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Metals & Mining

Enhance safety & boost productivity with autonomous & teleoperated vehicle tech

Key facts

Up to 25%

increase in productivity

18%

increase in truck utilisation

Up to 15%

less fuel used

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Top business benefits

Enhanced health and safety

Increased productivity

Improved truck utilisation

Reduced payroll

Lower maintenance & fuel costs

Increased tyre life

In more detail

Full description

The competitive nature of the mining industry means companies are always on the lookout for systems which deliver more ore at less cost, while meeting the industry’s strict zero harm goals.

This automation and teleremote technology provides a retrofit autonomous and semi-autonomous driving system for existing heavy-duty vehicle fleets. These vehicles benefit from higher production and utilisation but also lower operational costs. Autonomous systems also increase safety performance by removing the operator from the mining environment, allowing for safer, more cost-effective operations.

The challenge

The manned operation of heavy-duty vehicles exposes drivers and other mining personnel to the risk of serious injury. Human error, often caused by fatigue or distraction, can also lead to higher wear rates on tyres, engines, and other components of equipment such as brakes and gears.

Drivers of manned vehicles also need to take breaks, change shifts, and will sometimes call in sick. These unavoidable human factors can impact productivity levels. What’s more, the inefficient operation of vehicles might adversely affect fuel consumption and tyre life.

While autonomous driving systems have the potential to address these challenges, acquiring this innovative technology requires significant investment – particularly when replacing an entire fleet of vehicles.

The approach

The ongoing quest for increased productivity and improved safety can be restricted by the manual operation of vehicles and the challenges this presents. This autonomous vehicle solution provides operators with an attractive alternative that can drive the improvements they need.

Existing fleets can be retrofitted – rather than replaced – to an autonomous or semi-autonomous level, enabling the use of self-driven and teleoperated vehicles within mining environments. Constant real-time monitoring of the equipment ensures efficiency and delivers an increase in productivity of up to 25%. For example, the average speed of an unmanned truck is 15% faster than with a driver.

A multilevel safety system mitigates accidents using radar, LIDAR and cameras to scan the environment at 360° and avoid collision with obstacles – eliminating maintenance costs caused by accidents. Personal trackers control the movement of vehicles and people in the robotic area, creating a 10-metre ‘safety bubble’ around each object – which is impossible to enter.

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