Komatsu Debuts Autonomous Mining Truck Concept at Trade Show
Four Wheel Drive, Steering Aimed to Improve Productivity
It seems like every transportation sector that have vehicles that drive, roll, and fly have caught autonomous fever, and it appears the mining sector is no different. Making its debut at the MINExpo in Las Vegas is Komatsu’s Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle concept. This is not the first time Komatsu has shown autonomous concepts, having shown the 930E and 830E autonomous concepts previously. However, unlike those previous models, the Autonomous Haulage concept completely eliminates any provision for human drivers by getting rid of the cab and related controls, such as pedals, steering wheel, etc.
To facilitate its completely autonomous operation, the concept also employs four-wheel drive and steering and is designed for high-performance shuttling in forward or reverse, eliminating the need for so-called “K-Turns.” The company says the improved traction and agility should significantly improve productivity at mines that experience inclement weather and tight confines. The concept weighs 416 metric tons (917,123 pounds!) and can haul a payload of 230 metric tons (507,063 pounds). It has a gross power output of 2,700 hp and a top speed of 40 mph.
Komatsu first commercialized its Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) in 2008 and claims its AHS-equipped trucks have hauled a cumulative 1 billion tons of overburden and minerals at mines in Chile and Australia.
Source: Komatsu America