A fleet of driverless sweeper trucks, said to be the first of its kind in the world, has been put on a trial run at an industrial park in Shanghai.
Designed and developed by Shanghai-based firm Autowise.ai, the fleet – it comprises 6-meter-long and 3-meter-long vehicles – was tested at the Tus-Caohejing Science Park in Shanghai.
The unmanned vehicles self-activate every night at 2 am to clean the roads before dumping the trash and returning to the parking space.
The cleaning trucks, which can detect traffic lights, roadside barriers and deal with other traffic conditions, are operating at a reduced speed and only within the designated region during the test period.
According to Ye Qing, the co-founder of the company, the fleet can be easily mass produced as the hi-tech sensors used cost just 300,000 yuan ($47,500).
Ye added that driverless technology has huge potential in the street cleaning business because they would be able to perform under the same conditions as conventional sweeper trucks currently do – on fixed routes and in the wee hours of the morning when traffic is light.