WORLD FIRST: High-power electric, autonomous street sweeper launched


Finnish street maintenance technology developer Trombia Technologies has unveiled the world’s first high-power electric, autonomous street sweeper, with potential to cut 3 million metric tons of CO2 annually

The company’s Trombia Free cleaning device use less than 15% of the power required by currently available heavy suction sweeping technologies. This unlocks the potential for mass-electrification and carbon-neutralization of one of the heaviest vehicle technologies currently in use in the cities globally.

Trombia states that this the first time that a diesel-fueled heavy equipment vehicle has been electrified without compromising the power and performance capabilities. Trombia Free is also the world’s first street cleaning device that is built to be operated fully autonomous in all-weather conditions in the modern smart cities and industrial destinations.

“Current vehicle technology relies on suction performance that was invented in the 1950s,” says Antti Nikkanen, CEO, Trombia Technologies. “We simply cannot enter 2020s green and sustainable era with such outdated solution. With the globally patented Trombia technology we are able to reduce the power requirement dramatically, so turning it into a beautiful and powerful, electrified and autonomous device has been an exciting journey to this day.”

Trombia Technologies developed the globally patented Trombia sweeping technology in 2013 and entered the market with sweeper attachments in 2017. Trombia sweeper attachments are currently being sold in seven countries including North America and Northern and Central Europe.  The carbon free and autonomous product, Trombia Free, is expected to roll-out through a Pilot Programme in 2021 to mass-deliveries in early 2022.

Trombia Free units are equipped with an all-weather autonomous, lidar-based, machine vision technology that filters the noise coming from the environment in rainy, snowy or other adverse conditions. An advanced algorithm has been developed to absorb data on objects from various sources and to generate millions of illustrations of the object at once. This enables accurate and safe localization in all-weather conditions.

“Starting in January 2021 we will start a 12-month commercial pilot programme for different applications,” says Jaakko Happonen, founder of Trombia Technologies. “Trombia Free was developed below-the-radar in pilots with the Nordic European parking lot operator Aimo Park and for harder conditions with piling machinery manufacturer Junttan’s industrial plants. Now we move forward with increased focus on smart city sector.”

Trombia Free also highlights the importance of rapid replacement of diesel-fueled street sweepers. Trombia Free units are brought to the market including a pay-per-square meter business model that will allow contractors and operators to adopt Trombia Free faster than new technologies are normally adopted. Final product pricing is available at the pre-sales start during the summer 2021.

“We have worked to understand the total cost of street cleaning operations per square meter and can already say that Trombia Free will save money dramatically from the end users and the contractors,” says Happonen. “Even more, rapid rollout helps saving our planet. While we also make regular purchasing options available, we believe this revenue-share model with contractors will be fast way to deliver cleaner streets, cleaner urban air, more sustainably.”


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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).