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O

ver the past five years, global mining and

construction equipment giant Komatsu has

pioneered the use of its Autonomous Haulage

System (AHS) in large mining operations – with its Front-

Runner autonomous trucks recently passing a landmark

milestone of 330 million tonnes of material moved.

Based on conventional large mining trucks, Komatsu’s

FrontRunner trucks run completely autonomously – they

are not remotely controlled – with a full truck fleet able

to be monitored by a single controller located up to thou-

sands of kilometres away.

They are able to operate around-the-clock, 24 hours a

day, seven days a week, delivering significant safety, pro-

ductivity, reliability, performance and operational benefits

to mine fleet owners.

According to Komatsu Australia’s Managing Director

Sean Taylor, Komatsu leads the way globally in the suc-

cessful implementation of autonomous haulage systems

in production mining.

“The development program for our autonomous

trucks concepts goes back to the 1990s, so we’ve

put many years of research and development

into the safe, productive and reliable operation of

autonomous trucks, both in Australia and around

the world.

“No other manufacturer has our depth of

experience, and successful production record in

autonomous haulage.”

Komatsu FrontRunner trucks are typically loaded by

conventionally operated manned loading tools – such as

shovels or front-end loaders – hauling either overbur-

den to waste dumps or paddock dumps for spreading, or

mined resources to the crusher area or stockpiles.

Each truck incorporates a combination of vehicle

controllers, precision GPS, an obstacle detection system

(ODS) using radar and laser, and a wireless network sys-

tem developed by Komatsu.

The AHS Central Control System incorporates a de-

tailed map of the mine area, including haul roads, loading

areas, dump areas and refuelling and maintenance areas,

and assigns required routes to each truck, whether over-

burden hauling or ore hauling.

Each loading tool is also fitted with high precision GPS

and an integrated touch-screen computer showing the

location and direction of movement of all items of mobile

plant within the FrontRunner fleet’s operations area.

Komatsu’s Autonomous

Haulage Systempasses 330million

tonne landmark

Page 18

Contractors World International Vol 6 No 4

Contractors World International