The numbers doubled quickly. In 2016, Komatsu’s FrontRunner Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) marked 1 billion tons hauled since its first commercial deployment in 2008. Then, in 2018, AHS hit the 2-billion-ton mark, which is higher than all other commercial systems combined.
The feat was accomplished with more than 130 driverless trucks in operation in mines across the world. The number of tons hauled will keep rising significantly, with an additional 150 trucks slated for deployment in the Canadian oil sands throughout the next seven years.
“AHS continues to play an increasingly crucial role in effective mine management as more and more operations transition from manned to unmanned fleets,” said Dan Funcannon, Vice President/General Manager, Large Mining Truck Division, Komatsu America. “As the demand for AHS grows, Komatsu will continue raising the bar in an effort to help mines provide safer environments, maximize production and reduce operating costs.”
Komatsu has accelerated the pace of AHS deployment by working closely with customers and educating them about the system’s 10-year, zero-harm and productivity record as well as unmatched ability to accommodate an array of mining environments. Today’s FrontRunner system operates around the clock to haul copper, iron and oil sands at seven sites across three continents.
“The ongoing investment in technology and equipment by major mining companies underscores their belief in the value of autonomous haulage,” said Anthony Cook, Vice President Autonomous and Communications Solutions at Modular Mining Systems, a subsidiary of Komatsu.
Komatsu’s best-in-class approach for FrontRunner AHS brings the world’s best-selling, ultra-class dump trucks together with Modular Mining Systems’ industry-leading DISPATCH Fleet Management System, the preferred management system in nine of the 10 largest mining operations in the world. The system enables 100-percent compliance with proven optimization methodology, delivering unrivaled performance.
Komatsu plans to enhance AHS’ mixed-operations functions. In an effort to enhance safety and efficiency, Komatsu is working with industry stakeholders to standardize interoperability between Komatsu and non-Komatsu autonomous vehicles.