The rapid increase of traffic as well as the continuous urbanization and production of waste requires new Solutions in the field of city logistics and waste management for urban areas. In collaboration with BSR (Berlin‘s municipal sanitation services) I developed and designed a Concept for waste management solutions of the future. This concept examines the collection and discharge of household Waste by using a fleet of autonomous vehicles. By using such autonomous vehicles, the concept aims at reducing city traffic and related noise and emission pollution.
A closer look at the waste management logistics shows that the biggest cost driver is the so-called first mile of the collection process. Therefore, several scenarios have been developed that optimize the process of the first mile in waste collection. In order to be able to determine the most promising scenario from the various approaches, they were evaluated on the basis of qualitative criteria and then evaluated by means of a cost-benefit analysis.
Ultrasonic sensors, which are installed in the waste containers, measure the fill level and transmit the optimal time of emptying the containers to a central management system. In this way, the routing of transportation vehicles can be optimized. Empty runs are entirely avoided. The containers are collected by robots that lift and transport them to a central collection truck and thereby automate the first mile of waste collecting.
The communication between the waste containers and the waste management system enables optimal route planning. As noise emissions are prevented the waste collecting can take place at night and the impact on urban transport is minimized. Furthermore, the continuous communication between the collection trucks and the robots allows for emptying containers while driving, which keeps the traffic flowing.