Komatsu debuts driverless haul truck at MINExpo2016

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Komatsu Automated Haul Vehicle Komatsu’s new autonomous haul truck has no cab at all

Komatsu has unveiled an autonomous haulage truck featuring a completely cabless structure at MINExpo 2016 in Las Vegas.

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Komatsu says that, unlike the 930E and 830E which are regular trucks fitted with autonomous navigation systems, the new truck has been designed exclusively as an unmanned vehicle and has no operator’s cab.

Komatsu says it’s still hammering out some of the finer details of the autonomous haul vehicle’s design, and hopes to begin full production soon.

The big hauler weighs in at 416 tonnes, can carry a 230 tonne payload and is powered by a 2014kW Komatsu diesel.

Komatsu says the automated hauler is designed for high-performance shuttling in both forward and reverse directions, eliminating the need for three-point turns. The trucks are equipped with a high-precision GPS and an obstacle detection system.

Komatsu says it hopes the new truck will improve productivity at mine sites where existing unmanned haulage vehicles face challenging conditions such as frequent rain. Komatsu also hopes the new machine can keep remote mines operating when faced with staff shortages.

The autonomous truck is the culmination of Komatsu’s efforts to commercialise autonomous haulage systems (AHS), which began with the introduction of trucks fitted with AHS in 2008. Since then, trucks using the automated system have moved over one billion tonnes of overburden and ore at large-scale mines, mainly in Australia and Chile.

In future, Komatsu hopes the trucks will integrate with a range of other automated machines such as dozers, loaders and excavators.

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