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WeRide announces self-driving Robosweepers roll off the assembly line

29/04/2022 | Qiming Venture Partners

WeRide, a global leading L4 autonomous driving company announces the launch of Robosweeper, the first mass-produced and purpose-built self-driving sweeper vehicle in China. The launch also represents the roll-off of Robosweeper and the next step towards a large-scale road test in May this year, with a fleet of more than 50 vehicles, to be conducted in Nansha District, Guangzhou.

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

Robosweeper is designed and produced for city-level environmental services under a strategic collaboration between WeRide and Yutong Group. First of its kind in the sweeper industry, the Robosweeper features an unprecedented 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 Mini Robobus. 

The Robosweeper demonstrates WeRide’s philosophy of "tech for good" to prompt a greener environment. This EV has a fully redundant chassis and is powered by WeRide's leading L4 autonomous driving solution, enabling safe, fully driverless and all-day available operations. Under the self-driving mode, the fleet is able to perform comprehensive environmental services, such as sweeping, sprinkling and disinfection spraying.

WeRide has also developed a custom-built cloud-based platform to manage the Robosweeper fleet. The platform acts the brain and command center 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, such as charging, water filling, waste discharge, vehicle activation and parking without human intervention.

The large-scale road test of Robosweeper fleet will be launched in May, with over 50 vehicles in the first batch, covering the entire Nansha district of 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 past 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 Nansha government have joined hands in co-creating the leading pilot application of autonomous driving in China. 

Wei Min, Executive Head of People's Government of Nansha District, Guangzhou addressed, "Nansha District is the pioneer to support autonomous driving road tests and operations. WeRide Robosweepers’ road test 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."

"Under the accelerated urbanization process, we observed a surge of needs on environmental services. Meanwhile, with the emerging pandemic like COVID-19, the request on zero-contact environmental services has been raised due to public health concerns," says Tony Han, the founder and CEO of WeRide. "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."