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Volvo trial autonomous bin lorry

Volvo are trialling autonomous bin lorries.

The company have revealed a prototype for a self-driving truck, which they say makes collecting rubbish quicker, safer and more efficient, and it is currently being tested in north Sweden, with plans to continue testing until the end of 2017.

Lars Stenqvist, the chief technology officer for the Volvo Group, said: "There is amazing potential to transform the swift pace of technical developments in automation into practical benefits for customers and, more broadly, society in general. Our self-driving refuse truck is leading the way in this field globally, and one of several exciting autonomous innovations we are working with right now ...

"One important benefit of the new technology is a reduction in the risk of occupational injuries, such as wear in knee joints - otherwise a common ailment among staff working with refuse collection."

The autonomous vehicle is guided by sensors which tell if something or a person is getting too close. However, drivers will also be able to control the truck from the back by pressing a start and stop button to control when the truck stops to be filled with rubbish and carries on towards the next bin.

The route would be preloaded onto the truck's software system and has essentially been created to allow the drivers of the lorries to stay out of the truck to collect the waste rather than have to keep jumping in and out of the cab to maneuver the vehicle.

And there are also said to be some environmental benefits to the autonomous lorry, in that it is constantly monitoring and changing the gears, steering and speed to create the best environment to have low fuel consumption and emissions.

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