Mass-produced robo roadsweepers to be tested in Guangzhou

A fleet of more than 50 mass-produced autonomous roadsweeper vehicles will be deployed for testing in Nansha District in the Chinese city of Guangzhou in May this year.

Robosweeper has been designed and produced for city-level environmental services under a strategic collaboration between level 4 (L4) autonomous driving specialist WeRide and vehicle manufacturer Yutong Group.

Purpose-built design

The purpose-built vehicle features a cockpit-free design without a steering wheel, accelerator or brake pedals. It is WeRide’s second product for mass production and purpose-built self-driving vehicles, after the launch of the Mini Robobus.

According to WeRide, the Robosweeper demonstrates its philosophy of “tech for good” and help prompt a greener environment. The vehicle has a fully redundant chassis and is powered by WeRide’s leading 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 developed a custom-built cloud-based platform to manage the Robosweeper fleet. The platform acts the brain and command centre 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 like charging, water filling, waste discharge, vehicle activation and parking without human intervention.

During the large-scale road test in Guangzhou, the fleet will be tested on technological and operational metrics through a road test plan designed to address real-life scenarios of the Nansha District. Road tests will also be conducted after midnight to acquire an in-depth understanding on the frontline. In light of the Covid-19 situation, the Robosweeper is equipped with a spraying system to disinfect with zero-contact.

Accommodating the needs from different regions, timeslots, and services, WeRide has combined flexibility with extensive multi-scenario operation experiences. WeRide and the Nanshan government have collaborated on the pilot programme.

“Nansha District is the pioneer to support autonomous driving road tests and operations,” said Wei Min, standing committee member of CPC Guangzhou Nansha District Committee and executive head of People’s Government of Nansha District. “WeRide Robosweepers’ roadtest in Nansha will be one of the largest in history.

“WeRide, being the leader in autonomous driving in China, is well-equipped with industry-leading expertise in technology development, product innovation and commercial operations. We will work together to promote, explore and practice a high-quality digital economy in Nansha.”

Robo products

WeRide has developed a series of products, namely Robotaxi, Mini Robobus, Robovan and the most recent Robosweeper, with the aim of bringing smart mobility, smart freight and smart environmental services to commercial applications, realising the fullest potential of autonomous driving technology.

“Under the accelerated urbanisation process, we observed a surge of needs on environmental services,” said Tony Han, founder and CEO of WeRide. He added that the request for zero-contact environmental services has been raised due to public health matters, such as concerns over Covid-19.

“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.”



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