Komatsu unveils largest autonomous truck

The Komatsu 980E-4A autonomous truck. Image: Komatsu

Komatsu’s largest autonomous ultra-class haul truck has been deployed commercially at an oil sands operation in Canada.

The 400 short ton (363 tonne)-capacity 980E-4AT builds off Komatsu’s 930E series and is the one of the largest autonomous trucks in the world.

The trucks boast an 18-cylinder Cummins 3500 horsepower SSDA18V170 engine, reliable hydraulic design, two-stage turbocharging for maximised fuel efficiency and a GE drive system.

Canadian company SMS Equipment launched the trucks at an unnamed mine. SMS executive vice president of innovation and advanced technology Mike Brown said the company had invested heavily in developing a team of autonomous mining specialists to support its client “from inception through to implementation and continuous improvement”.

Komatsu launched its autonomous haul system (AHS) in 2008 and as of November 2018 holds a record for hauling more than two billion tonnes of material worldwide using its autonomous trucks. The company now has over 130 autonomous trucks in operation worldwide.

“The introduction of these 980Es into the AHS environment wouldn’t be possible without our customers and distribution partners,” Komatsu general manager, mining truck division, Dan Funcannon said.

“They’re a big reason why Komatsu has the most autonomous systems, in the most mines, hauling the widest variety of materials, in the world.”

Earlier this month, Komatsu unveiled the first in a new line of surface mining drill rigs, the P&H 77XR, which includes auto bit changing capabilities.

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