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Torc and Caterpillar Join Forces for Autonomous Mining Trucks

27 September 2017
Caterpillar demonstrates its autonomous mine truck fleet. Image credit: Caterpillar Inc.

Creating autonomous haulage solutions is a priority for construction and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc., which announced a retrofit program for the Komatsu 930E mining truck this past January.

Caterpillar provided additional details about the truck’s expanded capabilities, which were developed in part with Torc Robotics. The vehicle’s autonomous solution leverages Command from the Cat MineStar technology suite, along with integrating the rest of the suite’s components: Fleet, Terrain, Health and Detect. MineStar is designed to help mines manage everything from material tracking to real-time fleet management, machine health systems, safety and more.

The product is scheduled to go to market in the first quarter of 2019.

“We know that most mining operations are made up of equipment from multiple manufacturers,” said Sean McGinnis, product manager for Caterpillar Mining Technology. “By working with Torc to develop a solution that works on Komatsu trucks, we’re making it possible for our customers with mixed fleets to get the benefits of our proven autonomy solution.”

Those benefits, as McGinnis sees it, include increased vehicle availability, productivity and safety.

As an early adopter of Torc’s autonomous vehicle technology, Caterpillar has worked alongside Torc for more than a decade. In 2015, the companies worked together on RemoteTask, a remote control system for skid steer and compact track loaders.

Torc has also applied its autonomous vehicle technology to other commercial ground vehicles, including military vehicles and consumer cars.

To contact the author of this article, email tony.pallone@ieeeglobalspec.com


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