Unmanned street cleaning vehicles deployed in Gwangju for test run

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : Febuary 17, 2021, 15:24 | Updated : Febuary 17, 2021, 15:24

[Courtesy of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups]

SEOUL -- Unmanned street cleaning vehicles will sweep the road surface and collect garbage in industrial and residential zones in the southern city of Gwangju in a 10-month test run. The project is aimed at improving the working condition of cleaners who normally work on streets when the sun is down and there's not much traffic.

Currently, South Korea's law regulates autonomous vehicles to have a human operator present so that they can prevent unexpected situations such as road accidents and machine malfunctions. The pre-commercialization test of street cleaning vehicles took place inside a regulation-free zone in Gwangju some 270 kilometers (167 miles) south of Seoul.

The Ministry of SMEs and Startups said in a statement on February 17 that the demonstration of special-purpose vehicles would focus on checking the efficacy of unmanned vehicles and collecting public data.
Four kinds of low-speed vehicles that travel slower than five kilometers per hour -- street sweeper, industrial garbage collector, garbage collector, and public information collector -- will be operated through a control tower system.

"Through the demonstration, we will establish a foundation for Gwangju to become a leading city in South Korea's future automobile industry," Gwangju Mayor Lee Yong-seop was quoted as saying. Gwangju said that road workers including cleaners are prone to accidents as they work in low-light environments after sunset and just before sunrise.
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