PRESS RELEASE: Liebherr’s development programme towards autonomous haulage is currently underway, and an initial prototype testing has been active since 2016. Liebherr plans to begin field trials of a pre-series at a customer site in 2019.
A significant challenge facing mining today is the increased global demand for minerals and metals while available resources are becoming harder to access due to location and harsh environments. High labour costs, increasing labour shortages and volatile commodity prices have put a strain on the industry. Automation and robotics can help to provide a solution by establishing streamlined processes for extracting ore, while reducing the exposure of workers to health risks.
Bryant Ward, executive vice president engineering and development, Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News, commented: “We will offer three options to support various customer approaches to autonomy.
“Some customers would like a single supplier to do everything in a turnkey approach. Others want multiple supply options and are prepared for a larger integration effort. In this way, Liebherr will deliver the most flexible and cost effective way to achieve an autonomous haulage solution.”
Liebherr intends to provide an open architecture, allowing customers flexibility with respect to the level of OEM content and integration from Liebherr to compliment customers’ existing investments in fleet management and telemetry. This approach will allow customers to use Liebherr products along with other OEM equipment and choose the most suitable suppliers for third-party solutions.
As announced in October, Liebherr's new autonomous ready-haul trucks will be compatible with ‘Mobius’, autonomous command and control platform by Autonomous Solutions (ASI).