Parks Operations & Infrastructure
Autonomous Lawn Mower Pilot Project
In summer 2022, the City of Richmond conducted an autonomous lawn mower pilot project at City Hall to mow a section of lawn in the south east corner along No. 3 Road. The goal of this pilot project was to explore the feasibility of using this technology in other City of Richmond Parks.
About the Project
The trial project ran through the 2022 turf grass growing season with the mower programmed to operate from Monday to Friday, 7:00am to 4:00pm. During its hours of operation, the machine automatically returned to a station on site to charge as required and also automatically returned to this station at the end of each day. The operation of the machine was controlled and monitored remotely by City of Richmond staff.
About Autonomous Lawn Mowers
Autonomous lawn mower technology is developing quickly and the turf grass industry is anticipating rapid growth in professional applications. Compared to conventional gas-powered machines, autonomous lawn mowers provide the following benefits:
- Reduced noise – silent operation
- Increased energy conservation
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- Increased resource efficiency
- Increased worker safety
Safety and Security
The autonomous mower used in this pilot has many design features that ensure public safety. The machine notified Parks staff if there was any interruption in its operation. Anti-theft sirens would sound if the machine was removed from its operation zone and it was also equipped with GPS sensors, making the location of the machine trackable. Autonomous mowers have been used safely and successfully in many busy urban environments here in Canada and in many European Cities.
For more information:
Contact the Parks Department at 604-244-1208.