A self-driving street cleaning vehicle.
A Chinese tech firm has launched two self-driving street cleaning vehicles that can automatically trace and pick up garbage, and trim roadside bushes.
The vehicles were developed by the Changsha Zoomlion Environmental Industry Co. in Changsha, capital of central province of Hunan.
Chen Peiliang, president of the company, said the environmental sanitation industry had entered the AI-era. The company's self-driving vehicles are intelligent robots with auto piloting systems. They can replace humans as street cleaners.
The vehicles with wireless charging functions can sense and avoid barriers while sending video images of surrounding areas to a cloud-computing platform for remote control.
Chen said the company plans to invest 3 billion yuan (474 million U.S. dollars) to build a plant for mass production of the vehicles, and a further 5 billion yuan for developing more varieties of vehicles, as it foresaw strong demand for such products in future "smart cities."
"In five to eight years, smart dustbins will automatically sort residential waste. Self-driving cleaning vehicles will clean and sprinkle streets in the early morning. Robots will roam the streets to pick up garbage on the ground or do public gardening," Chen said.