Volvo is joining the autonomous vehicle race. In a video released Tuesday, the company showed off its concept for a driverless garbage truck, adding themselves to a growing list of manufacturers pledging to work in the self-driving field.
In this short video, Volvo demonstrates its vision for an autonomous garbage collecting experience. The truck drives completely on its own, with a sanitation worker walking in front, operating the pickup controls from the outside. Volvo highlights how the truck is free from typical human distraction, allowing it to drive as necessary, both regarding safety and efficiency.
Safety is one of the driverless industry's best selling points. This morning, a woman in New York City was killed by a garbage truck that hit her in an intersection. Volvo has an opportunity now to prove the necessity of autonomous vehicles, as well as show how much of a positive impact they will have on communities.
Volvo's step into the world of driverless is interesting news, considering Volvo will now end the production of diesel trucks by 2023. The company is reportedly investing in hybrid and electric vehicles instead, which often go hand-in-hand with autonomous technology.
Volvo is not the first to push into the world of autonomous trucks. FedEx Freight CEO Michael Drucker has been adamant about bringing driverless to his company, even appearing before a Senate subcommittee to discuss self-driving innovation.
Drucker sees negative public perception as the main hindrance for autonomous vehicles. Perhaps the more we see garbage trucks stop automatically for crossing children and the elderly, the more we will warm to the idea of driverless. After all, as Drucker points out, this is our future.