Ferrovial is developing a smart robot to optimize cleaning of the cars in the Zity fleet, its electric carsharing service in partnership with Renault.This new initiative is an advance in the technology of disinfection and maintenance, an area of vital importance in the current context.
Saroca (Smart Robot For Car Sharing) pursues a 25% increase in the efficiency of the vehicle cleaning and maintenance processes. This will be achieved by standardizing the steps in the processes and also because Saroca can clean the car while the battery is being charged, which reduces downtime. This increases the vehicles’ availability on the street, enhancing the carsharing service.
Fitted with two mechanical arms that perform a range of functions, such as vacuuming the car’s interior, cleaning the windshield and fully disinfecting all components of the car, the robot also improves worker safety due to its enhanced ergonomics.
Additionally, during the cleaning process it will apply Long Clean Surface, a persistent disinfectant to combat COVID-19 that has successfully passed tests designed to ascertain its efficacy against coronavirus and its high degree of persistence.
The main difference between this product and conventional disinfectants is that it adheres to surfaces, enabling them to remain free of the virus for a long time. The product represents a sustainable, ecological alternative that could help reduce the use of conventional cleaning products, whose chemical residues accumulate in wastewater and which have a negative environmental impact. This new technology is also proving useful as a biocide for eliminating micro-organisms that are similar to SARS-CoV-19, the virus that causes the COVID-19 infection.
The robot also contributes to standardizing the process of disinfecting the Zity fleet by ensuring that every corner of every vehicle is covered.
As part of this initiative, a smart system is also being developed to detect damage to the vehicles; it consists of a set of cameras, motion sensors and a video tool that identify damage and generate a report that makes it easier to manage the fleet and the optimize vehicle availability.
ZITY, CI3 (Centro de Innovación de Infraestructuras inteligentes) and Italian IT consulting firm Santer Reply are also participating in this project, which commenced a year ago and is in the final phases of development. Saroca, which is supported by EIT Digital, is expected to be operational in the coming months.