When it comes to safety, efficiency and sustainability, autonomous vehicles are taking the world by storm.
Autonomous vehicle company NVIDIA Home This month’s member WeRide has started an on-street pilot test of its Robo Street Sweepers. The vehicles, designed to perform 24-hour cleaning services, are based on high-performance, energy-efficient computing from NVIDIA.
The 50-vehicle fleet is sweeping, spraying and spraying disinfectant in Guangzhou, China, all without a human driver behind the wheel. The automated sweepers run on a cloud-based fleet management platform that automatically schedules and dispatches vehicles using real-time information on traffic and daily routes.
Street sweeping is a critical municipal service. In addition to keeping dirt and debris off the road, it helps ensure trash and hazardous materials don’t flow into storm drains and pollute local waterways.
As cities grow, the application of autonomous driving technology to street cleaning vehicles allows these fleets to run more efficiently and keep public spaces cleaner and healthier.
While street sweepers typically operate at lower speeds and in more constrained environments than robot taxis, trucks, or other autonomous vehicles, they still require robust AI computing to operate safely.
Street cleaning vehicles must be able to drive in heavy urban traffic, as well as in low visibility conditions, such as at night and in the early morning. In addition, they have to detect and classify objects on the way while cleaning.
To do so without a human behind the wheel, these vehicles must process massive amounts of data from on-board sensors in real time. Redundant and diverse deep neural networks (DNNs) must work together to accurately perceive relevant information from this sensor data.
As a high-performance software-defined AI computing platform, NVIDIA’s solution is designed to handle the large number of applications and DNN running simultaneously in autonomous vehicles, while achieving systemic security standards.
A line of models
The WeRide Robo Street Sweepers are the latest in the company’s stable of autonomous vehicles and its second purpose-built and mass-produced autonomous vehicle model.
WeRide has been developing autonomous technology at NVIDIA since 2017, building robotaxis, mini robobuses, and robovans with the goal of accelerating smart urban transportation.
Its robotaxis have already provided more than 350,000 rides for 180,000 passengers since 2019, while its mini robobuses began pilot operations for the public in January.
And with the addition of these latest vehicles, WeRide fleets are poised to rock.