Volvo testing its autonomous garbage truck in Sweden
【Summary】Swedish automaker Volvo is working with local waste management company Renova, on testing a self-driving refuse truck in Sweden.
Swedish automaker Volvo is working with local waste management company Renova, on testing a self-driving refuse truck in Sweden.
Last year, the carmaker was testing an autonomous truck in a Swedish mine. Now Volvo wants to make a truck drive itself to alleviate the work of waste management staff.
How does the truck work?
The original information collection process still needs manual driving for data input.
When the autonomous truck enters an area for the first time, it is driven manually while the truck's on-board systems monitor and map the route using LiDAR and GPS. The next time the truck enters the same area, it will know which route to follow, and which house to stop at next. As soon as the truck "knows the area" and stops at a certain garbage pickup location, the waste management employee will exit the truck, collect the garbage can, and empty it as usual.
One thing to note is that during the garbage collection process, the truck will drive in reverse each time the employee finishes a trash collection and presses the truck's button to give notice.
To explain the reasoning behind this, Renova's Strategic Development Manager, Hans Zachrisson said that by driving in reverse the driver can constantly remain close to the compactor unit, instead of running repetitive trips between the rear of the truck and the cab.
"Since the driver doesn't have to climb in and out of the cab at every start and stop, there's less risk of work related injuries such as strain on the knees and other joints," he said.
Meanwhile, big trucks backing up can be a dangerous maneuver, since it's often difficult for the driver in truck to see what's behind the vehicle, even with a camera. When the self-driving truck reverses itself, the waste management staff can stand near the rear, clearly monitoring the surroundings. Since there are sensors detecting the surrounding area of the refuse truck, driving is equally safe no matter which direction the vehicle is moving.
"The refuse truck we are testing continuously monitors its surroundings and immediately stops if an obstacle suddenly appears on the road. At the same time, the automated system creates better prerequisites for the driver to keep a watchful eye on everything that happens near the truck," says Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic & Product Safety Director of Volvo Trucks.
The current testing phase is expected to run until the end of 2017, with thorough evaluation and analysis to follow. In terms of how well-received it is by garbage collection staff, community residents and other road users, Volvo said in its company release that it aims to apply autonomous vehicles with various levels of automation into different fields, including cargo terminals, mines, garbage collection, etc.
Claire Peng has over 6 years of professional experience in the media industry, covering TV, newspaper and online media. She was once a reporter and producer for Fairchild Television based in Toronto Canada, and worked as an English news reporter for the Global Times in Beijing. She writes mainly about self-driving, companies investment, and the enterprise lab.
NYU Releases the Largest LiDAR Dataset to Help Urban Development
July 13th, 2017 News of the Day: Uber merges with Yandex, U.S. to simplify driverless car rules
Hyperloop One Completes Its First Successful Test Run
July 12th, 2017 News of the Day: Faraday to move its factory, Vizio files lawsuit against LeEco
July 11th, 2017 News of the Day: Tesla to triple its service, Porsche posts half-year sales record
Faraday Future Halts Construction of $1 billion Factory in Nevada
July 10th, 2017 News of the Day: China to become Cadillac’s largest market, Oregon adds EV rebate
July 7th, 2017 News of the Day: VW partners with Kuka, Tesla to build battery factory in Australia
- Uber Introduces a Voucher Program that Allows Businesses to Buy Rides for Their Customers
- EV Startup Lucid Motors Appoints Former Tesla VP of Vehicle Engineering as CEO
- Intel’s Responsibility-Sensitive Safety Program Aims to Make Autonomous Cars More Assertive
- Mercedes Benz Working On Electric E-Class Sedan to Rival the Tesla Model S
- Toyota to Sell Electric Vehicle Technology to Chinese EV Startup Singulato
- Consumer Reports Says Tesla’s Autopilot Performs Worse Than a Human Driver
- Daimler, Volkswagen & BMW Face Big Fines After Being Charged With Emissions Collusion
- The U.S. Postal Service is Testing Mail Delivery Using Self-Driving Trucks From TuSimple
- Ford Invests $500 Million in Electric Truck Startup Rivian, Is There an Electric F-150 Coming Soon?
- General Motor’s Pulling Maven out of Eight Cities