Autonomous sweepers keep roads clean in major Chinese cities

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Over 100 of these self-driving vehicles, which automatically clean and water road surfaces, are already in operation.

When designing systems to anticipate what other drivers and pedestrians will do, automakers are finding that building self-driving vehicles is turning out to be harder, slower, and costlier than they thought. The same may not be true of limited application commercial vehicles, which may be adopted far sooner than driverless cars. Consider street-sweeping sanitation vacuums, for example—they’re essential to keeping any large city or town looking neat and clean.

Street sweepers in part take other vehicles and people out of the equation because drivers and pedestrians are accustomed to avoiding these vehicles when they’re encountered on the road.

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