Autonomous milestone for Caterpillar
By Catrin Jones28 September 2022
Trucks equipped with Cat MineStar Command for hauling have reportedly moved over 5 billion tonnes (5.5 billion tons). Caterpillar says that their autonomous trucks are on the way to beating record totals of materials hauled in a calendar year, projected to be more than 1.4 billion tonnes (1.57 billion tons) in 2022.
The company estimates that more than 550 mining trucks are equipped with Command for hauling and operating across three continents.
Denise Johnson, group president of Caterpillar Resource Industries, says, “In 2013, we placed our first fleets of autonomous trucks in Western Australia at FMG Solomon and BHP Jimblebar. Since that time, trucks using Command for hauling have safely travelled nearly 200 million kilometres (124.3 million miles), more than twice the experience in autonomous operations of any automobile manufacturer.
“Caterpillar has grown the number of autonomous trucks in operation by 40% in the past two years. We believe that automation is one of many keys to implement technology that unlocks the value miners need when it comes to the energy transition toward more sustainable operations.”
Caterpillar says that the company has enabled 13 customers at 23 different locations to succeed with full-site autonomous haulage solutions. Spanning the 190- to 370-tonne (210- to 410-ton) class sizes, the Cat 789D, 793D, 793F, 797F, and electric drive 794 AC and 798 AC mining trucks are capable of fully autonomous operation. As well as mining, Caterpillar also sees potential for autonomy in quarry and aggregates.