Espoo, Finland Tests Autonomous Street Sweepers

The city of Espoo, Finland is conducting a trial of an autonomous street sweeper for greener and more sustainable city cleaning. The full-power autonomous street sweeper was created by the Finnish company, Trombia Technologies.

Current street-sweeper technology relies on suction performance that was invented in the 1950s. They are noisy and can create a great deal of dust and it has been estimated that, globally, diesel-powered street cleaning heavy equipment generate more than three million metric tons of CO2 carbon emissions every year. Trombia states that its street sweepers – named  ‘Free’ – use 85% less energy than conventional vehicles. Trombia Free units use an all-weather autonomous, lidar-based, machine vision technology for navigation in all weather  conditions. They filtrate the noise coming from the environment to reduce noise pollution. They run on electric batteries so have zero carbon emissions and use water to keep down dust pollutants.

Trombia Free is designed to operate autonomously – either following a pre-programmed cleaning route, or by using on-board lidar technology to navigate – current city laws do not allow it to function on public streets. The trial will run on private properties, such as parking lots.

“We are thrilled to start the pilot program with the city of Espoo. When we think about the over 3 million CO2 metric tons of carbon emissions that high power diesel-fuelled suction street sweepers around the world produce annually, “we see that smart cities around the world can act to reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions significantly by modernising the way street cleaning is [done],” said Antti Nikkanen, CEO, Trombia Technologies.