The other day I came across this video from Cat Mining detail their advancements in autonomous vehicle operation, specifically haul trucks of the 793 variety. Skynet, otherwise known as the Cat Minestar System is capable of controlling a variety of vehicles from dozers above ground to loaders in the deepest coal mines. The benefits of autonomous vehicles are numerous. Trucks will always operate within the prescribed limits of safety and capacity. Computers never take a coffee break or play Words with With Friends while driving so mine owners are likely to seen an increase in cycle times and profit per ton. Watching the video below I couldn’t help but feel slightly creeped out watching an army of 250 ton behemoths toiling away under the desert sun with nary a human insight. A glimpse into the future? It’s already here.
There is much to be said about the benefit of autonomous mining with safety being a key factor. Workers will no longer have to operate machines in dangerous conditions. Instead of travel to remote mine sites they can login to a computer hundreds if not thousands of miles away from the safety of an air conditioned downtown office or even their home. It’s always been my dream to drive a 797F in my underwear.
Google driverless cars? Who needs em!