The potential of autonomous and connected sweepers for smart and sustainable cities
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The objective of this research was to evaluate the potential of autonomous and connected sweepers for cleaning pavements and cycle ways. Supported by sustainable policies, the networks of cycle ways are growing considerably outside cities, and their maintenance is demanding in terms of economic resources. The current study examines the idea of replacing manned service vehicles by autonomous sweepers in urban areas. Autonomous sweepers could be operated from a control room to perform planned and on-demand cleaning tasks. Tests were carried out with the S100N Spring developed by the Chinese company Idriverplus Technology Co., Ltd. The sweeper performance and efficiency have been evaluated (1) with gravel, leaves, pine cones and rubbish in a closed test area and (2) in real conditions, on two pavements in Kongsberg (Norway). The results from the cleaning tests and the interactions with vulnerable road users are presented. Challenges and limitations of the technology are discussed. Keywords: autonomous sweepers, road maintenance, robot, safety, sustainable city.