Volvo report that the truck doesn’t get distracted by emotions, can see better and manages obstacles more accurately. The truck automatically stops for a ball bouncing into the street.
Volvo Group’s autonomous refuse truck is designed to make the driving safer in built-up areas, not least when reversing. Sensors continuously monitor the vehicle’s vicinity and the truck stops immediately if an obstacle suddenly appears in its path. The route is pre-programmed and the truck drives itself from one wheeled garabage-bin to the next. The driver, who walks ahead of the reversing vehicle, can focus on refuse collection and does not have to climb into and out of the cab every time the truck moves to a new bin.
“One important benefit of the new technology is a reduction in the risk of occupational injuries, such as wear in knee joints – otherwise a common ailment among staff working with refuse collection,” explains Lars Stenqvist, , Chief Technology Officer, Volvo Group.
The autonomous truck also offers major environmental upsides. Gearchanging, steering and speed are constantly optimized for low fuel consumption and emissions.
The joint project with Renova will continue until end of 2017. The autonomous truck currently being tested is fitted with a sensor system for identification, navigation, and monitoring of the vehicle’s vicinity. Most of this technology is also used in the autonomous truck for mining operations that Volvo Group unveiled in 2016. That self-driving truck is undergoing tests in the Kristineberg Mine in northern Sweden.