VIDEO: Volvo wants to make autonomous garbage trucks

Whilst many tech companies are focusing on self-driving and autonomous cars, Volvo is instead focusing on garbage trucks. The concept laid out in the video shows a way to reduce the amount of workforce required to collect garbage on the streets.


To Volvo, they have been testing autonomous trucks in the mines in Sweden and now together through a partnership with Renova, a waste management company, they are bringing that tech to garbage trucks.

Unlike fully autonomous vehicles, the truck is still driven manually through an area. This is to enable its sensors and GPS to map out the route. Once a route has been mapped, the truck will know where to go and how often to stop to pick up the garbage. In the video, it shows the operator switching the truck into autonomous mode whilst the operator went and collected the rubbish.

Fitted with sensors to detect 360 degrees, the truck can then follow the operator as he goes from house to house to collect rubbish. Sensors and LiDAR are used to help detect and avoid obstacles and halt in the event of an emergency or the case of children running across the road.

This is useful for the tech companies but for areas where labour is cheap, the technology may not necessarily be cost effective.

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