Caterpillar’s future of mining technology is rooted in 284-ton autonomous trucks that can work 24/7.
Caterpillar produces the most powerful mining machines in the world. Its trucks go beyond the points where the rest of the machines give up. These Cat machines perform complex tasks and haul raw ore not achievable from the rest of the machines. Most of these Cat machines’ immense capabilities come from their massive size.
However, few may know that Caterpillar isn’t allowing the huge size of its fleet of machines to stop it from initiating the trend of autonomous technology.
Caterpillar Digs Out Crucial Materials With Autonomous Machines
Earlier this year, Caterpillar demonstrated its autonomous truck technology on machines likely bigger in size than most two-story homes.
Caterpillar is pretty much familiar with the concept of autonomy. By the start of this year, the company had invested around $2 Billion only in research and development. It currently has 16,000 active patents in the autonomous machine category, and the reason for such a large fleet is rooted deep down in the high demand for mining operations worldwide.
Caterpillar’s Autonomous Trucks Can Work 24/7
The mines’ profitability depends on the material’s outcome, such as raw ore and rocks, and the heavier the machine, the more effective the result is. Machines working for longer periods of time have a huge impact on a mining project’s overall output. Hence, these heavy Caterpillar machines produce much more than the most rest available in the market.
The company has searched more and more on the idea of “autonomizing” all of its huge machines on worksites and found to make it possible.
Each of the Cat’s autonomous Haul Truck weighs 284.6 tons in the absence of a load. And some of its large vehicles can load another 688 tons with ease.
Caterpillar has been experimenting with autonomy on its machines and vehicles for almost three decades. And now, the company has finally reached the point where their autonomous machines have already been working to construct a four-lane highway that surrounds the whole world.
Autonomous Trucks Work As Planned
The autonomous Caterpillar machines have moved 4.9 trillion pounds of material on their own. This excellent productivity is an example of pacing development in the autonomous technology category.
Autonomous Cat machines achieved these outstanding results working in real mines. Amazingly, the work saw no wastage of time or an incident or errors on behalf of the autonomous trucks; everything went as planned.
Virtually Controlled Autonomous Trucks
Caterpillar has created an effective software interface system that enables workers to observe and control the autonomous machines as required closely.
Cat’s Terrain Software System comes equipped with a simple onboard interface that allows the digger operator to maneuver the loader for loading as desired.
The new machines work autonomously; hence, they can perform tasks that were not possible for manned users. Cat proposed the action of lowering the autonomous trucks while moving in the desired direction. Such an action could not be performed with a human-crewed vehicle as the maximized load could cause fatal accidents.
Now that these Cat machines are transformed into autonomous, it has made it easy to control them while applying as much stress as required, all within a comfortable environment.