Volvo testing driverless refuse collection trucks
Volvo Trucks is currently testing and researching how automated vehicles can contribute to safer, more efficient refuse handling and create a better working environment for drivers.
The company is partnering with Swedish waste management company Renova on the project.
The automated systems being tested are in principle the same as those fitted to the autonomous Volvo truck operating in the Kristineberg Mine in northern Sweden since autumn last year.
Carl Johan Almqvist, traffic and product safety director, Volvo Trucks, says: “Driving a heavy commercial vehicle in an urban residential area with narrow streets and vulnerable road users naturally imposes major demands on safety, even when the vehicle’s speed doesn’t exceed a normal walking pace.
“The refuse truck we are now 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.”
The first time the automated refuse truck is used in a new area, it is driven manually while the onboard system constantly monitors and maps the route with the help of sensors and GPS technology.
The next time the truck enters the same area, it knows exactly which route to follow and at which bins it has to stop.
At the first stop with the automated system activated, the driver climbs out of the cab, goes to the rear of the truck, brings out the wheelie-bin and…