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Spaceship. A supercar. The nicknames of the latest generation of street sweepers speaks volumes. It’s not a dumb contraption that features two visible cleaning brushes, but rather a futuristic-looking vehicle that cleans the streets. Trombia Free, as the street sweeper is called, recently made its maiden voyage on the roads in Jätkäsaari, a neighborhood in Helsinki.

Unmanned on the road

The vehicle is, according to the manufacturer, the world’s first fully electric street sweeper. It consumes only 15% of the energy that conventional brush and vacuum cleaning machines need. Nor does it generate any emissions during cleaning thanks to its elective drive system. What’s more, the street sweeper consumes only a fraction of the amount of water that is typically needed in cleaning methods that are currently in use. Not to mention the personnel costs … The Trombia Free operates unmanned on the roads. Here’s how it works in practice:

“Our electric street sweeper is so quiet that it is possible to sweep the streets at night, which woud minimize disruption to traffic,” Antti Nikkanen said in a press release. Nikkanen is general manager of Trombia Technologies, the company behind Trombia Free.

Smart mobility

The trial was carried out in close cooperation with the construction department of the municipality of Helsinki. That department is also responsible for infrastructure maintenance, among other things. With the commissioning of electric and automated machines, Helsinki aims to achieve the city’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2035.

Helsinki is seen around the world as a pioneer in the field of smart mobility. Jätkäsaari in particular, a former port area that has been redeveloped, serves as a testing ground where companies try out new services and technologies in an urban environment. The test and pilot projects are geared towards promoting energy-friendly and safe means of transport.