetric efficiency. Lastly, a pre-catalyser on the silencer manifold and new main catalyser have been added. CVT transmission has been optimized to take advantage of the new engine power curve.

The Start & Stop system (patented, called RISS - Regulator Inverter Start & Stop System), has replaced the starter motor with significant advantages: a quiet start, lightness and reliability. Fuel consumption is also reduced, as the engine turns off when the vehicle is stationary; a minimum rotation of the gas control restarts the engine. Piaggio’s Medley engines also respect the environment with maintenance scheduled at 10,000 km, thus saving on used oil and filters.

Optimization has also had an impact on emissions and fuel consumption: the WMTC C1 cycle journey is equal to 42.01 km/l for the Medley 125 E5 (it was 41.49 km/l for the E4 version); CO2 is unchanged at 59 g/km, while the value of HCs (unburned hydrocarbons) is now 41 mg/km (it was 169 mg/km).

In addition to the new limits, the move to Euro5 required the introduction of a software application O.B.D. 2 – Step 18 which more advanced than the previous version and now includes:

  • Misfire Detection
  • Lambda probe degradation monitoring
  • Functional diagnostics:
    • Suction pressure sensor check
    • Engine temperature sensor check
    • T.P.S. Sensor check

8 On-board diagnostics (OBD) for auto-diagnostics and reporting of vehicle errors and/or failures, with controls of parameters of the engine control units and other electronic devices of the vehicle. This includes a standard data exchange interface that can be read from any workshop. Diagnostics are therefore fundamental for vehicle maintenance and for continually complying with requirements of legislation regarding emissions.

Motorcycle engines

The most recent development, emblematic of the Piaggio Group's capabilities, is the engine making its début on the Aprilia RS 660. This 660 cc parallel front-facing twin engine has evolved from the 1100 cc V4 (Euro 5). The engine is part of the chassis and supports the swingarm in its rear area. All thermodynamics are from the V4, although all engine components have been designed and developed from scratch. The upper crankcase is integrated with the cylinders to reduce dimensions and make the structure more robust. The cylinders are not aligned with the crankshaft, to minimise internal friction and reduce consumption. The distribution is 4-valve twin shaft per cylinder with small bowls. The clutch has an anti-juddering system. Gas control is electronic (ride-by-wire), so the rider can finely adjust delivery (see the next section "Safety and Comfort Devices") and reduce consumption and emissions. Performance is excellent for the category (100 hp at 10,500 rpm) despite compliance with Euro 5 regulations.

Evolved engines: plug-in and electric hybrids

Piaggio has been at the forefront of advanced ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) since 2009, with its MP3 Hybrid. The wealth of knowledge developed through the Hybrid Project has enabled the company to develop the Liberty eMail, which went on sale in 2011.

Ongoing research has led to the creation of the electric powertrain which is fitted on the new Vespa Primavera Elettrica.

  • Vespa Elettrica 70 km/h

2020 saw the début on the market of the Vespa Primavera Elettrica "motorcycle", boasting a better performance that is beyond the limit of the "moped" category. This development has made it possible to expand the base of customers looking for an environmentally friendly vehicle with a performance that is suitable for urban transit.

  • Micro Hybrid Engines

Another research and development area covers Start&Stop systems, which are a Micro Hybrid Engine for scooters.

Vehicle improvements

New concepts (Tilting vehicles)

The reference point is the Piaggio MP3 tilting three-wheeler created in 2006, which has enabled Piaggio to become a leader in the field of Dynamic Safety9. These new formulas, with the addition of other safety devices, can achieve safety levels close to car manufacturing standards, whilst retaining all the benefits of two-wheeler vehicles in terms of size, emissions and consumption.

The multi-wheel concept, depending on markets and formulas adopted, can offer huge advances in regulatory terms.

  • The Piaggio MP3 300 hpe 

This new version is leaner and lighter than the Piaggio MP3: a compact, sporty, dynamic, comfortable model, featuring a content typical of GT scooters.

The two wheel front suspension system (with articulated quadrilateral) was further developed and affords a greater stability on bends, shorter braking distances and excellent road holding in all conditions of poor adherence. The compact size and handling of the Piaggio MP3 300 hpe are ideal for manoeuvres from a stationery position. Plus the new Piaggio 300 hpe engine has a greater power and torque at the high-end of the category.

As part of its research, Piaggio has designed and built a prototype of an electric, twin engine, category L2e titling four-wheeler vehicle (Resolve), while in 2020 it put a new three-wheeler model on the market:

  • 3W - Delivery 125cc Euro 5

This innovative tilting three-wheeler was developed during 2020 specifically for parcel deliveries, in urban agglomerations. It features an exceptional load capacity (95 kg - 25 kg on the front rack and 70 kg in the large rear compartment). Thanks to the tilting system (twin10 wheeled rear trolley with differential/engine block), it guarantees high stability and safety in driving. Even before going into production, the Piaggio Group’s latest creation won the Poste Italiane S.p.A. tender for the supply of 5,000 three-wheeler scooters. The delivery of the fleet will be completed by the first half of 2021.

9 Vehicles with two front wheels offer a greater stability and shorter stopping distances compared to standard two-wheelers, even on wet or uneven terrain.

10 The choice of a twin-wheeled rear trolley is due to the type of vehicle and load, designed to have the agility of a two-wheeler but offering the stability of a threewheeler.

New product formulas: Aprilia RS 660

With a completely new technical base, defined by the new 660 cc, 100 hp parallel twin cylinder engine, the first in a generation of light, high-performing, technologically advanced motorcycles has come into being. The RS 660 represents a new concept in sportsmanship, an excellent bike on every occasion, from day-to-day rides to the toughest challenges. The RS 660 boasts a technical content derived from Aprilia's experience in world racing competitions. The weight has been reduced to just 183 kg when running order, but the contents have been enhanced by APRC electronic controls, adapted and evolved compared to the V4.

Reduction in absorption and weight11

During the design stage considerable attention was paid to reducing absorption and weight, two fundamentally important factors to decrease consumption and improve performance.

Aerodynamic simulations (CFDs) and validation of results by comparative analysis with experimental wind tunnel data made it possible to reduce the power required for the same performance.

These studies led to the definition of the fairing of the Aprilia RS 660, inspired by Aprilia’s racing experience. The fairing has a dual wall with the aim of improving aerodynamic penetration, increasing stability at high speeds, and protecting the rider from air pressure and from heat coming out of the radiator and engine12.

The RS 660 has a construction configuration that reduces the weight, as the engine replaces part of the chassis. To reduce weight, all Aprilia supersports bikes have lithium batteries, which are more expensive but much smaller and lighter than conventional lead accumulators.

11 The same applies to the engine, of which the weight has a significant impact on overall weight.
12 The heat coming out of the engine and radiator is a major problem for comfort in supersports, due both to the high power involved and the small size of the front section of the bike.

Devices for Safety and Comfort

The electronic control sector has expanded considerably in recent years:

  • ABS for light, medium, tilting scooters and motorcycles;
  • traction control (both with and without the Ride by Wire system), combined with ABS;
  • semi-active electronic suspensions (ADD - Aprilia Dynamic Damping);
  • Ride by wire adopted for most Group vehicles;
  • CAN handlebar controls (digital protocol);
  • cruise control (based on Ride by Wire) available on the Aprilia and Moto Guzzi models;
  • APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) system on the Aprilia RSV4, Thunder 1100 and RS 660 including:
  • ATC: Aprilia Traction Control;
  • AWC: Aprilia Wheelie Control;
  • ALC: Aprilia Launch Control;
  • AQS: Aprilia Quick Shift;
  • APL: Aprilia Pit Limiter;
  • ACC: Aprilia Cruise Control;
  • Multi-map ABS Cornering (RSV4 RR and RF, Tuono 1100 RR and Factory, RS 660) with RLM (Rear Liftup Mitigation);
  • AEB: Aprilia Engine Brake, the adjustable control system for the engine brake during the gas closure phase (on the RS 660 as from 2020);
  • AEM: Aprilia Engine Map, different mappings available to change the engine power delivery type and mode (on the RS 660 as from 2020); 
  • Riding Mode: the RS 660 now has five electronic configurations, so the rider can choose the mode that best suits their riding requirements; they determine the best traction, wheelie, brake, ABS control and other managed parameters. There are three Riding Modes for road use and two for the track:
  • Commute, for daily travel;
  • Dynamic, for sports riding on the road;
  • Individual, for total electronic controls customisation;
  • Challenge, (use on the track);
  • Time Attack, (use on the track) for full electronic customisation;
  • Development of LED lighting technology for both the headlight and rearlight, with the addition of the "bending lights" device, i.e. a pair of additional trajectory headlights that light up the inside of bends, increasing bend visibility (RS 660);
  • new panel instruments (Human Machine Interface) which are clearer and feature more information without distractions;
  • dissemination and expansion of the Piaggio Multimedia Platform connectivity system, based on linking the smartphone and the vehicle via Bluetooth®, iOS and Android.

Electronic suspensions and electronic steering shock absorber

The new Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory features Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspensions, developed by Öhlins for the Piaggio Group, as standard. This ensures highly versatile suspensions, which can adapt in terms of efficiency and safety to the various uses of the Tuono model (Touring, Sport or Track). The system offers two ways to calibrate the fork and damper: semi-active and manual mode, using the handlebar buttons. In semi-active mode, the suspensions are controlled by the Smart EC 2.0 system, which activates operation based on an algorithm that processes vehicle data sent to the control unit in real time. Accordingly, the suspensions of the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory adjust their hydraulic calibration, instant by instant, to the type of route and riding style. In manual mode, the 3 “Riding Modes” (Track, Sport and Road) offer 3 pre-defined types of calibration, without semi-active assistance. In both semi-active and manual mode, the user can highly customise suspension calibration. The Öhlins steering damper now has electronic control via the Smart EC 2.0 system and is fully customisable, to optimally adjust calibration based on fork and damper calibration. The OBTi (Objective Based Tuning Interface), displayed on the instrument panel offers user-friendly tuning. The system allows for customised calibration of the suspensions in any situation, such as acceleration and braking.

MIA multimedia platform: always connected with your smartphone

The MIA multimedia platform, available in various versions for the Group's brands, lets users connect their smartphone to their vehicle, and connect their vehicle to the web, for a truly multi-functional product. The platform becomes a superb onboard computer that can simultaneously display the speedometer, rev counter, as well as power and engine torque delivered instantaneously, longitudinal acceleration, thanks to the bend angle, plus instantaneous and average fuel consumption, average speed, battery status, and much, much more. From the smartphone connected to the MIA, riders can display maps and routes and locate fuelling stations and service centres. The tyre condition control function (indirect TPMC) uses information from the vehicle and smartphone sensors to monitor tyre wear and inflation, immediately alerting the user to any potentially critical situations; general analysis lets the user check vehicle conditions.

The cutting-edge version developed for the Aprilia RSV4 and Tuono, transforms the smartphone into a semi-professional system for track use. With this version, there is active communication between the vehicle and the smartphone: the rider can change the settings of their RSV4 and Tuono V4 through the smartphone.

Functions include:

  • Active Electronic Setup: Using the GPS feature of your smartphone, the system recognises the position of the bike at any given time on the track and automatically changes the electronic adjustments (traction control and anti-wheelie), based on the settings the rider has selected, corner by corner. This allows you to increase safety and effectiveness on the track, adjusting the control parameters at every point on the circuit and without distractions.
  • Adaptive Race Assistant: This feature provides tips in real time to safely make the most of your RSV4. The application compares rider performance to the best lap on the track in real time and assists by immediately indicating how to gradually improve performance.
  • Advanced Telemetry Dashboard: This allows you to use your smartphone display to see, in addition to all the information normally on the standard instrument cluster, numerous other parameters acquired from the bike telemetry such as: instant power sent to the driveshaft; instant torque sent to the driveshaft; percentage of available power; drive to the rear wheel; rear wheel slippage; longitudinal and lateral acceleration (G-G diagram); lean angle, etc.

The package also includes a module which enables vehicle operation to be analysed directly on smartphones, and another module for the automatic acquisition of lap times and improvement of driving style (in performance terms) for semi-professional use on the track.

  • Navigation: In the latest versions of the multimedia platform, for the Vespa GTS Supertech, Aprilia Shiver/Dorsoduro 900/RS 660 and Moto Guzzi V85, a complete sat nav system is featured. Through a specific section, users can browse and select their destination and then all relative information will be transferred via Bluetooth to the vehicle control unit and displayed on the TFT instrument panel as pictograms. Navigation information includes indications about current and next manoeuvres, road names, time and distance from arrival, speed limits and traffic control system reports.
    With active navigation, the instrument panel automatically configures in specific display mode, showing route instructions and critical information such as the speed and vehicle diagnostic alerts.
    Navigation start and stop operations are managed directly from the handlebar controls, with no smartphone interaction necessary while riding, guaranteeing the utmost ease of use and safety.
    The app-based navigation system ensures up-to-date maps and real time traffic and weather updates, using smartphone connectivity with clear benefits for the customer in terms of function and costs.
    The flexibility of the architecture also means new functions are constantly released and the system has been configured to:
    • automatically search for electric charging stations and optimise routes based on available autonomy;
    • display route weather alerts on the instrument panel;
    • provide an "electronic horizon" system, for excess speed alerts based on road bends and road surface conditions;
    • provide alerts on general hazard conditions along the route.

On all vehicles with TFT, the MIA platform operates basic telephone functions, via rapid, user-friendly controls on the handlebars:

  • voice command activation;
  • call management (accept / reject incoming calls, display caller's name);
  • call back last name;
  • music management (playlist selection, volume control, track change);
  • passenger/rider interphone with two Bluetooth headsets as standard.

The new version of the interface on the Aprilia RS 660 and which will form the basis for all new versions with a view to platform development, introduces the concept of "pages" for the instrument panel and allows the rider to manage all functions in parallel, for example always having the address book available with the latest calls made or received, numbers which can easily be called via intuitive controls on the handlebars even during music playback or an intercom conversation.

In the same way riders can select the latest destinations directly from the instrument panel and start or stop the navigation process from the vehicle controls, further limiting necessary interactions with the app or phone.

A streamlined version of the telephone management system was adopted for the first time for the 2019 version of the Piaggio Medley featuring the new LCD instrument panel 13: although the user interface has been designed with icons and a single handlebar button, most of the functions still feature, enabling the platform to be extended to models at the lower end of the range.

A new version of the connectivity control unit has been developed to integrate active functions even when the display is off, transforming the user's phone into a convenient remote control to remotely operate the direction indicators and horn (“find me” function to easily find the vehicle within a radius of 100 meters), the dipped-beam projector (“follow me” function to illuminate the route near the vehicle) and control the electric opening of the seat. The first implementation of the new device will be on the Euro 5 version of the Medley, available on the market from January 2021, which will then be extended to the entire Scooter range of the Group.

13 LCD Liquid Crystal Display.

Three/four wheeler sector

Piaggio's product strategy addresses the transport of people and goods over medium and short distances, and focuses on the handling, compact size and safety of vehicles, as well as environmental issues.

This challenge in Europe, India and increasingly on export markets (America and Africa), is tackled through the following actions:

  • the study, production and sale of low consumption engines with reduced pollutant emissions;
  • the increasingly widespread use of alternative fuels for the entire product range;
  • the development and sale of electric vehicles;
  • high transportation efficiency (ratio between transportable weight and total weight on ground).

3 /4 wheelers India

Current Indian legislation provides for the introduction of BSVI emission limits from April 2020 for three- and four-wheelers on the domestic market, and consequently the production and sale of BSIV configuration vehicles will discontinue.

Since January 2020 Piaggio has produced three-wheeler vehicles complying with the new regulations, thus becoming the first manufacturer of three-wheelers in the country to have updated its entire range to the new standard.

A common goal for the entire Piaggio range manufactured in India is to reduce consumption and the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), through measures to continually improve vehicle efficiency, also based on innovative technology for this type of product (petrol, LPG and natural gas engines with electronic injection, diesel engines with electronic control and vehicles with electric drive).

Developments on the Indian three-wheeler market have confirmed the growth trend in recent years for vehicles with alternative fuel engines (LPG, CNG) especially in urban and semi-urban areas.

To meet the challenges of this increasing trend, Piaggio:

  • has been marketing the Ape City BSIV for passenger transport on the Indian Market since January 2019. The innovative LPG/CNG electronic injection technology (that will be adopted on all BSVI vehicles) chosen for the model has made it possible to reduce consumption and pollutant emissions, while also improving performance and reliability (the system also gives the rider optimal information to minimise consumption, thanks to the gear change alert system, and information on correct vehicle functioning);
  • started production of the Ape City with BSVI engines in September 2019;
  • launched the Ape e-City version with Full Electric engine on the Indian market in December 2019. This important technical innovation on the model has been developed to meet a growing need for eco-friendly vehicles;
  • has implemented a new 230cc powertrain (petrol and bifuel) since 2020, to replace the 200cc engine, with the aim of improving performance, reliability, noise and consumption;
  • has implemented the 300cc powertrain since the second half of 2020 - designed, developed and produced internally, strongly focused on using and optimising the use of alternative fuels such as LPG and methane. The advantage over the current BSVI version is a significant improvement with a view to TCO and performance;
  • will introduce the Ape e-Cargo version, to flank the e-City model, from mid-2021 onwards, guaranteeing the availability of a full range of electric vehicles for passenger and goods transport, with the further aim of expanding sales on European and export markets.

With regard to export markets, from 2021 the new versions with 230cc engines (replacing the 200cc) and the electric versions of Ape City and Ape Cargo will become available.

4 wheelers Europe

On the European 4-wheeler market, introduction in July 2019 of the Euro 6d engine, for the entire Porter and Maxxi range with petrol powertrain and alternative fuels (GPL and natural gas), delivered further improvements in terms of emission (compliance with the WLTP standard) and performance, boosting customer satisfaction even more.

With the aim of renewing the current Porter and Maxxi 4-wheeler range for the European market, Piaggio signed an important deal with China's biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, Foton, for the development of a new 4-wheeler commercial vehicle for goods transport (the New Porter).

Besides a considerable increase in specific capacity, comfort and performance, the new vehicle was developed to meet increasingly stringent type approval standards (crash tests, active and passive protection systems, assisted riding systems, etc.).

The new vehicle was conceived promoting versions focused on a 1,500cc petrol engine, with petrol/LPG and Petrol/natural gas, as well as mild gas for the single and twin wheel versions. This configuration means that pollutant and CO2 emissions are lower than the current Euro 6d version.

Production start up has been scheduled for January 2021 for the single wheel petrol version, followed by the other versions/variants.

The Full Electric version is also being defined, which aims to meet the growing demand for vehicles with a low environmental impact.

The range of commercial vehicles offered by Piaggio for the European market focuses on "intracity” mobility, with special attention on limiting fuel consumption and pollutant emission levels; these are fundamental elements for a sustainable transport system, especially in the "last mile" handling and delivery process, which has a direct impact on the quality of life in metropolitan areas and historical centres.

In addition to the reduction in emissions, the introduction of environmentally-friendly engines enables Piaggio commercial vehicles to guarantee low environmental impact for goods transport missions in city centres (historical city centres in particular), thanks to their compact dimensions and high transportation efficiency (ratio between transportable weight and total weight on the ground). 

"Life Cycle Management" in two-wheelers

Although no legislation on recyclability for two-wheelers is currently in force or is planned, the Piaggio Group has taken steps in this direction. The technologies and materials used for the design and construction of the Group's scooters and motorcycles have targeted environmental compatibility and their effective end-of-life disposal since the introduction of the Sfera 50 model (1989). As from 2008, Piaggio has also changed the title blocks of drawings and information in its bills of materials so that materials used in constructing vehicles can be checked and disassembly can be optimised for easier disposal.

Through a partnership with UniFi, the characteristics of recyclability of the MP3 125 Hybrid in accordance with ISO 22628 were analysed. This was achieved by taking apart a real vehicle and registering all of its components. The recyclability rate was 88%, far higher than the limit of 85% set for the automotive industry for category N1 and M1 vehicles.

"Life Cycle Management"

"Life Cycle Management" in two-wheelers

Although no legislation on recyclability for two-wheelers is currently in force or is planned, the Piaggio Group has taken steps in this direction. The technologies and materials used for the design and construction of the Group's scooters and motorcycles have targeted environmental compatibility and their effective end-of-life disposal since the introduction of the Sfera 50 model (1989). As from 2008, Piaggio has also changed the title blocks of drawings and information in its bills of materials so that materials used in constructing vehicles can be checked and disassembly can be optimised for easier disposal.

Through a partnership with UniFi, the characteristics of recyclability of the MP3 125 Hybrid in accordance with ISO 22628 were analysed. This was achieved by taking apart a real vehicle and registering all of its components. The recyclability rate was 88%, far higher than the limit of 85% set for the automotive industry for category N1 and M1 vehicles.

"Life Cycle Management" in four-wheelers

In the four-wheel sector, the regulatory panorama is similar to that of cars.

With the introduction of the European Regulation REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical Substances) in 2007, automotive manufacturers are required to follow AIG (Automotive Industries Guidelines) which include monitoring the use of hazardous/prohibited substances, and checking the recyclability and recoverability rates of materials used.

In this regard, Piaggio has adopted a challenging process over the years to guarantee high recyclability levels of its vehicles, achieving important results such as the limited use of materials considered hazardous (lead, chromium, mercury and cadmium) and an end-of-life vehicle disposal manual.

Piaggio constantly monitors the recyclability and recoverability rates of its vehicles, always remaining above the thresholds determined for these indicators by Directive 2000/53/EC (at 85% and 95% respectively). The Porter MAXXI Multitech Euro 6 pick-up, for example, has a 91.5% recyclability rate and a 96.1% recoverability rate. Piaggio's passion for the environment is also channelled into its commitment to guaranteeing the environmental compatibility of its commercial vehicles, from the design stage until the end of their working life.

The survey also paved the way for a database, which updates in real time vehicle material compositions and their recyclability and recoverability rates, from the design stage onwards.

The recyclability and recovery values for the Porter model, with Euro 6 petrol, GPL and electric engines are given below.

“Life Cycle Management” nei 4 Ruote

Use of recycled plastics

On all Piaggio Group vehicles, mass-pigmented polypropylene components (floorboard, leg shield back plate, air cleaner, etc.) can be made of recycled materials, at the discretion of the supplier.

Industrial patent rights

Piaggio’s dedication to intensive research and development is reflected in the continual increase in patent applications in countries where the Group operates.

Piaggio has more than two thousand patents worldwide. Many of these concern the tilting three-wheel sector, an area in which the Piaggio Group has always been a pioneer, and in which it intends maintaining its position as industry leader.

Industrial patent

In 2020, the number of new patented solutions dropped to the global pandemic, confirming in any case the Group’s strong focus on intellectual property. Piaggio is one of the leading Italian companies for its number of patented solutions.

New solution

Partnerships with universities and research centres

The Piaggio Group is convinced of the importance of exchanging knowledge and ideas, and of the resulting encouragement that can lead to improvements in technologies, methodologies and products. For this reason the Piaggio Group has always been engaged on many fronts to consolidate the synergy between the world of research and its industrial sector.

The Group has continual exchange and research initiatives with universities and research centres. The objective of these partnerships has been to support continuing innovation over the last few years through:

  • partnerships in research and development projects;
  • participation in European and national projects;
  • experimental research dissertations.

Technological antennas (Group Research Centres)

In addition to its external partnerships, the Group has three high-calibre technological flagships: the Piaggio Advanced Design Center in Pasadena (USA), the multiple world champion Aprilia Racing team, engaged in the global challenge represented by the MotoGP, and the Piaggio Fast Forward advanced research centre in Boston.

The Piaggio Advanced Design Center (PADC) aims to shed light on changes in society, lifestyles and urban and metropolitan mobility formulas, developing an international system of skills and research in the sectors of style and product marketing that can generate stimuli and results that can then be developed within a technological environment.

Aprilia Racing, one of the most successful and prestigious teams in the world, which has also been involved in MotoGP since 2015, has a technical collaboration with the Group R&D department, engaging in a continuous exchange of ideas and skills.

Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF) is a pioneer in the intelligent movement of people and goods using technologies of an ideal size: larger than aerial drones but smaller than cars and trucks.

The company’s mission is to help people move better, further, faster and more enjoyably. PFF creates robots that follow, move alongside or transport people in motion. In the era of artificial intelligence, autonomous machines and interconnected networks, PFF promotes more vibrant cities, getting people and objects from A to B more effectively by exploiting the potential of intelligent vehicles.

The motto of PFF is “autonomy for man”, i.e. placing autonomy at the service of humans, as well as promoting greater freedom, pleasure and efficiency in movement.

This is what Piaggio Fast Forward calls “moVibilità” (“MoVability”). PFF designs vehicles like Gita and Kilo to improve and expand human capabilities both at work and during leisure time. The first Piaggio Fast Forward product is the Gita, with sales starting in California in November 2019. Kilo is Gita's "big brother". Thanks to a greater load capacity, it can carry up to 100 kg of weight in the 120 litre compartment and has an extraordinary stability thanks to its three-wheel basis. The Gita and Kilo are both practical and fun, functional and beautiful. They are the first in a portfolio of technologies currently under development.

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