Komatsu's Autonomous Haulage System (AHS), now working at an open-pit mine in Australia, uses Topcon GPS receiver technology for navigation.
Corresponding to the growing demands for natural resources by emerging countries, mining sites are expanding in remote places with severe environmental conditions, and where the site owners typically encounter difficulty in hiring truck operators despite higher salaries being offered. In some existing mines, there are large numbers of manned dump trucks at work, all requiring a high level of driving skills for operators to avoid accidents.
At the Australia site, the plan is to deploy more than 150 autonomous Komatsu dump trucks by 2015.
Komatsu’s AHS utilizes GPS technology to locate the exact position of the unmanned trucks and control them on predetermined courses. The technology also enables extended operating time and contributes to efficiency by decreasing manpower.