In honour of Autonomous Vehicle Day, we’re celebrating advancements our customers are making in autonomy through Hexagon’s technology. This Velocity Magazine article features work from Hexagon’s Autonomy & Positioning and Mining divisions about what the future holds for full off-road autonomy in the mining industry.
How long until the world is heavily reliant on self-driving vehicles? For the mining industry, that reality is much closer than you might think.
Drawing from over a decade of mine automation experience with Hexagon, Mining Resources Limited built the world’s first road train with autonomous platooning capabilities in April 2022. The autonomous road train has already contributed to saving the company millions in annual operating costs. Mining Resources Limited has taken the first step toward full vehicle autonomy, and now anticipates reaching full automation for prime mover trucks by 2025.
Traffic management, safety protocols and machine tracking, like HxGN MineOperate OP Pro LP from Hexagon’s Mining division, allow the road train to load ore at mines and deliver at port without human intervention. Lee Baldwin, segment director for core autonomy for Hexagon’s Autonomy & Positioning division, said drive-by-wire technology, perception and positioning and path planning are key implementations for the road train’s automation. In addition, the road train acquires precise and reliable positioning data through Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Precise Point Positioning (PPP) corrections via the PwrPak7D-E2 from Hexagon | NovAtel.
The results have been astounding. Each truck is estimated to save $4.7 million USD per year with 90% utilisation.
“At total capacity, Mineral Resources expects to have more than 140 automated prime mover trucks by mid-year with the goal of full autonomy by 2025,” said Baldwin.
As such, the company is leading the way in automated vehicle solutions in the mining industry, with other bulk haulage and defence industries soon to follow.
Hexagon is featuring this work in a joint panel during the Autonomy & Positioning Innovation and Intelligent Mining Summits at HxGN LIVE Global 2023. Learn more about the summits on hexagon.com.