For the first time in mining history, trucks equipped with Cat MineStar Command for hauling have autonomously moved more than 1 billion tonnes of material in less than a year. Roughly 1.2 billion tonnes (1.3 billion tons) were autonomously hauled in 2021 using Command for hauling.
In total, Command for hauling trucks have autonomously and safely hauled more than 4 billion tonnes (4.4 billion tons) of material since 2013. To date, trucks equipped with Caterpillar’s autonomous haulage system (AHS) have traveled more than 147 million km (91.3 million mi) with zero loss-time injuries, nearly the same distance as traveling from the Earth to the sun.
“Safety and sustainability continue to be top values in the mining industry. We are now entering our ninth year with zero loss-time injuries with Command for hauling, a testament to its safety record,” said Marc Cameron, vice president, Caterpillar Resource Industries. “A recent five-year study by one of our customers autonomously hauling iron ore reported an 11% reduction in fuel usage – resulting in a 4,300 tonne-per-year (4,740 tpy) CO2 emissions reduction – 11% increase in hourly production, 50% higher maximum truck travel speed, and 35% improved tire life.”
Autonomous trucks equipped with Command for hauling are operating at 18 mine sites by 10 companies across three continents. Commodities autonomously hauled include iron ore, oil sands, copper, coal and gold. Spanning the 190- to 360-tonne (210- to 400-ton) class sizes, the portfolio of Cat mining trucks capable of fully autonomous operation include the 789D, 793D, 793F, 797F and 794 AC with electric drive. Retrofit kits allow mining operations to expand Command for hauling to existing Cat mining trucks as well as other brands of trucks and loading equipment in their fleet.
The Command hardware and technology is currently deployed on the Cat 789D autonomous water truck (AWT) at Rio Tinto’s Gudai-Darri mine in Australia, the world’s first AWT. Connected with Cat MineStar technology, Command for hauling on the 789D integrates the truck, tank and water delivery system (WDS). The Cat WDS delivers variable waterflow based on truck speed, and the system’s variable displacement pump automatically starts and stops when the truck slows or comes to a halt, preventing overwatering and poor traction at intersections.