Some of the past winter's dusty gravel on the streets of Espoo will be cleaned up by an autonomous and environmentally-friendlier street sweeper made by a Kuopio firm.
In a commercial pilot effort, the company that developed the device, Trombia Technologies, agreed with Espoo to test the sweeper in the city's Mankka neighborhood, in order to examine the vehicle's autonomous capabilities.
The device — the Trombia Free — looks a bit like an aerodynamic yacht, uses lidar technology and, according to the firm, uses 85 percent less energy than conventional, diesel-powered street sweepers.
"We are thrilled to start the pilot program with the City of Espoo. When we think about the over three million metric tons of carbon emissions that high power diesel-fueled 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 made," Trombia Technologies CEO Antti Nikkanen said in a statement.
The firm said that the Trombia Free is an all-weather machine and able to safely navigate in rainy or snowy conditions, due to the lidar tech built into the device.
The device was launched in September, and Trombia Technologies said it plans further pilot programmes in other locations later this spring.