Automotive

Komatsu's robotic mining truck completely dumps the driver

Komatsu's robotic mining truck...
Komatsu's Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle has no room for a driver
Komatsu's Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle has no room for a driver
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Komatsu is unveiling its Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle at Minexpo International in Las Vegas this week
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Komatsu is unveiling its Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle at Minexpo International in Las Vegas this week
Komatsu's Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle has no room for a driver
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Komatsu's Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle has no room for a driver

Komatsu's latest autonomous truck fully embraces the notion of unmanned operation by ditching the cabin and adopting a design that optimizes load distribution and doesn't distinguish between forwards and backwards.

Komatsu began trials of its Autonomous Haulage Systems (AHS) in a partnership with mining company Rio Tinto in 2008, and since then the technology has hauled hundreds of millions of tonnes of material in Chile and Australia's Pilbara region.

The autonomous haul trucks like the 930E model used by Rio Tinto incorporate controls, wireless networking and obstacle detection to enable unmanned operation, but they still look like conventional mining trucks complete with driver cabins.

The new 2,014-kW (2,700-hp), 15-m (49-ft) long and 8.5-meter (27-ft) wide "Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle" takes things up a notch. The cabin is completely gone, allowing for a design that better distributes weight to all four wheels, and it uses four wheel drive and four wheel steering for better grip and maneuverability.

Komatsu is unveiling its Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle at Minexpo International in Las Vegas this week
Komatsu is unveiling its Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle at Minexpo International in Las Vegas this week

Without the need for a driver squinting in the rear view mirror, the truck is also designed to move as efficiently backwards as it does forwards, meaning no three point turns and therefore increased productivity and less wear and tear on the 59/80R63 tires. It can handle a payload of 230 metric tons and reaches a maximum speed of 64 km/h (40 mph).

The robot monster truck is being unveiled at Minexpo International in Las Vegas this week and Komatsu says it "plans a market introduction in the near future."

The video below is Komatsu's animation of the Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle at work.

Source: Komatsu

Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle

6 comments
Nik
I hope that they cant be hacked! The mayhem and murder that could ensue would be horrendous, and what happens if they malfunction? How would one disable them?
Aross
Another job gone to the computers and robots. Pretty soon no one will have a job. Hasn't anyone realized that people without jobs have no money and can't buy anything. Pretty soon even the robots will be out of ajob.
Ptodd
Sad to see more jobs lost to hackable autonomous vehicles.
habakak
Fantastic. Progress. More productivity, more wealth. I figure though a human controller will still be around to monitor and handle unforeseen conditions as this tech still has not matured. This can save companies a lot of money by producing more for less. This how mankind has made progress since the original industrial revolution. Think of all the jobs this create to build, maintain and program these things.
Derek Howe
These days if your job is one of the 3 D's (Dull, Dirty, or Dangerous), you better be on the lookout for a new job, as those are the first jobs to be replaced by robots. It's interesting to think about what will people do in say...50 years. By then robots will be better & smarter then humans in every single category. Will we work? will we even have too? Will are days be filled with having fun or relaxing? Will the only things we build be for a fun hobby? Will money exist? If so, how would you acquire it? The future is going to be a vastly different place, then it is today.
ChrisWalker
seriously? how soon before mining becomes automated with the material delivery to factories that are run by robots to build robots who mine the earth autonomously so they can build more robots to replace humans at just about every aspect of life but Leadership