Komatsu unveils “innovative’ autonomous haulage vehicle at MINExpo 2016
First publishedin Aggregates Business International
Komatsu has unveiled what it says is an innovative autonomous haulage vehicle featuring a structure with no cab.
Tetsuji Ohashi, company president and CEO, introduced the vehicle at MINExpo 2016 in Las Vegas, USA (26-28 Sep), and the company says that unlike its 930E and 830E autonomous models, Komatsu has developed this vehicle exclusively as an unmanned vehicle designed to maximise the advantages of unmanned operation.
The company plans a market introduction in the near future.
By distributing equal load to the four wheels when the vehicle is loaded and unloaded, and adopting four-wheel drive, retarder and steering, Komatsu is aiming for high-performance shuttling of this vehicle in both forward and reverse travel directions, thereby totally eliminating the need for K-turns at loading and unloading sites.
In particular, Komatsu expects that this new vehicle will “considerably improve the productivity at mines where existing unmanned haulage vehicles face challenging conditions, such as slippery ground due to frequent rain/snow fall as well as confined spaces for loading.”
In 2008 Komatsu commercialised the Autonomous Haulage System (AHS), and since then AHS dump trucks have hauled over 1 billion tonnes (cumulative) of overburden and minerals at large-scale mines mainly in Chile and Australia.