Chinese autonomous driving technology developer WeRide has launched Robosweeper, what it says is the first mass-produced and purpose-built self-driving street sweeper vehicle in China.
It is designed and produced for city-level environmental services under a strategic collaboration between WeRide and Yutong Group and features a cockpit-free design without a steering wheel, accelerator or brake pedals. The EV has a fully redundant chassis and is powered by WeRide’s L4 autonomous driving solution. Under the self-driving mode, the fleet is able to perform comprehensive environmental services, such as sweeping, sprinkling and disinfection spraying.
WeRide has also developed a custom-built cloud-based platform to manage the Robosweeper fleet. The platform acts the brain and command center for the smart city’s environmental services. The system provides real-time information of routes, operations and autonomous driving status. It facilitates intelligent scheduling, automated activation, remote dispatching and route management, ensuring daily operations, such as charging, water filling, waste discharge, vehicle activation and parking, without human intervention.
A large-scale road test of the Robosweeper fleet will be launched in May, with over 50 vehicles in the first batch, covering the entire Nanshan district of Guangzhou. The fleet will be tested against technological and operational metrics through a road test plan designed to address real-life scenarios of the Nansha District.
“Under the accelerated urbanization process, we observed a surge of needs on environmental services. Meanwhile, with the emerging pandemic like Covid-19, the request on zero-contact environmental services has been raised due to public health concerns,” said Tony Han, the founder and CEO of WeRide.
“By developing the self-driving Robosweeper, WeRide offers a package of environmental services without human intervention, and it will be available for city in a safer, greener and more efficient manner. In case of a public health emergency, the fleet will be the first and the most trusted resource to serve the public with the safe and reliable autonomous driving technology.”