When we walk around a surface mine with a weight of lots of ton and much horsepower trucks which are hauling material and we often might hope that drivers should pay attention to their whereabouts, but what if the site would use autonomous mining trucks and there might be no requirements of drivers so that we would be perfectly safe. Although there are many human drivers who could do the job but autonomous trucks have been able for driving an exact route every time and that is even without getting bored, tired or taking time off.
Because of these autonomous trucks, there would be elimination of human error and regular training which would improve safety and increase productivity of mines. Experimenting with autonomous equipment has been started by mining engineers very earlier but this process has taken time for the technology to catch up with this idea. But today manufacturing of these trucks has been done in very large numbers that are used at sites around the globe.
Some clear advantages have been offered to mining companies by these driverless trucks. The advantage of these autonomous trucks are that due to them, there are few people needed at the site as well as the there would never be a case of human error when they are operating day and night because of fatigue. Human drivers could veer slightly from time to time as the autonomous vehicles do the job over and over.
There is a requirement of advances in computing power and memory, two way radio communications in these new types of equipments. Each autonomous mining truck employs both radar and lidar for navigating around the site in order to sense objects around the vehicle. An overall picture of location, speed and possible obstacles has been created by these combined with high precision GPS.
In short, the driver’s job has been replaced by the computer. It works by reading the truck’s navigation system and selecting the best route. It also direct the truck for a particular shovel and after when the truck is loaded, it start to proceed a particular dumping point. Each dump location has been recorded so that two loads are not dropped into the same pile.
In order to maximize productivity and meet each day’s loading goal, the computer has been programmed with scheduling and assignment algorithms designed. The routes from shovels to dumping points are extremely precise due to this.