1 min read / March 29, 2018 / Staff Writer
It’s been 10 years since Komatsu was the first to commercialize Autonomous Haulage Systems (AHS). In that time, our customers have moved more than 1.5 billion tons of material autonomously without injury. This noteworthy achievement includes the successes seen at large-scale operations for Rio Tinto and Suncor, where fleets of Komatsu trucks with AHS are reducing fuel consumption and extending component life.
AHS combines driver-less trucks and remotely managed operation to optimize the movement of materials – removing people from harm’s way, while optimizing fuel usage and reducing the environmental footprint. With 10 years of proven success, the market for AHS continues to grow. Suncor recently announced plans to deploy more than 150 autonomous haul trucks over the next six years, which will be one of the largest investments in electric autonomous vehicles in the world.
Since Rio Tinto commenced trial operations in 2008, haul trucks fitted with AHS technology have now moved more than one billion tons of ore and waste material across five sites in the Pilbara region of Australia, including the newly commissioned Silvergrass mine. With more than 80 autonomous Komatsu trucks currently operating and plans in place to increase their haul truck count to more than 140 by the end of 2019, the pace of automation across Rio Tinto’s iron ore business is accelerating as well.