A fleet of driverless street cleaning vehicles has begun trial operations at an industrial park in Shanghai, according to the Shanghai-based news portal The Paper on Friday.
The convoy, which includes a 6m-long truck and a 3m-long minibus, has been designed and developed by Autowise.ai, a Shanghai technology company, for different road widths.
The unmanned trucks, according to Autowise.ai founder Ye Qing, will deploy at 2.00am every morning and drive very slowly while carrying out their work.
Each vehicle can detect traffic lights, avoid roadside barriers and make right angle turns. After dumping its collected waste, each will then return to a designated parking space.
When it comes to safety, Ye said that the routes on urban roads are fixed, plus the cars will only work early in the morning, when road conditions are relatively simple. Furthermore, the top speed of these vehicles is 10 km per hour, meaning safety is guaranteed.
Beijing’s transport authority has issued two guidance documents allowing autonomous vehicles to conduct road tests in China’s capital city.
Ye also revealed that the fleet can easily be mass produced, as the hi-tech sensors used cost just 300,000 yuan (US$47,500) each.
Shanghai begun a trial run of driverless trains on its first automated metro line at the end of March, becoming the third Chinese city, after Beijing and Guangzhou, to introduce the unmanned system.