Rob Lawton, Senior Mine Surveyor for FMG Solomon reports from western Australia that that they have 62 autonomous haulage Cat trucks using LiDAR systems on the front (Velodyne HDL-64E mapping system). Be sure to watch the video to see this real world autonomous fleet in action.
This demonstration of autonomous haulage navigation is obviously not taking place on a Los Angeles freeway at rush hour, but it is still extremely impressive. I’ll bet the autonomous vehicle start-ups could learn a lot from Cat.
The autonomous haulage technology has achieved a 20 per cent improvement in productivity for Fortescue at the Solomon Hub, Power added.
As you will see in the video Cat is not a newcomer to autonomous haulage vehicles. It is obvious that they have been working, somewhat quietly perhaps for a number of years and investing heavily in developing working systems that customers are relying on in a significant operation
Rob also commented that they are working on integrating the LiDAR data being used for navigation into their daily survey workflows. This will provide additional cost savings.
On a related note, in this case for underground mining, Rob passed on a link to new UAS product being developed in Australia at CSIRO, the birthplace of the GeoSLAM ZEB-REVO.
The video below shows the Hovermap being used on a trial conducted at Barrick’s Golden Sunlight mine in Montana, USA. Numerous autonomous flights were conducted along drives and into stopes, include BLOS autonomous flights, enabled by the Hovermap lidar mapping and autonomy payload.
For more information on the mine operation click here.
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